Whoever invented the phrase “sleep like a baby” clearly never had one, because every parent knows that babies are pretty lousy sleepers…that’s mainly because they only have two sleep cycles, active sleep and deep sleep, that last about 40 minutes. They have tiny tummies that need to fill pretty often, which nature made happen so those little bundles of love don’t go too long without eating.
At the end of each cycle, babies wake up for a little while. If you are lucky, your baby might be able to enter the next sleep cycle without your help. But most likely, they are going to need help to settle. As a first mom, I tried probably everything on the market that claims to make your baby sleep: miracle blankets, magic suits, zeta sound wave music…you name it. And pretty much nothing worked with my little one…except for essential oils.
Remember, babies have a very well developed sense of smell from the start. That’s how they recognize mommy and that’s how they get to her breast. Aromatherapy is a great way to encourage sleep, calm anxiety, and relieve symptoms of colic.
From 0-3 months, you can use the essential oils through a diffuser in the room, never apply them directly on their skin. Once they reach the 3-month milestone, you can apply them onto your baby’s skin while giving them a massage. To use, always dilute in a ratio of 1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil, blend thoroughly, and massage the mixture onto a baby’s skin.
Here are four essential oils that would help you achieve a good night’s sleep:
Chamomile has natural soothing effects and is traditionally used to treat insomnia in babies and adults. Chamomile, along with lavender, can relieve symptoms of colic. Chamomile has also been shown to help anxiety and depression and can uplift a fussy baby’s spirit.
Dill is a calming, antispasmodic oil that can help soothe indigestion, which is one of the things that can prevent babies from sleeping.
Lavender has many calming and sedative effects. A lavender oil massage can help relax a fussy baby and encourage sleep. Lavender can also be used on insect bites and helps reduce itchiness
Mandarin has calming effects similar to lavender, making it a great nighttime alternative for babies who don’t like the scent of lavender.
You should always perform a patch test to make sure your baby is not allergic or sensitive to any of the oils. If your baby isn’t, go ahead and try this method out. This method is not backed by the FDA, but these oils definitely worked for me!