Actually, we're pretty sure she was teething - four molars and two bottom teeth have been slowly poking their little white heads up in her mouth. [By the way, if you care to know, our kid's teeth come in so weird. Two bottom front teeth, then all four top front teeth, now six from all sides. It's a wonder she doesn't turn into a baby shark each time.]
The mantra around here is that you know kiddo is sick when she actually snuggles for more than a millisecond. And when she keeps laying her head down on the futon.
We resorted one night to letting her eat a 'nak [translation: "snack"] right before bedtime because she needed to eat something. The life of a parent...
|sitting in dad's lap with a blanket around her...highly unusual.|
[For those of you horrified enough to know what on earth we read to our child, it happens to be The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers. I highly recommend his books.]
I found that there were two particularly difficult things about dealing with your baby being sick [other than the fact that it just sucks.] One, getting them to eat. I have no advice there. I was tearing through the fridge trying to find something she would eat all weekend. Two, keeping them on schedule [if you do that schedule thing].
Here are my tips on taking care of a sick baby while not completely wrecking their sleep schedule. Babies need extra sleep while they're sick, just like us. However, letting them sleep at random times suddenly is going to mess things up when they get better. I found that doing these three things helped kiddo get the rest she needed while not completely train wrecking the weekend.
1] Putting her down for naps 1/2 hour early. I did ask her to to keep chugging until then. But staying awake meant snuggles and watching movies while she was awake [not something I regularly do when she's feeling better], and some playing when she felt up for it.
2] Letting her sleep as long as she wanted, once she was asleep. By doing this, it helped shorten her subsequent awake time. This didn't work every time, however, because often she would unload a nasty in her diaper halfway through the nap. Leading to number three...
3] Putting her back down when she woke up too early. The first time she woke up an hour early from her nap, I freaked. There was no way she would survive being up for an extra hour. What I found to work was this: change her diaper, and put her back to bed. If she didn't just go back to sleep then, I got her up and let her play for about 15 minutes. At that point, the sick-tired-thumb-sucking would kick back in and I would put her back down to finish the nap. It worked every time, and she often slept extra-extra long.
And lastly, if the day totally crashes and nothing goes right, there's always tomorrow. Once the day is over, lay your head down, get some good sleep, and try, try again.
What are your tried and true tips for getting a baby to sleep when they're sick?