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Sleep after illness - getting back on track

Sleep is (usually) one of the first things that goes out the window when your little one is poorly. As a parent, you’ll understandably want to make sure you’re close by, day or night, and responding to your little ones needs quickly.


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But how do you get back on track once your little one is better? Please be aware the tips below are for when your child is feeling better


In some cases, you might find that your little one goes straight back to their routine, this is more common if they’ve only been poorly for a few nights and they already have a good structured routine. However, when their sleep has been distributed for longer e.g. a few weeks, you might find that things don't settle back to the way they were before they were poorly.


Here are some of my top tips for getting back to sleep after illness


1) Sleep Environment

Where possible, keep your little ones in their normal sleep environment (I would also highly recommend this for night time sleep when they are poorly.)


This might mean that you need to forego your bed for a while and sleep in their room so you can be close by.


Why? When we are poorly we want our own bed and to be in our safe space. It also makes getting back into a sleep routine easier as you don’t have to add in transitioning back into their room/bed.


2) Go back to basics

I know you’re tired, but where possible get back to helping your little one settle the way they did before they were sick.


You may need to go 'back' a stage or two e.g. you may find that you need to have a bit more physical touch for a few nights or that you need to be in the room for a little while longer while they settle.


3) Start the day 'on time'

Even if you’ve had a tough night, get up on time and start the day as you normally would.


Doing this gives you the best change of getting back on track as it'll give you the time you need to get the most out of wake windows and naps.


4) Naps

You may find that your little one needs more sleep during the day and they may increase their naps or add naps back into their day while fighting off bugs or infections.


If your little one had extra naps during the day when they were poorly, you may need to gradually work these back out of their routine over time.


Remember it usually takes around 20 ish minutes for your little one to settle once they are in their sleep environment, so if they're falling asleep quickly, it's more than likely a sign they need to keep that extra sleep in for a while. If they are taking longer to settle, then this is a good indication that you can start capping those naps.



Take it slow with your little one, especially if they've been poorly for a long period of time. There are so many nasty bugs around at the moment

and they seem to be lasting for weeks.


If you still need support, please feel free to reach out to me. I offer a range of bespoke Sleep Packages or a 30 minute Sleep Rescue call for just £49.

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