7 effective tips on help sick baby won’t sleep

how to help your baby sleep when sick

When your sick baby won’t sleep, it can be incredibly frustrating. This post will deep dive into how to help your baby sleep when sick or what to do when sick baby won’t sleep. You will also find tips on what you should NOT do when they are ill. A sick child inevitably want to nurse more often, but can’t because their little tummies are upset, body temperature, stuffy nose, ear infections, sore throat, etc. Sick babies could be too hot, too cool, or they’re just plain too uncomfortable. A sick baby is tough to deal with! But don’t freak out (too much)! It won’t be the last time this happens either. 

As any new parent knows all too well, there are no perfect kids – even when they are perfectly healthy and happy most of the time! babies will get sick from time to time and their sleep schedule will probably never be the same again after it happens for the first time! But what exactly do you need to know if your baby is sick? How do you help them get through it?

If your baby has a cold or flu or nasal congestion, it’s very common for them to have trouble falling asleep at night. This is because the mucus in their nose makes breathing slightly more difficult, making it harder for them to relax into sleep and get comfortable enough to nod off. It’s not easy being sick as a baby!

And if your infant has an ear infection or viral infections that causes pain, it might also be difficult for them to rest as a result of the discomfort. How you respond when your child is unwell may make things even worse; stress and worry can trigger adrenaline release which messes with our natural ability to cope with illness.

What NOT to do when your baby is sick

Even before we try to identify tips on how to help your baby sleep when sick, we should focus on what NOT to do.

  • Do not try to feed your baby if they are vomiting or have diarrhea. If your little one is not able to keep down their night feeds and night sleep, then it is best to wait until they are healthy again before feeding.
  • Do not try to give them extra water if they are vomiting or have diarrhea. Babies who are sick are not dehydrated and do not need extra fluids.
  • Do not co-sleep if your little one is sick. If they have an ear infection, cold, or high fever, runny nose, they should be in their own space.
  • Do not use honey or artificial sweeteners on their gums. While these substances may help with teething pain in older infants, they can be dangerous for small babies.
  • Do not rock them, cuddle them, or pick them up if they don’t want to be held. Many infants with a cold or cough will enjoy lots of affection, cuddling, and rocking. But others will prefer to be left alone and may cry if you try to hold or cuddle them.

Why should one believe in natural remedies and it is never too late for it

7 Effective tips on to help sick baby won’t sleep

Give them a bit of space.

Being too close to their parents can add to their anxiety and make it more difficult for them to fall asleep. Babies also need their own space to breathe, which can be really difficult when they are sharing a bed with someone else. If your sick baby won’t sleep, try giving them some space in a separate room or in a crib or bassinet in your bedroom. Sometimes short cuddle also helps. If your baby is under 6 months old, you may also want to try putting them in a Moses basket or crib in another room.

sick baby won't sleep
Sick baby won’t sleep

Use a humidifier

If your baby has a stuffy nose or difficulty breathing, a humidifier can help make their nose less congested and easier to breathe. Be careful to not let the water get too warm as it can scald their delicate skin. Install a safety device to ensure it cannot burn your baby. You can use a cool mist humidifier, which emits a cool mist instead of steam. This is a lot safer for infants, as steam can cause scalding and burns. To maintain a clean humidifier, you should clean it at least once a week. For best results, clean your humidifier every day.

Sick baby won’t sleep

Make sure they are well-cushioned.

If your baby has a cold, you may notice them shrugging their shoulders while they sleep. This is a reflex to help them expel the mucus in their nose. They may also be coughing and sneezing a lot. You can make them more comfortable by making sure they are well-cushioned. This will help them move more easily and expel the mucus. Make sure they don’t have extra blankets or pillows around them as these can suffocate them. in may cases Saline drops or nasal drops are recommended by physicians.

Light and sound therapy

Babies with a cough or cold often like to be very close to their parents. Being held, rocked, and cuddled can help them feel more secure and less anxious. While this is a lovely gesture, it can be really difficult for your baby to fall asleep when they are so close to you. To help child sleep, try light and sound therapy. Use a low-level light or sound machine with white noise to block out outside sounds and make the room a bit darker. Alternatively, use a low-wattage lightbulb or a sleep mask to make the room darker. This is an important tips on how to help your baby sleep when sick.

Read what American Academy of Pediatrics says about common cough and cold

Be present but not too responsive (too much work)

When your infant is sick, they need you. But you also need to maintain your own health and energy levels. If you are running on empty, you will not be able to parent your baby as well as you need to. If your sick baby needs you to pick them up, help them nap, or feed them, you have to decide if it is more important than your own health and well-being.

It is not helpful to your baby if you are sick as well and have no energy left to take care of them properly. While you should be present and responsive to your baby when they are ill, don’t go overboard with the care giving. Your baby needs you, but they don’t need you to be ill in the process.

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Don’t let them fall asleep on the stomach

If your baby is sick, it is good idea to keep them away from their tummy. Babies who are sick are more likely to end up with a stomach infection and may vomit if they lie on their tummy. If your baby is under 6 months old, it is best to keep them on their back or side. If they are over 6 months old, they can also lie on their front. If your child has a cold, diarrhea, or other minor illness and is over 6 months old, they can be allowed to fall asleep on their stomach. But you should keep a close eye on them and wake them up if they ever vomit.

Bedtime routine for a sick baby

how to help your baby sleep when sick

When your baby is sick, they may need to nap more frequently. If this is the case, try to keep their nap time as consistent as possible. Keep a check on room temperature, nighttime feed and extra feedings if any. You can also try to maintain a bedtime routine with them. Important thing is to understand that lack of sleep directly impacts immune system so it is important for babies of all age groups to follow good sleep habits.


I am sure the above tips on how to help your baby sleep when sick will help you. Your child needs to sleep as much as possible to grow and develop. When they are sick, it can be hard for them to get much sleep. Try to keep their normal sleep routine as much as possible while they are sick. For example, give them their feed at the usual time, cuddle them if they want, and let them sleep in their usual bed.

A baby or an infant falling sick is quite common especially during winter months, cold season or flu season and the good news is that this is a simple pain relief medicine could suffice. Just make sure your child get enough sleep and is eating well.

I believe in home remedies, here are some effective home remedies for cough and cold.

Disclaimer : The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The best way is to get medical help from a certified professional.

7 effective tips on help sick baby won’t sleep
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