When children are sick, all sleep schedules, rules, and just about everything you know about your baby and sleep will be different. They may change when they take their naps, the length of their nap, and when you put them to bed.
The other day, my 2-year-old daughter woke up at 1:45 a.m., and threw up. My husband and I were totally caught off-guard since she didn’t have any signs of being sick before going to bed.
I gave her a bath, while my husband cleaned her crib up. The entire time I was bathing her, she sat there shaking. It was the saddest thing to witness. I wrapped her up in her hooded towel, and just held her. She was burning up. I knew she had to be around 106 degrees or something INSANE. She was THAT hot. I took her temperature, and it read 98 degrees. What? First thought: “That’s a lie.” Seriously though, I’m sure if I put her on frozen butter, she would melt it.
I got her all dressed, then laid her on my bed so I could lay down with her. I took her temperature again. 100.2. I thought, “Well, that’s more like it but I swear she’s WAY hotter than that.” She laid there, breathing like she was congested, but not congested breathing. I can’t even explain it. It didn’t sound like croup breathing, and it was different than being congested. However you describe it, it sounded miserable. With a combination of a temp, that weird congested-sound, and the fact that her body was STILL shaking, I called the pediatrician’s office.
The nurse who called me back listened to her breathe. She said it sounded way too fast, and had me count her breaths. Yup, too fast for her age. She then explained that shaking means her temperature is rising. With all of the symptoms she was experiencing, the nurse suggested I take her in. I got off the phone and checked her temperature. 101.6. Yup, time to go to the hospital.
I loaded her up in the car, and she waved to her dad saying, “Bye Daddy” in her sweet 2-year-old voice. We arrived at the hospital, and I was hoping I wouldn’t seem like a crazy mom who brought her kid in for a simple cold. You know what I mean, right mamas? You go to the hospital, spend a million dollars, and are told, “She has a cold. Take her home and rest.”
They tried to take her vitals, but she was MAD. She wanted nothing to do with being weighed, or having the little monitor put on her finger. They took her temp: 99 degrees. The nurse said there was no way that was true (like I said, she could melt FROZEN butter), and decided to check her rectally. Oh, my poor baby. Her real temp: 105 degrees!!!!!!!!
They gave her some medicine to lower her temperature as quickly as possible. The doctor listened to her lungs. His guess? Pneumonia. He ordered a chest X-ray, and she slept while they got everything ready.
Have you ever seen a kid get a chest X-ray. No? They put the child in a Pigg-O-Stat–a pediatric immobilization device. And it is creepy looking! She sits on a seat that looks like a bike seat, and they lift her arms straight up, then slide these clear plastic pieces onto her whole top to hold her tight while they take the X-rays. And they thought my kid who didn’t want to step on the scale, was going to get in THAT?
To take the X-ray, I had to wake her up. I picked her up, placed her in the weird contraption, and walked in the other room while she was X-rayed. She was silent and as still as possible. Whhhhaaaaaatttt? “The little monitor that goes on your finger is totally scary, but this extremely awful-looking machine, sure, no problem!” I thought. But, I was also very proud of her. We took her back to her room, and the X-rays confirmed Pneumonia.
Thankfully, it is treated with a liquid antibiotic that she only gets once a day for four days. She should be back to normal in no time. Poor little lady.
So this morning, when she decided to sleep until 11:20 a.m., do you think I woke her up so she was up at a normal time? NOOOOOOO. Let those sick babies sleep. When kids are sick, they need their rest. No schedules apply here. Just make sure they are eating and drinking enough, and let them sleep as long as they would like.
Currently, she is taking a much longer nap than she usually does, and she NEEDS it. That poor little body is trying to fix itself and needs rest to do so. Will an off-schedule mess up the perfectly maintained schedule she had before this? Of course not. When kids already have a good sleeping pattern, a glitch like getting sick will not ruin your/their hard work.
So if you’re finding that your babe needs more sleep while they are sick, or less sleep and more cuddle time with you, let them have it! Hopefully they want to sleep more versus less. Not only does sleep help their little bodies get better faster, but then it also gives you a needed break after being in the hospital all night, right? 😉
Good luck with your sick babies mamas!
*Sleep is essential. We need sleep to function, to take care of our children, to keep up on every single task life throws at us, to keep our sanity. Are you getting your eight hours or do you have a baby who is keeping you up? Let’s remedy that! In the “Rested Mamas are Happy Mamas” series of our blog, sleep expert Jackie answers all of your sleep woes. Have a question or problem that needs fixing? Comment on the series, and a blog will be published just for you!*