After one or several bouts of illness, getting baby's sleep routines back on track can be a real challenge. Throw teething, caring for a pre-schooler and your own sleep deprivation into the mix, and that challenge may seem insurmountable. Help is at hand though: OHbaby! sleep expert Dorothy Waide offers her tips and advice.
Question: I have a three-year old, and a seven-and-a-half-month-old who is breastfed. My baby has been sick for the past four months with a runny nose and a rattly chest, and has had antibiotics several times that have not helped. She's also teething so sleeping all night has been a dream not often realised. She isn't well established on solids yet either, she would barely eat 20ml of purée twice a day. I've not wanted to do any type of sleep training due to all of this, as I know I like cuddles when I'm not feeling well, but I would so dearly love to have a full night's sleep. She can settle herself, but has phases of wanting me to settle her, probably because she isn't feeling well. What do I do?
Dorothy Waide replies: With regard to teething there are many alternative remedies to help reduce babies' pain. I tend to use Kava drops, teething drops and Viburcol (visit www.qhealth.co.nz). I will also offer additional pain relief with Pamol during the day and Nurofen at night. Pamol takes away the pain and Nurofen takes away the inflammation and pain.
It is perfectly fine to offer cuddles and comfort when babies are ill or teething but they also need sleep for their bodies to heal so I think the best thing you can do is to teach your daughter to self-settle.
Have you considered cranial osteopathy or acupuncture for helping her body to heal after having so many illnesses? I also tend to use First Defence as this can help re-build their immune systems.