kids

'My daughter wouldn't sleep without me in the room. This genius trick stopped that.'

My now three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Soleil, was never a great sleeper. It took two years before she started sleeping through the night. When she finally fell into a great rhythm of napping during the day for two hours and sleeping like a log all night, I didn’t want to mess with whatever secret sleeping gold we’d struck!

Don’t get me wrong, it still wasn’t easy. The bedtime routine would take close to two hours; from dinner to lights out, every step was a battle. A constant negotiation. Not to mention she wasn’t falling asleep until 9pm.

I knew she was probably due to drop her day nap – and her bedtime would no doubt become easier and faster – however there was one thing holding me back. I’d just fallen pregnant with my second and there was no way my exhausted, nauseas and miserable first-trimester-self could hack a full day of toddler life without that nap.

Claire with her family. Image: Supplied.

As a yoga teacher, wellness coach and meditation guide I was already sold on the benefits and power of meditation. That's when I go thinking that I just needed to find a way to get my daughter to jump onboard. But the last thing she wanted to do was meditate with me. Like most active children, she resisted every suggestion to 'breathe' and 'be calm'.

Then Amy Taylor-Kabbaz and her incredible Bedtime Explorers kid’s meditation podcasts came into the picture. I shared Amy’s meditations with her, sold to Soleil as 'story-time', and after just one episode, I knew we were about to hit a breakthrough.

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We went from evenings of begging, pleading, wrangling and negotiating, to cuddling up with my little one in bed, lights off and listening to Amy’s sweet, calming voice. Progress! Life-changing progress.

And as I knew that baby number two was on the way, I also used Amy’s meditations to ‘wean’ myself away from my little girl. Having literally “put her to sleep” for two and a half years, I anticipating a big struggle… but nope, I was wrong.

I slowly started making excuses to have to leave the room, “Mama needs to go to the loo, Soleil. Just snuggle up and listen to Amy’s voice. I’ll be back in a moment…” I would say it so often, that eventually Soleil would ask, “Mama, time for you to pee?”

I would sneak off and she would fall asleep. Amy’s voice and her stories of exploration could be heard between Soleil’s gentle snores. Peace. I’d sneak back in and turn off the app, place kisses on my sweet babe’s face and a say silent thank you to the angels of sleep, but mostly to AMY! Bedtime was peaceful. Bedtime still is peaceful.

Since then, around about the time my newborn baby boy turned five weeks, Soleil dropped her nap. Bedtime is quick now. It’s like ripping off a band-aid. A little resistance at first and then BANG, she’s out. We still use Amy’s meditations for quiet time during the day - to rest. To “chill out” as Soleil says.

It not only gave me peace and space, but it taught bedtime independence to my little one and has invited in the concept, power and importance of meditation, stillness and quiet time. From one mama to another, I am forever grateful and indebted to Amy and the Kinderling App. Bedtime Explorers for the win!

How do you get your kids to fall asleep? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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