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Night time tips for soothing a poorly child

It's no fun being ill, especially when you're little. Nurofen for Children asked Mumsnetters who've been there many times before to share their advice for making children as comfortable as possible when they're fighting a high temperature and illness - here's what they had to say

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1. It pays to be prepared


"Prepare yourself as much as possible – have clean towels, sick bucket, wipes and water on hand. For coughs and colds I'm willing to try anything – painkillers for fever, cough syrups, nose sprays and menthol. A nice warm bath before bed helps, and I get to bed early myself if I think they will be up in the night a lot."

2. Don't worry about breaking the rules


"Allow this to be a time away from routine – it can be mentally very difficult to let go of the way you usually do things. If you can give yourself permission to just go with the flow for a bit, you and your child will cope a lot better."

3. Have strategies for reducing a fever


"My daughter gets a fever when she has a cold, and then she can't sleep. We use forehead cool patches which are great for cooling down – we also wrap a freezer block in a tea towel and put that in the bed with her. A breath of fresh air through an open window can ease the stuffy air."

4. Different illnesses call for different plans of attack


"If my children have D&V, it calls for a night spent on the sofa, with buckets, wipes and soothing DVDs."

5. Teamwork is essential


"We pick a parent who's going to sleep through the night, and then the one who's on night duty gets a lie-in whilst the other does the usual morning routine and sorts the other children out if they are well." 

6. Use treats to ease the discomfort


"When my children are sick, I keep ice lollies in the freezer. They're great for keeping up hydration, helping to reduce temperatures and soothing sore throats – and they don't make the kids feel sicker." 

7. If all else fails...


"Moving in to the child's bedroom at least ensures the rest of the family get uninterrupted sleep! Just having you there can be reassuring enough that you and the child will both get a bit more rest."

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Last updated: about 1 year ago