Bedtime Tips when the Whole Family is Sick

Bedtime can be difficult when everyone is sick.From headaches to tummy aches, fevers to flu, when kids get sick, parents kick into gear. We know that when our child is sick, the one thing they need the most is plenty of bed rest. This is easy to do when one family member is down for the count, but what about when the whole family is sick?

When mom and dad, as well as the kids, are under the weather, keeping a consistent family bedtime routine is not easy. Here are five tips to manage bedtime and ensure everyone - kids and parents - all get the rest they need:

1. Plan ahead for bedtime - Depending on your child's age, prepare them to be as self-sufficient as possible. Gather a nest of materials around them before bed, including tissues, ice water, a trash can, or any other items they may need. Prepare books, magazines, the remote control, or other items within reach, so that they can keep themselves entertained if they wake up early, without disturbing other family members still sleeping.

2. Switch bedrooms when needed
- When the whole family needs rest, you may have to switch bedrooms to ensure everyone gets plenty of sleep. If one family member has a heavy cough, or another needs to be near the bathroom, rearrange your sleeping locations to guarantee optimum rest for both kids and parents.

3. Ensure communication
- When a parent is sick and on medication, they may not be able to wake as easily when their kids are calling for them. Keep a phone or walkie-talkie by your child's bed so that they can call mom or dad during an emergency or if they need help.

4. Family meeting before bedtime - Before everyone gets into bed at night, have a talk with your kids about how everyone is feeling, and what to do when a situation arises. Discuss what they should do if they must throw up, if they wake up in the morning feeling better, and the importance of sleep when the whole family is sick (and how not to disturb others).

5. Skip the chores - It's easy for parents to want to clean the house, wash dishes, catch up on bills, or do a load of laundry when the kids go to bed. But when mom and dad are sick, these chores must go by the wayside. Let yourself relax, rest, and go to bed when the kids do (the laundry will still be there tomorrow).

When the whole family is sick, bedtime can be a drag. But planning ahead for bedtime, getting your kids organized and on board with that plan, and stressing the need for peace and rest, can mean all the difference in ensuring everyone gets the healing sleep they need when under the weather.

Content by Becca Swanson.

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