I think all Mums struggle with getting their babies to sleep for longer. With Kaitlyn, my eldest daughter, I was up most of the night walking, singing, feeding. Basically, I was doing anything to get her to go to sleep. She was a long-term breast-fed baby and would easily fall asleep on my breast. I would carefully release her suction with my finger and then carefully carry her to the bassinet beside the bed. But as soon as I laid her down… WAHHHHH!!! She was awake and crying. My husband was working at the time and had to get up for his job and couldn’t really help. Consequently, in my sleep deprived state I would go back over the routine and try again to lay her down.
I worked for a Government Department prior to having Kaitlyn and they promoted not co-sleeping with your baby. This meant I was practically indoctrinated with the idea. So badly, that one night I remember waking up after a nightmare and thinking that I had fallen asleep without putting Kaitlyn back in the bassinet. I frantically searched the bottom of our bed, convinced she was down there somewhere. My husband woke up wondering what I was doing. He looked over to see Kaitlyn in the bassinet and pulled me by the shoulder to have a look. It was such a terrifying experience!
Going back to work with no sleep
When Kaitlyn was 6 months old I had to go back to work at my Government job, while my husband became the main caregiver. ‘Main caregiver’ seems like a strange term for what he was, but I don’t like the term ‘stay at home Dad’ either. He was the main caregiver during the day, but I got the night shift. So after working at my Government job all day, I would come home to a 6 month old daughter who refused to take expressed breastmilk from a bottle. She was not having a bar of those horrible bottle things. So she would wait. As soon as I got home I would feed her and she would fall asleep. Although not for long.
She was thirsty and hungry, even though we had started her on solids by this time. As a result, she would wake numerous times during the night and I would go through the nightly routine numerous times. I sang my old girl guide campfire songs to her. She loved the song Linger. Hmmm, I like to linger, hmmm a little longer. Hmmm, a little longer here with you. I sang that over and over. I also sang Love Grows Under, Greens-leaves and even Mumma’s Little Baby Loves Shortbread Shortbread. Anything to get her to go to sleep.
My husband, who wasn’t having to get up to go to work now, did try to help by taking her, but she would scream the house down. Lucky we lived on 28 acres and didn’t have any close neighbours who could hear her! We weren’t into controlled crying, so I would just take her back from him and go through the routine again.
Then I found essential oils
My Husband’s Aunty had given us an essential oil blend before Kaitlyn was born and after smelling it I put it away in the bathroom cabinet. I thought it was way too strong to be used on my baby. By now though, I was desperate, so I pulled it out, along with the V6 Carrier Oil that she also gave me. I gave Kaitlyn a massage with the diluted Gentle Baby essential oil blend. I massaged her belly and her legs. Then dressed her, fed her and laid her down. OMG, what a difference it made to her sleep! I had tried some of the other Young Living essential oils before this and was surprised at how they worked during the winter months to help Kaitlyn, but this oil blend was amazing.
Often I would use this essential oil in the diffuser, in her bath water with some Kidscents unscented bath gel or I would wear it as a perfume.
I tell this story at my Essential Oils for babies and Toddlers workshops and have given a baby massage to one of the babies at the workshop to demonstrate how well it works. We even make a few products with the Gentle Baby essential oil blend including natural nappy wipes and a Gentle Baby Room Spray which I spritz on linen or spray in the baby’s room.
Here is my recipe for the room spray:
Gentle Baby Room Spray
20mls Witch Hazel (Alcohol Free)
6 drops Gentle Baby Essential Oil Blend
80mls Distilled Water
100ml Glass Spray Bottle
Combine all ingredients in the glass spray bottle.
Shake and spray to diffuse essential oils into a nursery or gently mist onto babies towels or sheets.
If you want to learn more about using essential oils safely with Babies and Toddlers please sign up to watch my FREE Video on Using Essential Oils Safely With Babies and Toddlers.
Click here to register to watch it.