With 2 small children (Charlise is 2 years and 2 months, and Dane is 6.5 months) sleep is a BIG thing in our house. For most parents, bedtime can be the most challenging part of the day with the added pressure of knowing if the kiddies don’t get a good night sleep the next day can be mayhem.
So to help you with bedtime, I have put together my top essential oils, tips and bedtime routine to help your little ones have a restful night sleep.
Essential oils for sleep
Essential oils can be a powerful part of a child’s bedtime routine. They have been used for thousands of years for their calming and soothing properties, which help the mind and body relax. The unique chemical properties found in certain essential oils make them useful for promoting an environment conducive to sleep. The chemical constituent linalool, found in Lavender and Petitgrain, is particularly helpful for supporting restful sleep. Another chemical constituent particularly helpful for calming and relaxing are esters. Again, Lavender is an excellent choice, along with Roman Chamomile, Cedarwood, Vetiver, and Bergamot. Lavender Peace blend (also known as Serenity in the US) is a beautiful blend to use at bedtime.
Note: The above links and information has been taken from the doTERRA US or AU website, prices differ to NZ, if you would like to know a price for NZ oils please click here.
Helpful tips for bedtime
- Add one to three drops of Lavender to bathwater with 1/2 cup of Epsom salts at bedtime.
- Give your child(ren) a massage post bath using Lavender Peace and fractionated coconut oil.
- Put a drop of doTERRA lavender peace on your child’s pillow at bedtime.
- Diffuse two drops of Lavender, two drops of Bergamot, and one drop of Vetiver an hour before bedtime.
As any good sleep consultant would say, a bedtime routine is the secret to a sweet slumber and making sure you stick to it is key.
I have recently changed up our bedtime routine to incorporate both children. They each originally had individual routines but I found this extremely difficult to manage (especially when hubby had to work late) and time-consuming. We now follow the below which takes between 30 – 45 minutes (feel free to make up one that works for you, the secret is to be consistent).
Setting the sleep environment – Firstly, I whip around the house topping up the diffusers with lavender, bergamot, and vetiver essential oils (or if I have a sick bubs I’ll use oregano, easy air, on guard and lavender), pop a drop of lavender peace on their sheets near their heads, dim the lights, turn on the meditation sleep music, and I turn on heaters (we are in winter here). I’ll collect PJs and nappies and lay them out in the lounge for post-bath.
Bath – I bath the kids together. The bath always includes 1/2 cup Epsom Salts (magnesium), approx. 1 tbsp of fractionated coconut oil and 2 drops Lavender essential oil. This type of bath helps the babes to relax and supports the immune system.
Baby massage – After their bath, I dry them and give each baby a 2min massage. I use 2 drops of Lavender Peace blend mixed with 1 tbsp fractionated coconut oil (or rosehip oil). It takes 2 – 3 minutes for essential oils to hit the bloodstream when used topically and 20 minutes for the oils to affect every cell in their body. I’ll also apply immunity oils to their feet and spine (I’ll share my immunity oil blends in an upcoming post shortly).
Night, night moon – I love the way taking children outside has a calming effect and, since birth, I have always done this with the kids. Once they are in their PJ’s I pop them into their sleep sacks and take each one outside for a minute or 2 to reflect on what we are grateful for and to say night-night to the moon and stars. It’s honestly magic and not only calms the kids but wipes my slate clean of any tension or stress I’ve been holding onto over the day.
Book & milkies – We then sit on the couch together and while I breastfeed Dane, Charlise will drink her milk and we will read a book.
Into bed – I then take each child and place them in bed while singing a lullaby. A kiss on the cheek followed by the words ‘I love you’ and off to dreamland they go.
There is no perfect bedtime routine, its completely up to you and your family to figure out what works. Having a predictable bedtime routine can help your child settle down for the night with less fuss and delay, and it can help instil healthy sleep habits for life. Essential oils have been a game changer in helping our little ones sleep and will be a part of our night time routine for years to come.
Much love and peaceful sleep,