a guest post from Mimi Sommers, author of Relax a Bye Baby: A bedtime guide to help your little one relax and sleep tight.
I know some parents out there have no problem getting their little ones down for the night, but there are a number of you who probably struggle with bedtime like I did on a nightly basis.
While the struggles of putting a child to bed is an old story, bedtime using mindfulness techniques for kids has started a new story. Enough scientific evidence to validate the physical and mental benefits of relaxation has spurred my desire to offer another bedtime resource and bridge the meditation/mindfulness gap with the mainstream.
Children need this repetitive tool for their emotional toolbox and parents, grandparents and caregivers need to reinforce it in their own lives. It’s a “win-win” model.
How To Make Relaxation Techniques A Part Of Your Child’s Bedtime Routine
The most important approach to any relaxation technique is to find a quiet and comfortable place. For children, the best time in the bedtime routine is after the bath, tooth-brushing and reading time, when snuggled in bed. Some really don’t want to go to bed and will do anything to stay up which means you have their undivided attention when you pick up Relax a bye Baby to read.
I recommend taking a few big deep breaths with your child in order to let go of the day’s events. The good and the bad stuff is part of the past. This is your special time to unwind from the day and calm the mind.
Begin body relaxation at the feet and travel up to the head. Wiggle the toes and feet together and thank them for all their wonderful uses and let them settle down. Do the same for the legs, arms, hands and fingers.
Most children usually get the wiggles and excited before bed, so this is the perfect time for them to actually get their wiggles out.
Stretching is also a great way to release tension. Try stretching out the legs, back and arms in the process. Deep breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth is important to get oxygen back into our system and calm our nerves, so I like to add this by verbalizing and exaggerating some deep breaths intermittently into the relaxation. Use words like:
“Take a big breath in through your nose and exhale with a sigh-like a lion’s roar”. If you feel your little one isn’t relaxed yet, you can repeat this step. Get creative!
At this point the breath is nice and slow and a perfect time to look forward to tomorrow, while honoring today. In time, this will train children to let go of the bad things that they sometimes dwell on and look forward to what tomorrow brings.
Reading Relax a bye Baby nightly will reinforce this body relaxation technique in a fun and interactive approach and train everyone in the family about how to relax and wind down at bedtime.
Enter To Win One of 5 Copies of Relax A Bye Baby!
Relax a Bye baby is a great tool to help your little one learn relaxation techniques from a very early age – and those relaxation techniques make great tools to add to your sleep coaching toolbox!
And now, for a limited time, you can enter to win one of 5 copies of Mimi’s book, Relax a Bye Baby: A bedtime guide to help your little one relax and sleep tight. Even better, Mimi will personalize your book copy with a message of your choice! These could make great gifts for a pregnant friend or family member, a sweet present for a niece, nephew, or grandchild, or a great tool to use with your own bedtime-resisting child!
This giveaway will run from July 20th – July 27th. The giveaway is open to U.S. entrants only.
Mobile Users: Enter HERE
Mimi Sommers is a registered dental hygienist who graduated from the University of Southern California and currently works part-time in Los Altos, CA. Mimi lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband, young son and 2 dogs.