This post is part of the Natural Living Series. Guest Amanda shares ways to help your baby sleep. For more information about Amanda, be sure to check out the bottom of this post and for more posts on natural baby care, check out our week of natural baby care posts.
Besides rocking, babywearing, nursing, and swaddling — you know, all the obvious ways to help baby sleep — a handful of natural remedies have helped us on our journey to a good night’s sleep for all parties involved.
Full disclosure: my son does not sleep through the night. I, therefore, don’t claim that these remedies will help babies do so. Believe me, if it were as easy as calling on the Sandman, he’d be on speed dial. I can attest, however, that the following remedies have helped our son relax before bedtime (encouraging him to fall asleep more easily), fall back asleep after waking to nurse, or keep from waking unnecessarily.
Giving baby a leg and foot massage as part of his bedtime routine is not only a great way to help him relax but also a great way to connect with baby after a long day. If baby fusses in the middle of the night but doesn’t fully wake and just needs a loving touch to fall back asleep, try rubbing his feet. Following the idea of reflexology, you can help lots of different organs just by focusing on the feet! I recommend using coconut oil to massage your baby.
From birth on, you can put diluted lavender oil in your humidifier or a diffuser. For babies older than three months, you can add lavender essential oil to the coconut oil during massage time. I’ve seen this ratio: 1-2 drops to 1/2 – 1 teaspoon carrier oil OR this ratio: 1-2 drops to 2 tablespoons carrier oil — I would say err on the side of caution and go with a “less is more” attitude when it comes to essential oils. Click here for other essential oil uses and precautions.
3. Cherry Pit Pillow
This pillow is an old, traditional European household remedy for colic. It is essentially an eco-friendly, all-natural cold or hot pack. Its heating capabilities are especially useful at night when baby may wake up with a tummy full of gas. Simply heat the pack (in a microwave for quick results) and drape it over his belly. The cherry pits release a soothing moist heat.
4. Wool Soaker
One thing that may startle a baby awake at night is a leaky diaper. Avoid such an issue by dressing baby with a 100% wool soaker over her diaper. This kind of diaper cover works great over traditional prefold diapers but works just as well over disposable diapers. How does it work? From Pooters Diapers, “When baby’s diaper becomes wet, the wool soaker wicks the moisture away from the diaper by absorbing it. Lanolin… keeps the urine from leaking back out of the wool…” Your baby and her clothes stay drier than they would with an AIO or PUL cover or disposable diaper alone.
Remedies like Hyland’s Colic Tablets feature natural ingredients that can temporarily soothe a baby suffering from gas and other icky issues that may disrupt sleep.
Amanda blogs at Queso Suizo (Spanish for Swiss Cheese), though she rarely writes about cheese anymore. In fact, somehow her blog about “the cheese life” reads less like a travelogue and more like a mommy blog, a far cry from the expat life in Switzerland blog that she first started writing back in 2008.