July 18, 2017

Asleep In Minutes >> Bedtime The Danish Way

Hygge is a word we are hearing more and more at the moment and why? Because it's just an amazing way of being, of thinking and of living. Hygge is a Danish term that means;

Hygge (pronounced HUE-gə or HOO-gə) is a Danish and Norwegian word which can be described as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). - Wikipedia

I am really getting into this at the moment and nothing beats feeling calm and collected, particularly with kids in the house. I want our home to be just that, a home. I want our home to be cosy, to be comfortable and to feel happy and content while we are here. Needless to say this needs a fair bit of work right now house wise, though we have the snuggling and comfort thing down to a tee.

So can the Danish ways help our kids sleep? The Danish way of doing things is talked about a great deal right now and it seems that bedtime is no different. My two seem to get a new burst of energy at bedtime and it can often take a long time, we're talking hours to get them settled and feeling calm. I thought that this was unavoidable, that this was just how things are but then I was given a glimmer of hope that possibly we may be able to improve bed time for all of us.

I was contacted recently to review a book designed for this very purpose. The Children’s Meditations in My Heart by Gitte Winter Graugaard is a collection of beautiful meditations designed to help children drift off to sleep within minutes. That's the dream! After a few pretty dire nights, we were well prepared to give this book a go and see if embracing the Hygge into bed time would work for us. Alf in particular really struggles at bedtime and has since he was born, so this would be a great test for him and I think at five he is the perfect age to give this a go. This book teaches us about love for each other, for others and for ourselves, filling kids with happiness before they drift off to sleep. There are also other important things in there such as empathy and kindness.

Seeing the calming effect these medications had on her own children, the writer went on sharing these with other parents. This book has now been translated into 3 languages so far and is said to be transforming bedtimes everywhere, available in the UK at £14.95.

“When I started sharing beautiful heart meditations with my daughters, I was surprised to see how much they loved the interaction and how quickly they would fall asleep. As different as children are, almost every child delights in hearing about how much a parent or caregiver loves and treasures them. Even teenagers – to my surprise! – seem to be calmed by hearing the meditations in the book read aloud. However, the best part is that your child learns to fill his or her own heart with love. And learning how to turn up their self-love has shown to give children so much comfort long into the following day too, at nursery or school and beyond.”

My first thoughts were just how beautiful the book is. I love the gentle illustrations and general feeling of love about it, before you even get started on the reading. The muted colours and relaxing images are a great start and the whole vibe was instantly relaxing, I was excited about the potential peaceful bedtimes that may ensue.

Reading the book at bed time

Alf was the obvious first choice to try this out on, he's five, full of beans until the second he drops off to sleep and a total nightmare to get calm enough to actually stay in bed.

I ventured to bed time one night with this book and was so excited to try it after a few restless nights and tired days. Alf immediately said "where are the pictures? I want a story!". I battled through and he just was not keen on the idea that I would just be reading him something to relax him. Bizarrely, he did rub his eyes lots and was physically a lot calmer and less wriggly than usual, so in a sense it did work wonders in that sense but unfortunately he didn't enjoy it very much. I will keep trying with him though as he's particularly tired with the school term coming to an end and not very willing.

I then decided to try the same readings with Soph. Soph I thought would be too young for this and expected Alf's reaction from her, not him! I'm pleased to say though, Sophie really enjoyed listening to it, she enjoyed the engagement with me and sending love into each others hearts and loves the cloud which she keeps next to her bed, full of love. Soph was very calmed by it and visually found it making her sleepy! Soph has enjoyed this a few times and it's really helped at bed time.

I was a little disappointed that this book didn't have the effects I hoped for with Alf, but really happy that Soph enjoyed it as it's such a nice relaxing way to settle down at bed time and really snuggly. I will keep trying with Alf and see how we get on, but I think this may just not be his cup of tea. I love that the book tells the children how we think about them all the time when we aren't together, it's so true and something I don't think I'd probably say enough otherwise.

I would recommend this book though to other parents in need of a calming bed time routine packed with love, it's a really sweet book, well written with gorgeous illustrations. This has to be worth a try for any crazy bed timers! You can find out more on www.roomforreflection.com as well as visiting Amazon for your very own copy.

* We were sent a free copy to review, all words and photos are my own. Contains affiliate links.

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