We all have our fears and mine is vomit.
This time of year I start to hear the stories of what my clients children are experiencing, and then thing that starts around October every year is the horrendous bug that takes your family down, one by one – can you guess what Im talking about? I remember one year it was particularly bad...
It all started Monday night (around midnight) with my son - who must of picked up the stomach flu from school. I was up with him for 6 hours. 12 hours following that - my husband came down with it - I was up with him for 8 hours, 6 hours in to his illness my daughter came down with it - I was so stressed!
I have never washed as many blankets - quilts - sheets - towels - cloths and clothes. I think I was wearing rubber gloves for about 3 days straight and walking around carrying my waste paper bin full of hot water and bleach.
Needless to say we all know that illness effects both the parents sleep and the child's sleep - but at what point should the extra nocturnal attention end so that the good sleep habits resume?
About to start sleep training - If you had made plans to change your child's sleep habits by doing some sleep training and your child becomes sick - WAIT. Its not a good time to start and if you did you would feel terrible as you would constantly question yourself about your child's ability to self - soothe. Wait until your child is better and then proceed with your plan as normal.
In the middle of sleep training - If you are in the middle of implementing some sleep training and your child gets ill - pause at the point that you are at and resume from that point once your child is better. You must go to your child if they are sick and do not push them any further. If anything go back a step or two.
After sleep training - Most children need help / assistance at night when they are ill. So, if your child is sick and cries in the night you must go to them and do what ever it takes to make them feel better and return to sleep - even if it means sleeping on the floor next to their bed. Don't feel disappointed - all of the hard work that you put in to get your child sleeping well has not been undone. Once the illness has faded - stick to your normal bedtime routine again, you may have to help them get back on track again but you will not have to start over.
As I have said before - once a child can sleep through the night - it is highly unlikely that they will loose the ability. If anything they may have a little bit of regression when they have an illness, going through a developmental milestone, going on vacation or having grandparents / relatives or friends staying over causing your routine to go out of whack. If it does happen - don't worry it is nothing that can't be easily ironed out once the dust has settled.
In the meantime, pray for me that I don’t catch it, want to read up more on the stomach flu – this website is firm favourite of mine: http://www.stopthestomachflu.com