5 Amazing Tips How To Use Essential Oils To Help Baby Sleep Better
It's no secret that having a baby means that countless sleepless nights are ahead of you. However, there comes a time when you start to wonder if there's something that you can use to ensure that your precious little one will sleep soundly through the night.
In your search for answers, you'll probably come across many stories how useful essential oils for babies are. But, is this true? Can you use essential oils to help baby sleep?
Well, scientifically speaking there isn’t much proof that essential oils really work, but some studies do indicate that lavender oil has a soothing effect on babies. So the answer to your question is – maybe. You’ll have to try them to see if they work for you.
Here, I’ve prepared some fantastic tips to help you use essential oils safely for babies if you decide to give them a go.
1. Using essential oils in moderation is a must
The first thing you need to know about essential oils is that they are potent substances and you should always proceed with caution when you use them on your baby. If you have any concerns regarding essential oil, consult with your pediatrician.
The second thing is that you don’t need a whole bottle or even a cup. One or two drops are enough. Some of you might think that such an amount is insufficient to cause the desired effect, but it’s better to play it safe than to risk the health of your child.
Keep in mind that your baby’s skin is delicate, and it’s not used to such strong substances. You mustn’t use them undiluted under no circumstance because they can burn the skin and that won’t help your baby sleep better at all.
That’s why experts recommend that you always dilute the chosen essential oil with a carrier oil. Suitable carrier oils for children and babies include:
- olive oil
- coconut oil
- jojoba oil
- almond oil
- grapeseed oil
For a baby, you’ll need one tablespoon of the carrier oil and no more than two drops of the essential oil. For older children, you can dilute two-three drops of essential oil with one teaspoon of carrier oil.
Another thing to remember is that you shouldn't give them orally to your child because they could cause a toxic reaction. And the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy doesn’t recommend that you use essential oils on babies younger than three months old.
2. Choose the right essential oil
Visiting your local store might leave you speechless when you see how many essential oils there are. Which ones are safe and which ones are not? That’s the question, isn’t it?
First things first. You have to look for pure, therapeutic grade oil, which is free of any potential fillers, fragrances or alcohol because they could irritate the skin. Read the label and the ingredient list carefully and if you see anything suspicious, don’t buy it.
Next, for babies over three months you can safely use:
- Lavender –reduces itchiness, relieves colic symptoms, has a sedative effect
- Chamomile (Roman) –helps with insomnia, anxiety, and colic.
- Dill – useful for soothing indigestion
- Marjoram (Sweet) – excellent for soothing joints and muscles
There are a lot of essential oils that are not suitable for babies, but I’m going to mention a few of them. You can find the full list – here.
- SageTea tree (avoid in children under two)
- Ylang-Ylang (avoid in children under two)
Also, you should know that babies react differently to the same essential oil. What works for your friends or family, might have just the opposite effect on your precious one. It will be a matter of trial and error until you find the right one.
To make sure that there would be no adverse reaction to the chosen oil, do a patch test. First, apply some diluted essential oil to the arm of your child and wait 24 hours to see if it will cause any reaction. If there is none, you can continue.
3. Try a bedtime massage
After you have found the right essential oil, the time comes to use it. But how to do that safely when it comes to babies?
I’m sure that you’ll agree that there is nothing more relaxing than a massage before bed. Well, your baby will feel the same way, so giving him a massage with essential oils can greatly improve his sleep.
In fact, babies who get a regular massage tend to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
And that’s not all. Baby massage is excellent for:
- relieving tension and stress
- improving growth and development
Roman chamomile oil
Pour one-two drops of lavender oil and one-two drops of chamomile oil in the bowl.
Add two tablespoons of the carrier oil and mix well.
Bathe your baby and prepare him for nighttime.
Rub the oil along the arms, legs, tummy, and back.
If the baby is fussy or it starts crying, stop.
Notes: Massaging your baby every night will also strengthen the bond between you and your child.
4. Purify the air with essential oils to help baby sleep deeper
The sad truth is that you might not have the time or the energy for a bedtime massage every night. In such a case, you can simply place a drop of essential oil under the pillow or mattress.
Most essential oils are so potent that even inhaling them is enough to make your child fall asleep quickly. You can also pour a drop or two on a cotton ball and put in the corner of the crib.
If your child is older than one year and he has a lovey, (a safe object that he likes to sleep with) you put a drop of lavender on it. In this way, if your child wakes up in the middle of the night, the smell will help him to go back to sleep.
You can also try diffusing essential oils in your child’s bedroom 15-20 minutes before bedtime. This would purify the air and help your baby sleep comfortably. Here’s how to do it:
an aromatherapy diffuser (or oil burner, whichever you have)
an essential oil of your choice
Dilute the oil with two teaspoons of water.
Add it to the diffuser.
Put your child to sleep.
Notes: Never use undiluted essentials oil, because the scent will be too strong.
5. Essential oils are an excellent remedy for pain
One of the main reasons why your baby is waking up in the middle of the night is pain either due to teething or colic. In such times, after you have consulted with your pediatrician, you might try essential oils to alleviate the discomfort and calm your little one.
For teething pain, you can use the following remedy:
Dilute one drop of lavender oil and one drop of chamomile oil with two tablespoons of carrier oil.
Wash your hands.Rub the mixture on the cheek, along the gum line.
Make sure that your child doesn’t ingest any of the oil.
For colic, you need:
essential oil ( lavender or chamomile for babies, peppermint oil children over 6)
Dilute a couple of drops of the essential oil following the instructions mentioned above.
Start rubbing the diluted oil on the tummy on your baby clockwise.
Since children should not ingest essential oils under no circumstances, it’s not a good idea to rub the oil on the gums. Also, you can substitute the lavender oil and the chamomile oil with clove oil, but do that only if your child is over two years old.
Essential oils could also be useful for earaches and coughing, but it’s better if you visit your pediatrician to rule out a severe infection or illness.
As you can see, essential oils have their benefits when it comes to babies if they are used correctly and carefully. However, there is one thing that you have to keep in mind before resorting to essential oils to help your baby sleep.
Your child sleeping issues could be the result of a sleep association. That means that your child associates sleep with certain activities, for example, you rocking him to sleep. In this case, essential oils might not be the answer to your problems.
So, what’s your opinion of using essential oils to help baby sleep? Have you ever tried them and what’s your experience? Don’t hesitate to tell us your story in the comment section. And share the article with your friends if you have learned something useful.