I know it’s hard for a hectic multitasker to suddenly turn into a Zen Buddhist at bedtime. But once your child is asleep, it’s super important for you to be able to come in for a soft landing after a full and demanding day. One way to accomplish this is to practice some breathing/calming exercises.

Meditation and Calming Techniques for Parenthood

There are two key steps to meditation for calming yourself before your bedtime as a parent.

  1. Completely relax face muscles.
  2. Slow your breathing down.

These two key steps seem simple but do take practice. Really let your face muscles fully relax—like a wet rag. Facial tension keeps you in stress, and a relaxed expression or even a hint of a smile gives your body the cue to relax. And really slow your breathing down, especially paying attention to making your breathing out as long and as slow as your breathing in. Deep breaths can have an instantaneous effect, releasing a wave of calm.

As you breathe in and out, let each breath fill your heart with happiness as you think about the things that bless you in your life or the activities you look forward to doing tomorrow.

Also, visualize a safe, cozy place. Imagine a warm day at the beach, or picture yourself simply lying on the couch all warm and comfy.

Additionally, make sure you are comfortable. Meditation is about limiting distractions and if you feel any discomfort from going full yogi too soon, feel free to try a comfortable chair, or even laying down.

If you want some help getting started, visit UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC) website here.

About Dr. Harvey Karp

Dr. Harvey Karp, one of America’s most trusted pediatricians, is the founder of Happiest Baby and the inventor of the groundbreaking SNOO Smart Sleeper. After years of treating patients in Los Angeles, Dr. Karp vaulted to global prominence with the release of the bestselling Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block. His celebrated books and videos have since become standard pediatric practice, translated into more than 20 languages and have helped millions of parents. Dr. Karp’s landmark methods, including the 5 S’s for soothing babies, guide parents to understand and nurture their children and relieve stressful issues, like new-parent exhaustion, infant crying, and toddler tantrums.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.