Meditation is a scientifically proven way to better your mind, body, and overall health. It’s been proven to ward off diseases, depression, and promote a healthy and happy way of life. But what about us moms? Especially those of us who are parenting and wild (or mild) toddler? Are you forced to do your meditation during nap times or after bedtime? It doesn’t have to be that way.
This might sound crazy but did you know you can, and should, mediate with your little one? Letting them in on this special time will help them in ways that will ensure your kids are equipped with a powerful technique to help them enhance themselves every day — for the rest of their lives!
First Thing’s First
What You’ll Need.
Get your timing right. The morning is probably the best time for my meditation. It gets my day going right. Getting off on a positive note is crucial in my daily mommy life.
Morning is also great since this is the time when she is most awake, happy, and is ready for some individual play without mom. It’s also right after breakfast, so the belly is full and the diaper is clean. With a new blessing of a day and a clean toddler, this is the perfect time for us.
You can pick any time you like. Just keep in mind that a clean, full, and alert toddler is the best kind of toddler for the success of your meditation session.
A Yoga Mat or Cushion (not really)
Chances are, if you are on this page, you are attempting meditation with a toddler. As such, you probably have the children’s cushioned floor tiles. Those are perfect! Next…
Music. Some people like it. Some prefer to meditate without music. I am the latter meditator, most of the time anyway. Generally, I like to focus on the breath which, in turn, allows me to connect on a deeper level. It helps me focus. I don’t own any mediation music, so when I do listen, I go to trusty YouTube and give a search for meditation music. But most of the time it distracts me.
Incense. This is very optional. You may choose to opt out of this simply because you have a toddler running around. My almost two-year-old is very, VERY active so I don’t use anything that burns.
Electric Oil Diffuser. I love my electric oil diffuser (thank you cousin!) and provided that you put one in a place little hands can’t reach it, you’ll love yours too. Check out this gorgeous diffuser at Amazon: Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser.
Essential Oils. If you’re new to the essential oil aromatherapy game, keep it simple. The following list is to help you do just that and is a quick starter kit for your EO collection which you can use for diffusing, massage oils, and cleaning products, and more! These are just some of my favorites and must-haves:
- Mint (spear/pepper)
- Sweet Orange
To make things even more simple, you can grab this fabulous starter kit from Fabulous Frannie, who, by the way, has every product listed with 4.5 and better reviews from very happy customers. And that’s just on Amazon. Pretty impressive! Starter packs are also a great way to get to know the scents and how they get along with each other.
Get Your Head Right.
Seriously, this is important. This will ensure a successful meditation session. Make sure (and I can’t stress this enough) you go into your meditation session with full knowledge that meditating with a toddler will liven the session up a bit, so to speak. You probably won’t get as deep as you may when you meditate alone, and that’s okay. Make peace with the fact that you will probably get up to tend to your little one. Probably more than once.
Stay mentally flexible with your process. Stay in the zen and expect nothing but your best shot. Every little bit counts. I promise! The rest is in the moment 😉
Get Your Body Right
- Drink water and stay hydrated.
- Do a body assessment. Do you feel good? Do you need a stretch?
- Go through a progressive muscle relaxation techniques. These can be fun to do with your little one. My gal loves scrunching her face with me and
Get Your Environment Right
Childproof. Childproof! CHILDPROOF the room you’ll be meditating in. Safe toys, no wires, no pullout drawers or sharp objects. Check out the Ultimate Baby Proofing Checklist from The Baby Corner.
Give Fun. Provide some special toys. I pull out our hidden (toys that I put away out of her reach and pull out only every so often to keep them ‘fresh’) toys that lights up my girls face in an instant and keeps her busy for a few minutes. She especially loves to draw and play with our homemade playdough.
Yummies. Provide some age appropriate snacks. I give her some cut up, fresh fruit that she munches on. Diced bananas, melon, and pears are my favorite go-to’s because they don’t stain. Being that food is obviously a choking hazard, I meditate with one eye open, hahaha.
5 Benefits of Meditating with Toddlers
- Meditation gets my happy endorphins flowing. And when they get-a-flowin’ I am one happy mama. And when I am a happy mama, well, I’ve got a happy little baby girl. Wins all around!
Clear Head & Happy Heart
When she gets a hang of mediation (given she wants to do it with me) she will reap all the benefits of daily meditation like a clear head, happier heart, and healthier body and mind. Being able to think clearly and quietly helps tremendously in the areas of concentration, emotional control, multitasking and decision making.
- The Benefits of Meditation — MIT and Harvard neuroscientists explain why the practice helps tune out distractions and relieve pain.
Life Turbulence Assistant
Meditation will provide her (and me) with the tools to deal with life’s turbulent patches (like depression, anxiety, stress, and fears) and navigate to calmer waters when things get rough.
- Meditation and Problem Solving — Livescience on how meditation can help get you out of mental ruts.
Creativity is boosted when the brain exercises meditation. It has been scientifically proven that meditation can have a long-lasting effect on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas. Isn’t the idea of getting started really young exciting beyond words?
- Check out more from Science Daily: Meditation makes you more creative, study suggests
A compassion-based meditation program can significantly improve a person’s ability to read the facial expressions of others, finds a study published by Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. This boost in empathic accuracy was detected through both behavioral testings of the study participants and through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of their brain activity.
- Once again, here is Science Daily: Compassion meditation may boost neural basis of empathy, study finds
Passing on a tradition. Getting them started young will help them follow in your harmonious footsteps and allow them to view meditation as a healing and life improving technique. Family traditions created strong bonds, priceless memories, pass on heritage, teach values, offer comfort and security, and open lines of communication. Starting this tradition of daily meditation has tremendous and life-long benefits.
Before You Get Started
— Silence your phone.
— Set a timer if you like. If you’re new to meditating or are in a rush, set it for 3 minutes. If you have an angel of a toddler set it for 30 minutes or more.
— If you choose to, turn on music and or oil/incense.
— Find a position in the room where you can see your toddler at all times. My set up in a corner of my room facing the window with my back to the wall so she can’t get into anything out of my line of view.
— Most of the time, as I mentioned, I like to meditate without music but meditating with a toddler is a bit challenging at times so there are times that I choose to I play my zen music that I typically find on YouTube. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices.
— Warm up some essential oils for a stimulating experience. And here we go…
— Take 3-4 deep belly breaths. Breathe in for 8 and pause for 2 seconds; breathe out for 7 and pause for 2 seconds. I feel like this readies my mind and body to get some TLC. I like to count down my breaths from 5 to zero, each time relaxing deeper.
— Give a body check. Starting with my toes and feet, I flex the muscles in them for 3 seconds and release. Next, the calfs. Then, the thighs, hips, stomach, back, arms, hands neck, and to the top of your head. The idea is to acknowledge and relax your body and its tension state thoroughly.
— Stretch. You’ll be sitting in one spot for a period of time so get your body ready. Here are some steps to get a fabulous stretch.
- Sit in a comfortable position. You can choose a chair or a cushion. Some can even lay down or stand. But we’re keeping it simple.
- Align yourself. Sit straight with your brain, heart, and pelvis aligned in a straight line.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe in. Take note of the cool air flowing from the universe through your nostrils to your lungs. Notice how it fills your lungs, belly, and body. Listen to it. Enjoy this life flow. Breathe in goodness.
- Breathe out. Slowly now pushing the air back into the world from the depths of your soul until there is none left.
- Repeat breathing in and out focusing on your breath.
- If you’re having difficulty with a wondering mind try using a mantra. I like the simple, yet deep, “Ahh” (the sound of creation) or “Om” (the sound of happiness). You can also use simple words to keep yourself on track like “Inhale” as you inhale and “Exhale” and you let the breath go. Saying these words quietly or silently to yourself helps refocus the mind.
- Thoughts will come. It happens to all of us. You can’t turn off your thoughts. So, the first thing I’ll tell you is, “Don’t get stressed out over this!” The second is, “Remember, invite thoughts in (don’t fight them) but don’t ask them to stay for tea.” In other words, it’s okay that your mind is still trickling in thoughts into your head but don’t hold onto them. Don’t dissect them. Just acknowledge them and get back to the sound of your breath.
- Keep breathing. Breathe in goodness. Breathe out gratefulness. Your brain is changing for the better.
- Whether you sit for 2 minutes or 60, YOU DID IT! Keep at it!!!
Here is one of my favorite meditations for morning:
Together, they explore the topics of gentle parenting, healthy eating, grateful thinking, yoga bending, nifty hacking, green living, soul searching, and mindfulness practicing.
She has lived many lives. She has seen great beauty and utter darkness. It makes her whole. She is strong and with your presence, support, and love right here, right now ever stronger!!!
Read more about her by visiting the Meet the Bee page or email her right now!
We hope you enjoy the adventures of Chewy & Bossy!