Many of my songs on my CDs are designed to bring children into a place of calm and relaxation. Songs that arouse, then calm, like “Baby Massage” from my CD “Rock-A-Bye Blues” help you and your child to relax and encourage mutual feelings of calm through the use of the beautiful predictable simple melody and deep pressure massage strokes. Deep pressure cuddles using the palms of your hands, (not finger tips) as you hold and cuddle your child, help your child feel safe and secure, helping your child go to sleep.
The science supporting use of deep pressure touch is called Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation (DPTS). Most of us would have would have been swaddled/wrapped tightly in a blanket at bedtime, and we might then have been rocked gently as our mother/father or grandparent sang us a lullaby. The pressure from being wrapped, rocked, stroked and sung to relaxes the nervous system. This pressure from being wrapped and held in a loving way helps generate serotonin, which then generates to melatonin. This is the chemical that tells your system that it is time to rest or sleep.
At the Champion Centre we find that children who are anxious or upset can be calmed through the use of massage, slow singing, or being gently rolled in a mat, covered with a weighted blanket. We all find that at the end of Summer we can sleep more easily when we can once more feel the weight of our duvet or a thick comforting blanket, or wrap ourselves up in a blanket and enjoy a soothing hot drink as we cuddle back into a comfortable chair.
Other strategies that can be used:
The slow, blowing of a bubble, or a feather. This naturally slows our breathing rate. As a child watches, listens to your slow breathing, waits and watches the bubble grow, they learn to become calm and regulated. This is a beautiful, interactive calming activity that can be used as a regular routine after bath-time and before bed-time.
Developing regular daily calming routines such as:
Singing beautiful songs and playing at bath time. Make this a relaxing fun time to enjoy each other.
Singing a book of lullabies, nursery rhymes, reading rhythmic stories, rocking together in a rocking chair, singing to your child as they rock on a rocking horse. Rolling a ball slowly back and forth to each other.
Swinging your child in a swing and singing songs that fit the swinging action.
At the end of each day take time for deep pressure massage and cuddles before bedtime.
A well regulated child is able to learn and develop cognitive skills because the lower brain is calm and regulated.
© Julie Wylie, 27 June 2017