There are some families who tell me that they have tried literally everything under the sun to encourage better sleep habits for their children, but I wonder how many have tried baby yoga? We know as adults that one of the best ways to guarantee a good night’s sleep is for the body and mind to be relaxed and calm, and we also know that yoga is a tried and tested way to achieve this. So doesn’t baby and infant yoga seem like a great solution for children who find it hard to switch off, or who struggle to relax at bedtime? This week we’re looking at baby yoga for better sleep, and how it might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.
What is baby yoga?
If you’re already familiar with yoga as a series of postures aided by incorporating breathing, meditation and mindfulness, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what baby yoga involves. The idea is to calm and focus the mind, stretch out the body and promote a restful state ready for sleep. Incorporating this into your child’s bedtime routine can have some amazing effects.
Benefits of baby yoga at bedtime
The last thing we want to do is to introduce a practise that is going to distract and energise your child at bedtime. Some yoga postures are intended to do just this- provide the body with energy and vitality. So it’s important that you learn which postures are good for relaxing the body and mind, and use these to help promote a sense of calm instead. For this purpose, I’d recommend either a good book or a reputable class/ Youtube video that’s going to show you the correct postures for bedtime. Once you’re clear on the moves, the benefits can be astounding, including:
- Allowing your child to shift her mind’s focus from the stresses of her day.
- Helping your child to learn breathing techniques that will calm and soothe- and these can be used at any time of the day too.
- Helping your child to release excess energy, tension and stress.
- Encouraging a relaxed mind and body with techniques that can be used for stress management.
- Providing tools for your child to learn how to calm themselves at any time.
- Helping your child to fall asleep faster and have a better night’s sleep.
- Reduction in irritability and fussiness.
- Providing a perfect bonding opportunity for parent and child.
Baby yoga uses a series of calming postures and relaxing visuals to encourage children to focus and relax, and the end results can actually last well beyond bedtime. Studies have found that children- and adults- who practise yoga are more likely to cope better in stressful situations and have better sleep habits as a result in general.
Other benefits of baby yoga
You might be interested to know that baby yoga does not only aid in better sleep habits for babies and children. In fact, there are a whole host of other benefits, just in case you’re not quite convinced yet. Baby yoga is known to help with colic, teething, constipation and digestive problems, slow weight gain and feeding difficulties. On top of this, experts believe that by incorporating yoga into your baby’s routine early on, you can help with a multitude of other developments, including:
- Balance, co-
ordination and motor skills
- Respiration and digestion
- The ability to move freely and with flexibility
- Developing strength in the body
- Developing reflexes
- Aiding in bonding, trust and social interaction
- Stimulating the brain through endorphin release
- Developing physical confidence and spatial awareness
- Improving muscle development
- Improving learning and social development
If you can find a course local to you, take your baby along and see what you think. You’ll pick up skills and techniques that you can use at home for bedtime, and let’s face it- with all the benefits on offer, including better sleep habits all round, you’ve got nothing to lose!
Do you practise baby yoga at bedtime?