As a parent of a baby who has problems going to sleep (or sleeping through the night), you must have tried it all. Dim lighting. Gentle rocking. Regular bedtime routine. Lullabies. Cry it out. Co-sleeping. And nothing works. So, you must have said to yourself: “Let’s give this aromatherapy a chance”.
The healing power of essential oils has been known for centuries. They have a ton of health benefits and help deal with many health issues (from a headache to anxiety and almost everything in between). But what about baby sleep? I can almost hear your sleep-deprived voice asking, “Can essential oils really help my baby sleep?”
We have good news for you, mama! There are a lot of essential oils that have relaxing, soothing, and gentle sedative properties. What does this tell you? You may be on the verge of finding the way to better, deeper, and longer sleep for your baby (and yourself)!
Essential oils versus modern medicine
Essential oils don’t function in the same way as modern medicine. This means that the same essential oil may have different effects on different people. So our best advice is to try different oils, opt for the best quality, and see what works best for your baby instead of just blindly choosing an essential oil that you heard helped your neighbor’s baby sleep better.
Essential oils are natural products and, as such, don’t have side effects, but they can sometimes intensify certain allergies.
Essential oils and carrier oils
Another important thing to mention (especially if you don’t have any experience with essential oils) is that they should be diluted in the so-called carrier oils. The most common carrier oils include olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil. Here are 3 reasons why you should use carrier oils together with essential oils to help your baby fall asleep (and stay asleep):
1. They help better dilute the concentrated essential oils
2. They help for the even distribution of essential oils
3. They don’t let the essential oils evaporate too soon
Depending on the age of your child, there are different dilution ratios you can use: for babies, you should dilute 1-2 drops in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil; for toddlers (and preschoolers), you should dilute 1-2 drops in 1/2-1 teaspoon of carrier oil.
3 ways essential oils can help your baby sleep:
1. Massage – a bedtime massage with essential oils is a great way to help your baby relax as you combine the relaxing effect of the gentle massage itself with the soothing properties of essential oils.
2. Diffuse – diffusing essential oils in your toddler’s bedroom can do wonders (both to him and to you)! Breathing and smelling the divine aroma of essential oils will not only help everyone in the room relax but it will also clean and purify the air!
3. Bathe – make bathing time a relaxing ritual! Put just a few drops of essential oil in the baby’s bathwater, add some liquid soap and help him enjoy a relaxing bath that will let him unwind and prepare for a (hopefully) deep and sound sleep.
Essential oils that work best with sleep problems:
• Roman Chamomile
• Sweet Marjoram
• Valerian Root
• Clary Sage
• Ylang Ylang
• Specific essential oil blends