It seems as though the most universal complaint parents of infants and toddlers have is how their little ones just don’t seem to want to sleep through the night. A night of at least 7 hours of restful slumber seems like nothing more than a distant memory to them.
I am lucky to have a toddler who has been sleeping 12 hours straight a night since he was 4 months old. But on occasion, due to a cold, teething, growing pains or nightmares, he will wake up crying at random times during the night and I am quickly brought back to the uttter sleep deprivation of his nights as a newborn. After one such night of camping out on his nursery floor, I had a revelation as I nursed a very large cup of coffee. What would happen if I used lavender oil to help my son relax and sleep better? I was bound and determined to find out.
That night, even though my son was cutting his molars, I went ahead and put several drops of lavender oil on his blankey and rubbed some lightly into his crib sheet. Normally when my son is teething he can wake up anywhere from two to four times a night crying from the pain, but that night he slept like the baby that he is!
I have found over the course of the last few months that lavender oil helps soothe my son during these times of teething, nightmares, and other such trials our children seem to go through at night. I have made it a habit of putting some drops of lavender oil on his favorite “lovey” (a.k.a. a teddy bear or blankey) that he sleeps with nightly and it really seems to work. This is not to say that lavender oil will be the be-all end-all for night wakings…but it really seems to help, is natural and gentle, and well worth a try.
I know that lavender has wonderful relaxation properties and has been used over the years to aid in sleep and for promoting good dreams. I have used lavender satchets and oil in my bedroom and bathroom for years because I love the scent and have noticed that it does relax me and is very aromatherapeutic. I figured that if this lavender aromatherapy works for adults, it would surely work for children as well.
I have also started to bathe my son with lavender scented babywash and shampoo for his nightly ritual to help calm him down and get him ready for bed…and it makes him smell delicious! Gerber makes a particularly nice lavender babywash. It’s the only I’ve found that actually smells authentic. And since my little guy is as active as a child can possibly get, a lavender infused evening is the perfect way to end the day…..for both of us!