One of the simple facts about babies is that they are anything but consistent. Just when you think you’ve got your baby’s sleep patterns figured out, for example, she changes things up on you. In many cases, it isn’t so much sleep itself or your baby’s perspective on sleep that’s changing, but instead it’s because of something else going on in your baby’s life.
One of the most common reasons for a change in your baby’s sleep schedule is a change in feeding habits. For example, the introduction of solid foods to your baby’s diet can dramatically affect his sleeping patterns. Knowing how to differentiate between a change in feeding that’s causing sleep differences or, for example, the result of a cold, can be difficult.
You need to understand, first of all, that a cold can often throw off a child’s sleep routine as much as two or even three days before other symptoms start to appear. Once those other symptoms have been resolved, baby’s sleep patterns may continue to be interrupted for several days.
Illnesses are also much more likely to cause interruptions in feeding habits, as well. For example, many babies will be much less interested in solid foods when they have a cold. If your baby isn’t interested in solid foods anymore, the most important thing to do is make sure that your baby is staying hydrated and getting enough to fill her belly. This will help with sleep, although it may not fully counteract any of the sleep problems caused by the cold.
Something as simple as a runny nose can greatly interfere with your baby’s sleep patterns. This is especially true if your baby is still in the process of establishing his sleep routine. The difficulty that a runny nose causes with breathing combined with the irritation in the nasal passages can keep your little one up much past when you both would prefer she were sleeping.
Ultimately, the key is knowing how to recognize what’s going on with your baby, and being patient with her to make sure that your baby’s sleep pattern interruptions are, eventually, resolved.