Today on the Bella Luna Sleep Blog, we are welcoming, Brianne Squires to join us to share how you can enhance your child’s healthy sleep habits with essential oils! I’m a huge fan of using essential oils to help enhance children’s soothing routines and promote sleep. Brianne is an expert on essential oils and pretty knowledgeable about sleep, since we worked together to help her little guy to develop healthy sleep habits!
By: Brianne Squires
Wife, Mama, Young Living Essential Oils Gold Leader + Educator.
I am very serious about a few things in life: my faith, my family, my essential oils and my sleep.
I’ve always needed — and CRAVED — my sleep. Growing up, I was the last one awake in the morning and the first one to call it an early night. On vacations I’d fall asleep in the car or on the plane within minutes. And if any of my sleep was compromised, you had best just leave me alone for the day.
Those memories are fairly comical in retrospect, but I was onto something that I wouldn’t fully discover until I became a mother: adequate quality, restorative sleep is a vital part of daily life.
Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. Though I prayed throughout my pregnancy that my son would be one of those babies that would sleep through the night at six weeks old, that just wasn’t the case. Not even close. Greyson has always been a quiet baby but a LOUD sleeper, and he never learned how to soothe himself back to sleep overnight.
After months and months of restlessly sleeping two hours at a time, my moodiness, stress and headaches quickly devolved into constant weepiness, severe anxiety and overall depression.
I was no longer myself. My husband and I knew something needed to change drastically.
Enter: Christine Brown.
Our beloved sleep coach came to our rescue and introduced a stabilizing routine, equipping us with the tools and knowledge we needed to develop healthy sleeping habits. The routine is as much for our baby as it is for us parents to join in and calm down in preparation for bedtime.
Now our friends and family marvel when we put Greyson down to snooze. “You mean he just…goes to sleep?!” they ask with disbelief. We owe Christine so much for what she taught us and in helping to establish these skills and routines.
As I began to personalize our routine to fit our needs, I ran to my essential oils right away. I have been using Young Living essential oils for a few years but during this very difficult season they have become even more important to me. There are countless uses for oils, so it was a natural integration into our naptime and nighttime routine to help ensure a night of restful, restorative sleep.
So why should you add these amazing essential oils to your household, too?
Well, I’m glad you asked. As Christine teaches, cues and associations are vital to a healthy bedtime routine. These are anything that signal to the baby that bedtime or naptime is quickly approaching. Incorporating essential oils into your bedtime routine can provide another sensory signal to help prepare your child for a nice long night of restorative sleep for the entire household — that includes you, Mama!
Here is where you might be wondering to yourself, “What are these essential oils and what makes them essential?”
Essential oils are distilled from trees, shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, rinds and herbs. They are the LIFEBLOOD of the plant. While in plants they help to protect against insects, shield from harsh environments and aid in adaptation to surroundings, in humans they provide support for every system in the body. From the nervous system, to the immune system and endocrine system, by using essential oils you are harnessing the protective and healing powers of a plant. Oils are even used extensively for our emotions!
Before I begin sharing how we use oils in our household, please note that my suggestions and recommendations are meant only for Young Living Essential oils. Oil quality is paramount and there is a vast difference between the many different options on the market today. Some simply won’t work, while some may even cause harm. I chose Young Living because of their Seal-to-Seal Promise.
Also, I recommend waiting to use essential oils on babies until around 6-8 weeks old. For infants, always dilute 30:1. Start low and slow. For example, we started with only one drop in the diffuser and gradually worked our way up to 4 or 5 so that our son’s little body systems could adjust accordingly.
Here are 3 ways you can enhance your child’s healthy sleep habits:
1) Soothing Lavender Bath
Our bedtime routine begins around 5:30pm. After dinner, I draw Greyson a warm, soothing Lavender bath. You can easily do this by scooping about a cup of Epsom salt and adding a drop of Lavender, then pouring into the bath. Lavender has long been known for its sedative properties. And because it’s so gentle and versatile, it is the perfect beginner oil if you haven’t used them in your home yet.
2) Nighttime Diffuser Blend
Following bath time, we head into his bedroom and set up the diffuser. Simply add water to the fill line and add 2 drops of Gentle Baby and 2 drops of Lavender. We keep Greyson’s diffuser on the intermittent setting so that it runs for 12 hours, the entire time he sleeps.
Gentle Baby is a sweet blend of essential oils specifically designed to create a soothing environment for infants and mothers. It’s actually so gentle and soothing to the skin that it can also be used as a remedy for diaper rashes.
It’s a household favorite and helps calm Mama and Daddy too!
3) Calming Baby Massage
While the lovely, relaxing scents fill the air, Greyson gets a baby massage! I take about a teaspoon of coconut oil in my hand and add a drop of Lavender. You can combine a single drop to your baby lotion or oil of choice, mix and apply.
After the massage, I rub a drop of Frankincense to the bottoms of his feet and on the back of my neck. Frankincense has been used for thousands of years and is known for its emotional support and fostering a state of mental rest. Um, yes please! This essential oil is my favorite and I love its warm, sweet + woodsy scent. Like Lavender, Frankincense has amazing benefits for the skin along with sedative properties, but it also supports a healthy immune system, which is the main reason we make it a part of Grey’s nightly routine.
As you can see, both of these oils are real powerhouses with many benefits for the whole family, which is why we use them on a nightly basis!
But it’s during the massage that I have the freedom to improvise based on my baby’s current needs.
- Teething discomfort? Swipe a drop of Lavender and Copaiba along his jawline.
- Upset tummy? Gently massage a drop of Digize onto his belly.
- Snotty nose? RC rubbed on his chest and on the bottoms of his feet is a lifesaver (it’s like an all natural vapor rub!).
The beauty of essential oils is they provide a natural option as my first line of defense!
Following pajamas and some cuddles, we finish our bedtime routine: nursing session, book reading, prayers and songs.
By this point he’s literally trying to jump into his crib. Sometimes I even have to cut the lullabies short!
I turn on the noise machine, give him a kiss (or twenty) and say “sweet dreams, my baby boy!”
If you are an exhausted Mama at her wit’s end like I was, take heart! Your baby WILL sleep better! Help and resources are available. Christine’s gentle and professional guidance completely changed our quality of life.
If you’re a Mama that has your sleep routine down pat and would like to add essential oils in your home, I’d love to help get you started! You can email me through my website HERE.
I hope you learned some simple ways to significantly enhance your child’s healthy sleep habits!
Sending you lots of sleepy dust!
Note from Christine:
So tell me…are you planning on adding essential oils to your soothing routine? Are you also an oily Mama and do have any additional suggestions? If so, head on over to Facebook and share with the Bella Luna community! Or share a picture of how you integrate oils into your soothing routine on Instagram. Tag @bellalunasleep! We LOVE seeing pictures of your littles and bigs!