Establishing a bedtime routine is key to instilling good sleep habits in your baby. A calming bedtime routine that follows a predictable pattern every night helps give your baby the cue that it’s time to put their little heads down to rest. This, in turn, helps them settle more easily. A mother needs time to relax and wind down after a busy and demanding day with an infant. From as early as twelve weeks we can incorporate gentle sleep methods into an infant’s routine, which can help them sleep more soundly.
We can teach an infant that bedtime is safe and help them relax by regulating the environment where they sleep. Lights should be dimmed and the room quietened, with no over-stimulating colours or objects. We here at Mumma Love Organics believe creating a calm atmosphere is essential in helping to soothe and settle your baby before bedtime. Perhaps play gentle instrumental music to help them recognise bedtime easier or infuse the air in the room with the light fragrance of Lavender Essential Oil (aromatherapy oils with their natural settling properties can be diluted and added to the room the baby sleeps in before they begin their bedtime routine). A recent study reported that mothers who used nursery aromatherapy in their infant’s bedtime routine were more relaxed and shared more physical contact and positive cues (such as smiling) with their child. The mother’s relaxed state helped calm the infant, who provided more eye contact and smiled at their mothers, cried less and finally spent a greater length of time in deep sleep. Reduced levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) were also exhibited by both mother and child.
The essential oils used in aromatherapy stimulate the olfactory senses that dictate your sense of smell. The signals produced trigger the brain’s emotional response, resulting in the creation of mood-changing hormones. Not only does this help relax your child, in time they will begin to recognise the fragrance of the essential oils as a part of their bedtime routine.
To disperse a calming aroma around the room, infuse the air with essential oils about half an hour before settling your baby to sleep. To do this, add 3-4 drops of oil to one pint of steaming water in a bowl. Make sure the bowl is placed away from the infant’s head and out of reach of other children and animals. The steam will gently infuse the molecules of the essential oil into the room.
While waiting for the oil to evaporate you can give your baby their nighttime bath with our relaxing bedtime bath wash blended with lavender to help soothe and settle your baby. The sensation of warm water produces the hormone oxytocin, and when oxytocin levels are raised, feelings of trust are elevated. After baby’s bath, wrap them in a warm towel and take them to the perfumed nursery to carry on with their routine.
The aromatherapy teamed with a bath will result in a very relaxed baby. This feeling can be enhanced by incorporating a bedtime massage, as this act releases yet more oxytocin, while the increased flow of blood delivers oxygen and nutrients around the baby’s body aiding a deeper, fuss-free sleep. (Please below my directional video guide for bedtime massage). After the massage, dress baby for bed and supply one last feed before bedtime. Once the baby is ready, place them where you wish them to sleep in their still awake but drowsy state and give them a kiss goodnight.