Why use essential oils?
As parents, we are always looking for different ways to get our children to have the best sleep possible. We hear more and more about essential oils and their benefits. I have recently started using them and I know that many of my clients are using them as well. There are many uses and benefits to essential oils, most of them related to health. The right essential oil can get rid of headaches, help in healing and aid in relaxation. But what about sleep? I sat down with Kris Loewen who is a doula in Kelowna British Columbia and very well versed in the use of essential oils. She was more than happy to share her own tips and knowledge on how to use essential oils to help your baby sleep better.
What oil should I use?
When it comes to using oils with our babies, we’re not limited to using them for sleep. Essential oils can help with teething and stomach discomfort, both of which can have an impact on baby’s sleep. So by alleviating those particular discomforts, baby has a chance to have a restful sleep. When we talk about using oils to encourage sleep, lavender is usually the oil of choice. It has sedative properties which can help relax and soothe, which is awesome not only for adults but for babies and children as well. Now if you’re like me, I have trouble knowing where to start or how much to use. Here are some simple guidelines you can follow:
-Make sure your oil is pure therapeutic grade. Some of the store bought ones are full of fillers that don’t have the same positive effects as pure oil. Young Living is a great example of pure essential oils.
-Always use a carrier oil when using oils outside of a diffuser, especially for the younger crowd as they can be more sensitive to the effects. You can use olive, almond, coconut or grapeseed oil.
How many ways can I use oils?
There are many ways to use oils. If you are using lavender for sleep, here are few ways you can use it:
-part of a bedtime massage
-diffuse it in baby’s room
-use it in the bath
-spray it on pillow or stuffed animal if your child is old enough to have one.
-you can rub the oil on the bottom of baby’s feet and then put some socks on. Avoid putting any on the hands as babies love to put their hands in their mouth.
If you want to alleviate the symptoms of teething pain, look for an oil that has clove oil, white fir or roman chamomile. Once you dilute it, you can put it directly on baby’s gums. Lavender can also help with teething pain.
For tummy discomfort and colic, look for an oil that has ginger, fennel, lavender, wild orange, marjoram or roman chamomile. Dilute a few drops in some carrier oil, and rub clockwise on baby’s tummy. If your baby’s problems persist or you think they might be caused by a more serious health issue, please consult your doctor.
Will using oils solve my child’s sleep problems?
While using essential oils alone won’t solve your sleep problems, it can help promote better sleep. Used in conjunction with other sleep tools such as white noise, blackout blinds and an age appropriate schedule, essential oils can certainly help baby achieve deeper and more restorative sleep.
Kris Loewen is a mom of four children and a doula in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She has been in Kelowna for over 20 years and her passions include families, women, fitness and emotional health. She is also experienced in the use of essential oils. Check her out at www.kelownadoulabirth.com