My daughter didn’t sleep for 22 months.
You read that right. 22 months. 660 nights of me getting out of bed, at least 7 times each night, to breastfeed or soothe or hold or sing my baby girl back to sleep. If there’s anything that can make a momma feel like she’s going crazy, that she’s losing her ever-loving mind, it’s a momma operating on zero sleep. And that was me for almost two entire years.
On the day our girl turned 22 months old, we found out we were pregnant again. A mixture of emotions for sure – joy, excitement, fear. But when I looked down at the test, and it had two pink lines, the first thing that came to my mind as I sat on the bathroom floor was, “I’ve got to get this ‘sleeping thing’ under control. I can’t have two babies who don’t sleep. Otherwise, I would look and act like a character from The Walking Dead.”
Throughout my pregnancy with baby #2, our daughter started sleeping in slightly longer increments on her own. It was almost like she was growing out of this pattern. However, if she didn’t get a good nap during the day, or even if she did, she would still wake up in the night with horrifying night terrors. These were major freak outs where nothing consoled her – sometimes, for hours. So, even when it seemed like she started to improve in one area of her sleeping patterns, it only got worse in another area.
I had been using essential oils on my family for years – for everything. For emotions, for immune health, for energy, for skin, for everything. And they always worked. But the more research I did on the power of plants, the more I realized that everyone’s body is different. While one oil might work perfectly for one person, it might be entirely ineffective for another. So I knew that for our daughter, it was a matter of finding the combination of oils that worked best for her – and we simply hadn’t found that magic potion yet.
But the day we did find it – the day we realized which combination worked for her body. Which combination helped her sleep all night long, whether she had a nap or not, which combination made the night terrors non-existent – was quite honestly one of the most emotional and fulfilling days of my entire life as a mother. Finally, the answer I had been praying about for so long.
As a naturally-minded mom, I would rather use a safe and plant-based alternative on my children before I try anything else. And if you’re a fellow “crunchy mom” like me, here are some ideas of natural alternatives that can help support your child to sleep better, sleep longer, and sleep easier throughout the night. The chemical constituents within each essential oil or a blend of essential oils are highly supportive for bringing a sense of calm and peace during nap time or night time.
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils for restful sleep. Its floral, fresh, clean, and the calming scent is perfect when using in a nap time or night time routine, and is a great beginner oil for people to start using in the home. Diffuse 4-5 drops of Lavender in the diffuser in your child’s room during sleepy time, or apply on the bottoms of the feet.
Frankincense has been used by people for thousands of years and is a great essential oil for emotions and mental rest. It has a deep woodsy scent and is perfect for diffusing at night or nap time. Add 4-5 drops to a diffuser, or apply on the bottoms of the feet.
Cedarwood is also an age-old essential oil, even used during Biblical times like Frankincense. It has an earthy, warm, woodsy smell that is both comforting and relaxing. Diffusing 4-5 drops in a diffuser can create a calming atmosphere, and applying on the bottoms of the feet can trigger feelings of rest.
Warning – this oil kind of stinks – it is Valerian, after all. Some people love its pungent, woodsy, powerful fragrance. However, plants weren’t all made to smell good. Nature was simply designed to work for the human body! Diffuse 4-5 drops of this oil in a diffuser, or apply on the bottoms of the feet.
Peace & Calming is a blend of Ylang Ylang, Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy essential oils. This fragrant oil is a wonderful addition for baby’s night time or nap time routine. It has a sweet, citrusy, yet fresh aroma. Diffuse 4-5 drops of this oil in a diffuser, or apply on the bottoms of the feet.
SleepyIze is a blend of Lavender, Geranium, Roman Chamomile, Tangerine, Bergamot, Sacred Frankincense, Valerian, and Rue essential oils. It also contains caprylic/capric glycerides, which is a skin conditioning and nourishing carrier. This oil blend is perfect for bedtime, bringing a peaceful aromatic environment with its fresh and calming scent. It is also an oil blend specifically designed for kids and babies and is pre-diluted in case you wanted to apply on other areas of their body besides the bottoms of the feet (like the spine, wrists, or chest). Diffusing 4-5 drops of this oil in a diffuser is also a great idea.
Tranquil is a blend of Lavender, Cedarwood, and Roman Chamomile. It comes in a roll-on tube for easy application and is mixed with Coconut oil as a carrier to make it more gentle and nourishing for sensitive skin. It has a floral yet woodsy scent, making it pleasing to inhale when applied to the skin. Roll on the bottoms of the feet at night time or bedtime.
Valor is a blend of Black Spruce, Camphor wood, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, and Geranium essential oils. It also contains caprylic/capric glycerides for skin nourishing and conditioning. Valor is a huge favorite among essential oil users due to its powerful effects for calming and relaxing the heart and mind, but also for its beautifully pleasing, woodsy scent. Diffuse 4-5 drops in a diffuser during bedtime, or apply on the bottoms of the feet.
9. Stress Away
Stress Away is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea, and Lavender essential oils. It has an aroma that is the perfect blend of tropical and citrus. Stress Away is uniquely relaxing and comforting. Diffuse 4-5 drops of this oil in a diffuser, or apply on the bottoms of the feet. This oil also has the option to come in a roll-on tube, like Tranquil.
10. Gentle Baby
Gentle Baby is a blend of Coriander, Geranium, Palmarosa, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Bergamot, Lemon, Jasmine, and Rose essential oils. It has a citrusy-sweet, pleasing scent, making it a big favorite for moms and babies to use in a nighttime routine. Diffuse 4-5 drops in a diffuser, or apply on the bottoms of the feet.
So, what was the magic oil for our daughter, you may ask? Well, it wasn’t just one – it was a combination. Lavender, Stress Away, and Gentle Baby was her perfect blend. The constituents in each used all together was what helped her relax, calm down, and stay rested all night long. We diffused and applied these on her as part of her nighttime routine, and every single time, she slept without interruption.
Mommy’s and Daddy’s – if you have a child who doesn’t sleep – take heart. You’re in great company. Sometimes it’s a just manner of finding what works best for your little one! Essential oils could be what transforms you from a growling zombie from The Walking Dead to a singing Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music. On top of that, it can help your child experience the peace, tranquility, and rest they need to live their happy little lives!
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