How To Help Your Baby Sleep Well After Vaccines

Podcast

Feb 14, 2023

Have you ever noticed that your baby turns into a cranky, clingy monster after getting vaccines?

Or, perhaps you’ve noticed that when your baby gets their vaccines, their sleep is greatly disrupted.

Whatever the case may be, vaccines have likely caused you at one point to wonder, “Is this normal?”

In this video and podcast episode, I’m going to give you the lowdown on how to help your baby sleep well after getting vaccines!

Along with that, I’m also going to help you determine if their sleep disruption caused by vaccines has become a new, sleepless habit and how to fix it if it has.

How to Help Your Baby Sleep Well After Vaccines

First things first, thanks for checking out the Little Z’s Sleep YouTube and podcast channel where every week we’re here to help you make sleep a thing.

When it comes to the topic of baby sleep and vaccines, I want to first, address the elephant in the room.

Vaccines are a very polarizing topic and parents can adopt extremely different vaccine philosophies.

I want to be clear that I did not make this video in order to talk about which vaccine philosophy is the most superior.

Rather, I made this video to help you support and care for your child and the sleep disturbances that they might experience after they’ve had a round of vaccines.

So wherever you land on the vaccine spectrum, you are welcome here.

We know that when it comes to vaccinations, every family’s experience is different.

In my family, my husband Chad and I have two daughters who are 18 months apart.

Since they are so close in age, their experiences with vaccines were essentially back to back and we found that each daughter handled vaccines very differently!

Our oldest daughter cried during her shots and would be visibly bothered by them while she was awake.

Our youngest daughter didn’t cry or act bothered at all by the vaccines and you wouldn’t have known she even had shots during her appointment.

The way that vaccines affected their sleep was also very different as well.

My oldest daughter, though more dramatic when getting the vaccine, was able to sleep with little to no disruptions.

My youngest daughter, who took the vaccines like a champ, experienced many sleep disturbances following her vaccinations.

I’m sharing this with you because I want you to know that every child’s experience with vaccines will be different, even within the same family!

Rest assured that I’m here to help prepare you for whatever vaccines throw your way so that you and your baby can stay as well rested as possible.

Below you will find my top 4 tips when it comes to making and keeping sleep a thing for your baby both during and after their vaccinations.

1. Schedule Vaccines During Your Baby’s Awake Window

First, you must advocate for yourself and your baby and ask your pediatrician if your child is going to receive vaccines at their next appointment!

If your child is going to receive vaccinations, then it’s important to schedule the appointment outside of nap time.

Juggling a fussy baby after vaccines is hard enough without adding the element of over-tiredness. 

Caring for your child after vaccinations will be a much smoother process and recovery if your little one can go to their appointment well rested.

So check when your child’s next appointment is, ask if they will be getting any vaccinations, and ask to reschedule it if it falls during your child’s nap time.

2. Acknowledge Your Child’s Disposition After Vaccines

Next, like I said before, every child is going to respond differently to vaccines.

Sometimes, vaccinations can immediately affect a child, causing crankiness and sleep disruptions.

Other times, it takes vaccinations a couple hours to have an effect.

Either way, it’s important to acknowledge your child’s disposition after they receive a vaccine.

There are usually two types of dispositions that your child can adopt when it comes to vaccinations.

After receiving their vaccination shots your child will either be 1) sluggish and cuddly or 2) energetic and hyperactive.

Your child’s post-vaccination disposition can last between 24-48 hours.

Acknowledging your child’s disposition will help guide you when it comes to supporting them in their sleep during their recovery period. 

3. Provide Extra Help When Going to Sleep (If Needed)

Now that you’ve considered the time of your child’s appointment and the disposition that they will adopt, let’s consider their sleep.

After your child has received their vaccinations, it may be necessary to provide them with extra support when it comes time to sleep.

My youngest daughter, Hattie, was and still is a total cuddle bug!

As a baby, when she became cranky and clingy after receiving her vaccines, I held her and cuddled her until she got drowsy and then I placed her into her crib so she could sleep.

Now, those of who know our sleeping philosophy here at Little Z’s know that I don’t believe in or teach putting your child down “drowsy but awake.”

In fact, never in the history of Becca Campbell or the Little Z’s YouTube or Podcast channel have I ever said it’s okay to help your baby or toddler get drowsy!

I have never said that because it goes against what my sleep training programs teach.

In my programs, I clearly help you teach your child how to independently sleep by putting your child into their crib or bed, 100% awake.

<<< Want to learn how to put your baby down, wide awake in their crib, and watch them fall asleep independently for both naps and nights? Check out my Sleep Training Programs HERE! <<<

However, there are two exceptions to this rule.

You can provide your child with extra support and help them to fall asleep when:

  1. They are sick
  2. They have received vaccinations

If you recognize that your child is more clingy, sensitive, and cranky after they receive their vaccinations, you should feel more than welcome to give them extra support when they are trying to sleep.

Cherish holding them close and enjoy the cuddles and snuggles!

Now you may be thinking, “Yes! Becca just gave me permission to have cuddles with my kid before they fall asleep.”

But if your child doesn’t need or want to be held or snuggled, that’s understandable, too.

I personally experienced this with my older daughter and I’ve had several clients who’ve told me throughout the years that they wanted to cuddle their child when they were sick or under the weather from shots but their child just wanted to be placed in their crib, alone, to sleep.

In fact, if your child has been sleep trained, and they know how to fall asleep and stay asleep independently, then being rocked or cuddled to sleep may be aggravating to them.

Most children are more comfortable when they are given the space to fall asleep on their own in their crib.

Personally, I don’t want anyone touching me when I fall asleep.

I just want to get into my bed and be by myself!

Your child may be the same way.

Another way that you can practically support your child after they receive vaccinations is to consult your pediatrician about managing your child’s discomfort.

***Medical disclaimer*** I am NOT a doctor or a pediatrician. I am not authorized to, nor will I ever recommend a dosage of medicine for your child.

Sometimes, pediatricians might recommend that you give your child Motrin or Tylenol after their vaccinations.

If you forgot to ask at your child’s appointment, simply call your doctor’s office and ask or leave a message asking about the appropriate dosage of medicine for your child.

4. Return to your Sleep Training Method If It has Been Over 48 Hours of Sleeping Difficulties

This last piece of advice I have for you is a really important one.

It’s extremely common that your baby experiences discomfort and sleep disturbances after vaccinations.

Your baby might become very cranky and irritable, or energetic and hyper.

They may also need, or crave, more support when it comes to falling asleep and staying asleep!

When it comes to sleeping after vaccines, it’s also very common that your baby will experience a slight disruption in their sleeping patterns for a night or two as well.

If this slight sleep disruption has extended past the 48 hour mark into a week, or two weeks, or a month, then it has become a new, sleepless habit and it can no longer be blamed on your child’s vaccines!

If they are still sluggish and their disposition is off, I recommend calling your pediatrician as soon as you are able to.

If it’s been 48 hours and your baby has not gotten back on track with how they normally sleep, then it’s time to go back to the sleep training method you used with them in the past.

It’s as simple as returning to your original sleep training plan and jumping back into the methods it outlines in detail.

If you have NEVER formally sleep trained with one of my sleep training programs, NOW is the perfect time to dive into one of our Programs HERE

Commit to following our two week long sleep training program and help your baby learn how to independently fall asleep within 10 minutes and sleep 11 to 12 hours all night long.

Be sure to share this video with your friends and family members! I want everyone to know that sleep disturbances CAN happen with vaccines, but sleepless/disrupted nights DON’T have to continue or become the “new normal.”

Conclusion

It’s very common for your child to feel under the weather after receiving vaccinations. It’s also very common for your child to experience sleep disruptions up to 48 hours after receiving vaccines.

To help your child sleep well after vaccinations you should: 

  1. Schedule your child’s doctor appointment during their awake window so you can still honor their nap time.
  2. Take time to acknowledge how your child’s disposition has changed after getting their vaccines. (Are they more clingy and fussy or hyperactive and energetic?)
  3. Provide your child with extra support when it comes to falling asleep and staying asleep (if needed).
  4. Return to your original sleep training method if you and your child have experienced sleeping difficulties for 48+ hours after receiving their vaccines.

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How to Help Your Baby Sleep Well After Vaccines

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