Sick kids should stay in bed, or maybe jump on the bed

by Whitney Moss on March 29, 2013

in How to,Sleepy

This is part of our series of posts sponsored by Pediacare.

Ever stay home from work to take care of a sick child, and half-way through the day, you’re wondering where to take him to work out his energy — that won’t contaminate other kids?

Sometimes a fever will make little ones sluggish and ripe for a long afternoon of cuddling and quiet play. Other days, getting sick kids the rest they need is like leading a horse to water. Is it just me? As soon as my child gets in a laying down position, it turns into “let’s pretend I’m a dog” complete with panting and asking for a toy to be thrown for a game of fetch.

Will you brainstorm with me? What tricks do you have to help your bambinos get enough sleep, especially when a cough or cold is in the air?

Here are a few tricks that I’ve seen work:

1. Objects of affection are only allowed in the bed. Once my children stopped napping on the go, their pacifiers and lovies stayed permanently in the crib. They were eager to go to bed at night because they wanted to get their suck on. They were eager to nap as well because their beds represented those soothing items.

2. Ramp it up before you ramp it down. As Heather shared recently, meeting a kid at his own tempo may be less of a struggle than coming at them with a “You are feeling VERRRRRY SLEEEPY” command. Play or dance at a higher energy level for a few minutes and then slowly wind it down until you are both laying horizontally and still. This is an exercise in patience, for sure. Heather’s toddler music playlist will take you from sixty to zero.

3. A special light show. A variety of products project stars or rainbows on the ceiling, intended to help children fall asleep. My daughter’s friend has a light device that’s on a timer and she knows she gets to push it twice before she goes to sleep. Scarlett loved sleeping with her friend and using it. We also had a LeapFrog plush toy that played music for a few minutes, and I know a lot of parents swear by the Sleep Sheep.

Constellation nightlight to motivate kids to go to bed

Clearly kids don’t know what’s good for them or they would stop putting marbles in their mouths the first time you ask. Sleep is one of the hardest things to force on someone. What tricks do you have up your sleeve?

This post is sponsored by Pediacare.  Take note of their children’s fever reducing product Cough and Runny Nose, plus acetaminophen.

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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