Do babies sleep a lot when they are sick?

Unfortunately, many factors can influence how much a baby sleeps, and being sick can be one of them.

Do Babies Sleep A Lot When Sick? - All You Need To Know

Do Babies Sleep A Lot When Sick

When your baby is sick, they may not be able to sleep soundly.

It can lead to not getting the rest they need and even health problems in the long run.

There are many reasons your baby might not be able to sleep when they are sick, but one is that they might be too sick to sleep.

According to the NIH, a baby should not sleep more than 16 hours during the first two weeks of a cold or the flu.

A sick baby should probably not sleep more than four hours each night.

The Physiology Of Sleep In Infants

Most teens and adults are familiar with sleep disorders such as sleepwalking and night terrors.

We know these problems occur when our brains get overexcited during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.

However, most people do not realize that healthy babies also experience REM sleep throughout infancy and early childhood.

REM sleep makes up 50-60% of total nightly sleep among children five months or younger but then declines to less than 10% by the time they are three years old.

The Physiology Of Sleep In Infants

Is My Baby Sick Or Just Cranky?

You could wake up one day and discover that your child has a fever and does not want anything from you or eat anything.

It does not mean he is sick.

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It’s normal to go to any length as a parent to make your sick baby feel better. However, knowing how to care for your baby when they have a fever and you don’t know what’s causing it can be difficult.

If a baby gets hot while sleeping, he might think his body temperature is too high for comfort, which would make sense.

It can be caused even if the room temperature is not hot enough for them to be uncomfortable without getting dressed in layers of clothing first.

The same goes for being cranky.

Some babies cry because they are hungry but are not hungry at all.

They just want mommy's attention until she feeds them again later down the road.

Others might cry because they enjoy being held by their parents more than anything else in life right now.

Still, others may have digestive issues that cause discomfort and pain when food enters their system.

So while none of these things necessarily mean "sick," they do require some investigation before making any conclusions about what needs doing next, i.e., whether something like changing diapers would help ease some symptoms.

Is My Baby Sick Or Just Cranky

Babies Are Adorable, But They Are Also Crazy

One thing we can not deny about babies is that they like to sleep a lot.

They will do it anywhere and at any time, on the floor, in the crib, on their moms' chests, you name it!

But what if your baby is sick?

If you think about it, sleeping through a fever is not exactly a great way to get better.

You might be able to keep your baby in bed with you for a few days until they get better, but then what?

Your baby will probably still be tired, cranky, and maybe even an inconvenience.

So how do you make sure your baby keeps getting enough rest while they are sick?

Here are some tips:

  • Get them used to sleeping in their room.

It will help them feel safe and secure when they need to stay home from daycare or school for whatever reason.

  • Ensure their room has enough windows to see outside but not too much sunlight.

It helps prevent them from getting too hot.

A Common Sign Of Sickness In Babies

One common sign of illness in babies is a change in how long they sleep.

If your baby seems to be sleeping more than usual, it could signify something is wrong.

In this case, you should take your child to the doctor immediately so they can get treatment and ensure everything is okay.

Suppose your baby sleeps less than usual but still has energy at nightfall. In that case, you may want to check on them periodically during the day and even at night, if possible, to ensure they are still well enough for normal activities.

Should Babies Sleep A Lot When Sick?

While many parents think sickness causes babies to sleep more, the opposite is more likely.

When babies are sick and tired, they have less energy than usual and burn calories faster than usual as their body fights off an illness.

It is not uncommon for a baby feeling well to be just as exhausted on their return home as they were during their trip away from home.

Do Babies Sleep A Lot When Sick?

While your baby is sick, they tend to sleep longer and harder than normal because of the extra need for rest.

Babies with fevers may also have an upset stomach which can lead them not to eat much during those days or even go days without feeding.

And if you are breastfeeding your baby, breastfeeding will affect their appetite too.

They will be hungrier after sleeping than before.

Check Your Baby’s Temperature

Check Your Baby’s Temperature

If you notice your child sleeping for longer periods during a time of day when they normally do not sleep, you should check their temperature.

If it comes back normal, then there is no need to worry about their illness.

However, if the temperature is higher than 96 degrees F (36 C), this could indicate that your baby has an illness such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

Our Final Thoughts

We hope that this blog helped you to understand how to cope with a sick baby.

Babies usually picture health and vitality but need a lot of sleep when sick.

It is vital to work with your doctor before, and while trying to treat a sick baby, so they do not get any worse.

But once you figure out what the baby will be able to handle, try to give them plenty of love and care.

And remember that your baby likely is not getting much sleep either, so both of you might need frequent naps.

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