A friend of mine recently asked me what essential oils I would recommend to help her child sleep and this isn’t the first time I’ve been asked this question so I thought I would share two essential oils to help your child sleep and how you can use them safely.
This oil is very well know for it’s wonderful sedative properties and is recommended to help you sleep. It has a calming and soothing scent and a study in Turkey revealed that Lavender essential oil increased quality of sleep and reduced level of anxiety in patients. When buying lavender oil to help with sleep always purchase Lavandula Augustifolia. Other types of lavender can be more stimulating due to their slightly different chemical constituency.
Many children tend to love the smell of orange, it’s wonderfully sweet aroma brings joy and comfort. Sweet orange essential is also a sedative and is therefore an excellent choice to help children sleep.
How to safely use these essential oils with your child
There are two main ways that essential oils work and they are through inhalation and absorption via the skin. A great way to help your child have a good night’s sleep would be to give them a gentle massage about 20 minutes or half an hour before bedtime. For babies, young children and those who have cognitive impairment it may be a good idea to massage their feet and lower legs to avoid oils getting into their mouths from their hands.
As a rule essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin and especially when using them with young children. You will need to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil first. This also applies to using essential oils in the bath. They will need to be diluted and then added to the bath.
A carrier oil that is is excellent for use with children is Jojoba oil. This is because it is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skins and it mimics sebum and so is a good moisturising oil. Other examples of carrier oils are Sweet Almond oil, Sunflower oil, Olive oil, & Apricot Kernel Oil. There are many to choose from. I personally like Jojoba oil because it’s not too heavy and sticky and it has a longer shelf life than some of the other carrier oils available due to it’s natural constituents. It sinks in fairly quickly and allows enough glide to give a good massage.
Safe Blending for Massage / Use in a Bath
To keep it simple here is a guide for blending for your child aged 2 or above. For children under 2 you would use a 0.5% dilution or less. It is not recommend to use essential oils with babies aged 0-3 months old.
A relaxing pre-bedtime bath. You may choose to blend a drop of lavender oil into 5mls of Jojoba oil and then add it to warm running bath water.
All you need is 2-3 drops of essential oil in an oil burner or diffuser in any 24 hour period.
You could add up to 3 drops of essential oil to an oil burner or diffuser in your child’s bedroom one hour before bedtime.
A Little Goes a Long Way
So you now have three ways you can safely use essential oils to help improve your child’s sleep:
- an aromatherapy massage
- an aromatherapy bath
- an oil diffusion.
Now that does not mean use all three methods at the same time! Start with one and see how your child responds. If you did want to try two methods you may wish to change the oil for example have an aromatherapy bath with one drop of Sweet Orange oil diluted in 5ml of Jojoba oil and have 1-2 drops of lavender oil diffusing in the bedroom.
Aromatherapy oils contain naturally occurring chemical constituents and are powerful gifts from nature always to be respected just as you would respect medication prescribed by your doctor.
I hope you have found this useful. Feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment below. Let me know how you get on. If you would like to purchase any of the organic products mentioned here please use the links below….