Do Babies Sleep More When Sick? (Things To Watch Out For & More)

  • Understand why some babies sleep more when they’re sick 
  • Learn how and why sleep helps sick babies recuperate faster 
  • Plus, know what to do to help a sick baby feel better 
  • And, should you or should you not wake a sick sleeping baby?

Is your baby sick and has sleeping a lot of late?

Are you worried that this is not normal and could mean that your baby is not well?

Do you often feel like waking up your baby from sleep to take a feed, when they are sick?

If you are going through any of this, it is natural to feel stressed and worry about your little one’s health. But we have got you covered with all the information you need and are looking around for. Here, you can find out why some babies sleep more than others when they are sick and what this sleep does to your little one’s body and overall health. We also talk about that crucial point – whether you should wake up your little one to take a feed, or let them sleep peacefully. So, if this is what you’re searching for, do read on.

It’s common to hear complaints of babies having trouble sleeping when they are sick... but can they also sleep more when ill?

You may have already heard this one before, and may have also experienced this before, that when your baby falls sick, he or she will sleep longer than they generally do.

sick baby sleeping all day

What is the reason behind babies sleeping more when they are sick?

  • When your baby is sick, their bodies start getting into the fight mode so that it can ward off the infection and get back in its healthy mode soon.
  • This can take a toll on your little one’s body and as a result they can get tired and exhausted very easily. This is why you may notice that your newborn feels sleepier and sleeps more when he or she is sick.
  • Fatigue is in fact one of the most common signs of any sickness.
  • Yet again, one of the reasons is that when your baby is sick, he or she is a little weaker as compared to when they were not sick. This too can increase the amount of fatigue they experience.
  • Also, with the body’s natural defence constantly battling it out, exhaustion can be common in the sick days. 

Does sleep help babies recuperate faster?

  • Yes, sleeping through the regular sleep hours that your newborn has, as well as sleeping more than your baby does when he or she is well can help them get better faster.
  • ​​​​​​​​​In fact, if you feel that your baby is not sleeping enough and that being sick is disturbing them and not letting them sleep well, try and soothe them so that they can sleep more.
  • When your baby is sleeping, the body gets into the rest mode, which allows it to heal faster and get all the necessary rest it needs to fight the germs again.
  • You may notice that your little one sleeps for about 5 to 6 hours straight. In some cases, a newborn may also sleep through the entire night without waking up, and wake up straight in the morning.

How to spot the signs that your baby is sick

Instead of worrying and waiting for more signs to appear, take a look at the following signs and symptoms that could give a hint that your little one is not feeling well, and needs some extra pampering and care:

  • Baby is sleeping more than he or she otherwise does
  • Baby is sleeping less than he or she otherwise does
  • There will be a change in baby’s regular feeding routine and baby may not want to feed properly
  • Your baby feels fussier and cranky than usual
  • Your baby feels a bit more warm and there is a temperature of at least 99 degrees
  • Your baby is having more bowel movements than otherwise. Sometimes, your baby’s stool could also change in its consistency and may be more watery.

How to make your sick baby feel better

The first thing when you see your baby falling sick could be a sense of sadness and worry. But there is more that you can actually do. Being there for your baby and tending to your baby in the right way can make a host of difference. Here are a few things you can do when your baby is sick, that will make him or her feel better:

sick baby sleep regression

1. If your baby has a fever:

  • There could be various reasons for your baby having a fever, such as an oncoming cold, an infection in the ear, having taken a vaccine recently and so on.
  • Initially, if your baby is not showing any other signs of discomfort, and if the fever is around 99 degrees, and is not going up to 100 degrees C, you can first let your baby rest.
  • In case the temperature goes higher, immediately speak to your baby’s paediatrician.

2. Breastfeed your baby:

  • If your baby is under six months of age, breastfeeding is one of the best ways to soothe your little one and also to help them get better faster.
  • Even if your baby is more than six months old, you can still try and breastfeed more, especially if you are still continuing.
  • In case your baby is off breastfeed, make sure that you give your little one lots of fluids as it will help to keep them hydrated and not cause any dehydration.

3. Ease the congestion

  • As a result, it can also interfere with your baby’s feeding and sleep patterns, and take longer for your baby to get better.
  • To help ease out your baby’s congestion, you can use a humidifier or a cool mist vaporizer in the room where baby spends most of the time.
  • This can add more moisture in the room and will make it easier for your baby to breathe.

Should you wake your baby periodically, after sleeping for several hours straight, when sick?

sick toddler sleeping too much

As a parent, seeing your newborn sleep for hours and hours on end without waking up for a feed or otherwise can seem quite strange, and honestly, scary. You may want to wake up baby to give them a feed, or just to see if they are actually doing alright.

The golden rule here is that if your baby is not well and is taking a good long nap, let them rest. On a regular basis, a newborn will need up to 8 to 12 feeds in a 24 hour cycle, which means that they should ideally be taking a feed at least once in every two or three hours. If you notice that your newborn is sleeping more than usual, it is alright to wait and let them sleep for four to five hours at a stretch. If your little one still does not wake up, you can gently try and wake them up and encourage feeding. This will avoid your baby becoming dehydrated, and also, breastfeeding, along with sleep, is one of the most natural ways to help baby get better soon.