Teel, 45, first perfected her soothing skill with "It's a Mother's Lullaby," a song she wrote in 1992 to quiet her daughter Brittany, now 13 (Teel also has two other children, Lyra, 21, and Ryan, 18). A singer-songwriter who had previously released one other kids' album, Teel says she was surprised by the eager response to "Lullaby." "I thought, 'Wow, I really need to put this out in a bigger way,' " she recalls. With financing from her husband, Gary, 48, an entrepreneur, Teel released The Floppy Sleep Game (which features "Lullaby") last year and has since received 78,000 orders. "When children can't sleep," she notes, "parents become desperate."
Barbara Kerby of Lehigh Acres, Fla., knows that well. Her son Chip, 6, is autistic and always had difficulty drifting off at night. "I was pretty much at the end of my rope," says Kerby, who ordered Teel's tape in June. "After a month of getting used to it, he now goes out like a light." Even better, "I am sleeping too," says Kerby. "I am so grateful."