A huge focus of mine is on cortisol, its adverse effects on us, our babies, children and how to reduce it before naps and bedtime.
What is Cortisol I hear you ask... When our bodies detect stress and anxiety. Our adrenal glands kindly give us a boost of cortisol. That’s how it’s got the attractive name of the “stress hormone”. It kicks in our natural “fight or flight” response that we know can be ever so handy but, it can also cause lots of negative feelings. Cortisol has many positive effects on our body and obviously, our aim isn’t to eradicate it all together but how to help our little ones manage its effects before bed.
Cortisol has many positive effects in our body and obviously our aim isn’t to eradicate it all together but how to help our little ones manage its effects before bed.
Many babies, toddlers, and children suffer from stress and anxiety in some form. Whether it be room anxiety, separation anxiety, scared of the dark, scared of noises… I’ve even met children scared of buttons. These fears produce a surge of cortisol and adrenaline that often rears its ugly head around nap, bedtime, and during the night. It really can be the cause of a lot of bedtime traumas.
My main aim in helping children deal with their anxieties and stressors is to implement a bedtime routine that will help to prevent high releases of cortisol. Inevitably with a child who is suffering from any form of anxiety, there will be a build-up of cortisol. I think it’s essential to provide time for your little ones to release it before bed. My pdf on cortisol has some fantastic ideas on screen-free activities to help! Why not try adding in a 15-30 min time of relaxation away from screens? As parents and carers, there are lots of ways we can help our little ones! Stay tuned to my posts for lots of free inspiration for anxiety-reducing activities.