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Getting a Baby Back Into a Sleep Routine After Being Sick

By Rose Welton ; Updated June 13, 2017

It can be very difficult and exhausting to care for a sick baby. Once his sickness has passed, you may find that you are still exhausted if his regular sleep routine was interrupted while he was sick. Fortunately, with consistent effort you can help your baby to fall back into his former bedtime routine. Be aware that it may take some time for his routine to get back to normal, so be patient.

Make daytime as active as possible. This will help your baby to realize that daytime is for interacting and playing, while nighttime is for sleeping. While she was sick, she may have slept often during the day and been irritable at night, so play with her often and save active and loud activities for the daytime to readjust her schedule.

Establish a consistent bedtime routine. Your baby will be more relaxed if he knows what is coming next in his routine. If you already had a bedtime routine established before he got sick, go back to the same routine. If not, decide which activities will work best in your routine. The activities should be calm and soothing, such as a bath, lullaby and a bedtime story.

Put your baby to sleep in her bed when she is drowsy but still awake. If you wait until she is almost asleep, she might be too overtired to fall asleep on her own. Putting her to bed when she is drowsy can also help her remember how to fall back asleep on her own if she wakes in the middle of the night.

Respond to night waking appropriately. You can wait to see if your baby is able to soothe himself back to sleep, but Kids Health suggests that you tend to him if he cries for several minutes in case he is uncomfortable, hungry or still sick. If you do respond, minimize talking and leave the lights off in order to help him realize that it is still nighttime.

Tips

Ask your baby’s doctor if you should wake her up to eat. If she was sick for a few days, she may have lost weight and might need to eat every 3 to 4 hours.

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