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Natural Baby Care With Lavender Essential Oil

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(ARA) - When Kelli Weber recently gave birth to her first child, she envisioned calm, cuddling rays of bliss that never ended. She found plenty of these moments, but she also experienced 3 a.m. fussiness and 5 p.m. wailing sessions.

Kelli turned to the calming properties of natural lavender essential oil to make both her baby and herself tranquil again. “I use Aura Cacia’s lavender essential oil to calm my sweet baby, and to bring back my sanity,” says Weber. “It helped with the transition to my new motherhood lifestyle.”

Lavender’s relaxing properties have long been acknowledged. The use of lavender-based herbal sleep pillows, for example, goes back centuries. And now there’s growing scientific evidence supporting lavender’s soothing properties.

Medical journals have published research conducted at universities and hospitals around the world that suggest the aroma of lavender can affect our moods by altering our brain (EEG) activity. A classic study at the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1998, for example, found that subjects exposed to the aroma of lavender for just three minutes showed more positive moods, greater relaxation and increased drowsiness.

Mindy Seiffert, the mother of twin four-year-old boys and the aromatherapy manager for Aura Cacia, a leading U.S. manufacturer of aromatherapy products (www.auracacia.com), offers these tips on using lavender to enhance the experience of caring for a baby:

  • Massages: Both baby and mom can benefit from a lavender massage. Ready-to-use lavender massage oils are available, or a few drops of lavender essential oil can be mixed with sweet almond oil or unscented lotion.
  • Baths: A soaking bath with lavender is another way to relax. A variety of lavender bath products exist (be sure to use an all-natural product), or simply add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the bath water. For a baby’s bath, use just two or three drops; for Mom, use five to ten.
  • Quick touch-up: No time for a bath today? Rub a few drops of lavender into a baby’s hair for a fresh, floral aroma, or add 2 to 3 drops of lavender to a bowl of warm water to enhance a quick sponging off.
  • In baby’s room: Sprinkle a few drops onto a simple terra cotta diffuser, or use an electric diffuser to disperse the scent of lavender throughout the room during naps and bedtime. Another option is a lavender mister. And don’t just limit these to baby’s room — a lavender diffuser can help Mom relax during “down time.”
  • Laundry: Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the baby’s laundry (including the crib sheets), not only for the aromatherapy benefits, but also for the soft, clean aroma.
  • In the car: Parents are usually excellent multitaskers, but trying to calm a fussy baby while negotiating traffic is never easy. To help keep calm in the car, try sprinkling a few drops of lavender onto the baby’s car seat or a handkerchief or use a special car diffuser (which plugs into the lighter) to spread the lavender aroma throughout the car.
  • Diaper cream: Add a drop or two of lavender oil to diaper cream to help protect and soothe baby’s bottom after diaper changes.

Essential oils are extremely concentrated. Follow usage directions carefully and keep them tightly closed and out of the reach of children. For more information on lavender, essential oils and aromatherapy, visit the Aura Cacia Web site at www.auracacia.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content