An article by Pam Hale from our weekly community newsletter.
I may be blowing my own trumpet now, but I never had any problems at bedtime with my children (lots of challenges when they became teenagers, but that’s a different story!). I believe the reason for this is that they always knew bedtime meant stories and one of their parent’s peaceful, undivided attention for half an hour. Bedtime was something they enjoyed and it was never a battle, so sleep came as and when it would. Soft toys, and later on books, were bedtime companions after mum or dad had left the room.
But what if your child, in spite of your best sleep and peace-inducing efforts, still can’t get to sleep at night? It is important that your child is warm enough in bed, as sleep seldom visits a cold body. Especially check your child’s feet and make sure they are warm. An older child may need a not-too-hot hot water bottle in order to entice warmth right down into the feet. Toasty warm feet calms the mind and invites sleep. Modern folk don’t realise how important it is to generally care for their body’s warmth. I recently read with interest how the University Hospital of North Tees (also published in The Lancet, Sept. 2001) had researched how to help pre-operative patients. They found that warming patients up for at least half an hour before their operation led to speedier healing and fewer post-operative infections.
In my own work as a masseur, it is the patient’s warmth “picture” that tells me the most about their state of physical and soul (ie the INNER person) health. Warmth is a vehicle of healing. Look after your child’s warmth now and you will be giving them basic foundations for good health in adult life.
I will be writing more about body warmth later on when I look at fevers and how to nurse your child through them; and also what help these fevers can be to your child.
Pam Hale is a mother of four children and grandma to two. She is an anthroposophically trained masseur.