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7 tips and tricks to help your sick baby sleep. Try these tips like using a humidifier, holding your baby upright, clearing your baby’s nose, and more to help them feel more comfortable and sleep soundly.

What to do when your baby has a cold and won’t sleep? How can you soothe your sick baby? This post can help! I’m a mom of three and sharing my own tips and tricks on how to help your sick baby sleep.

Please note: I am not a medical professional, just a mom of three sharing her personal experience. Any information, advice, or tips provided on my blog is for entertainment only and should not be used as medical advice.

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Use a Humidifier

Humidifier and stuffed animal on table

Using a humidifier can help moisten the air in your baby’s room, loosen mucus, and make it easier for your baby to breathe. Our favorite humidifier for our nursery is the Canopy Humidifier

Not only do I love the look of this humidifier, but one of our favorite things about it is that it produces no mist! With other humidifiers, they often leave your table and surrounding carpet moist from the blowing mist. However, with the Canopy Humidifier, the water in the chamber evaporates off the paper filter, leaving only filtered, hydrated air, with no wet residue left behind.

Another hassle about traditional humidifiers is remembering to clean them often (it’s recommended to clean them at least once a week) as a humidifier can be the breading ground for mold and bacteria. But being a busy mom with a sick kid, who has time for that?

A huge differentiator with the Canopy Humidifier is that it has smart sensors that keeps it running until the chamber is completely dry inside, eliminating the opportunity for mold to grow. And when it comes to cleaning the Canopy Humidifier, the entire thing is dishwasher safe! Making cleaning it a breeze and saving us a ton of time.

If you plan on running your humidifier daily, another awesome perk of the Canopy Humidifier is their air filter subscription service. I love this subscription because will automatically send you new air filters and essential oils every 45 days, so you will never forget to change the filters in your humidifier. And by signing up for the subscription, you save more than 50% on the cost of the filters and oils if you would buy them separately, making it a win-win!

Hold Your Baby Upright

Your baby will breathe easier if they sleep slightly elevated or even upright. Pillows or elevated cribs are not safe for babies, so this may mean you have to hold them upright to help with drainage and breathing. 

Lay your baby down in their crib to sleep, but if they wake up congested consider holding them upright on your chest or shoulder to help make it easier to breathe and get them back to sleep soundly.

Clear Your Baby’s Nose

To clear our baby’s nose when they are congested, I highly recommend the NoseFrida Baby Nasal Aspirator. If you have never used a nasal aspirator with you baby before, it might be a strange and gross concept (sucking the mucus out of your baby’s nose). But once you try it, it will be a game changer for giving relief to your baby when they are sick.

Compared to bulb syringes, I have found the NoseFrida to be so much more effective with removing mucus from our baby’s nose. This is because you can control the suction depending on how hard you suck. 

And with the clear tube design, it is a lot clearer to see what is coming out of your baby’s nose and how much. Again, this might sound gross, but with buld syringes, it can be hard to tell if you are even getting anything out of there!

But what really sets this nasal aspirator apart is how much more sanitary and easy it is to clean. With the bulb syringes, I find it nearly impossible to see if you have cleaned it thoroughly. But with the NoseFrida Baby Aspirator, simply toss out the filter and clean the tubes with soap and water. No more guessing.

Use Steam

Similar to the benefits of a humidifier, using the steam from your shower is a great way to clear you baby’s sinuses and help them sleep better.

To make a steam room, take a shower in a bathroom where you are able to close the door. Avoid master bathrooms are an open concept design with the bedroom. This will not be effective with containing the steam. Try taking a shower in another bathroom or guest bathroom that is a closed off space.

Next, get your baby situated in the bathroom with you. I like having my baby propped up to help open up their sinuses. For younger infants, I would recommend putting them in a chair like the Bright Stars Portable Bouncer. For older infants, I would recommend a similar chair to this Fisher Price Sit Me Up Floor Seat.  

When taking a shower, do not run your bathroom fan and put a towel down at the seam of the door and the floor to keep in as much steam as possible. I wouldn’t always recommend this, as moisture in your bathroom can grow mold.

 However, to get your bathroom the steamiest, it is super helpful to not turn on your bathroom fan and not let the steam escape through the bottom of the door. Once you are done with your shower I would recommend turning on the fan and opening the door to let the moisture escape.

The last tip is to have your water at a high temperature. The warmer the temperature, the more steam that will be produced. I do not advise putting the temperature at a dangerous or unbearable temperature, but hot enough where you see steam being produced.

Humidifier on table
Canopy Humidifier

Take Your Baby Outside

While warm moist air can be helpful to help clear your baby’s sinuses and soothe their dry throat, cold air can also be equally as helpful to help open up their airway – this is especially true with a barky croup cough.

Coughing fits, especially croup, normally strike at night and it can be scary! You may suspect that your baby has croup if they have a barky cough and wheezing. If it’s cold outside, try taking your baby outside for a few minutes to have them breathe in cold air. Or you could try opening the freezer to have them take a few deep breaths with cold air. 

Cold air can help open their lungs and ease their cough. Use your best judgment on taking your baby outside in the bitter cold and grab a jacket or blanket to wrap your baby in to keep them warm. 

Provide Extra Hydration

We all know hydration is key when we are sick as it helps our bodies fight back against viruses. Same goes for our babies as well. But hydrating our babies can be tricky as we don’t want to overfeed them and make their stomach’s upset. But we also don’t want to skip feedings in order to keep them hydrated.

Here are a few tips I have learned for providing extra hydration to your baby while they are sick.

If your baby is already drinking water (around 6 months or older), put a few ounces of room temperature water in a bottle and have them drink it slowly. We don’t want the water to replace their formula or breast milk, so make sure to give it to them in small amounts in short increments. I recommend a few ounces every couple of hours.

If your baby is too congested and is having a hard time drinking out of a bottle and breathing at the same time, trying using syringe like this one from Frida Baby.

Use Medicine When Needed

Always consult with your baby’s doctor, but consider using infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen when needed to lower your baby’s fever and make them more comfortable. Unfortunately, babies can’t take cold medicine and there are not a lot of over the counter medicines available to help fight your baby’s cold.

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