-Naturopath In The City –
-By Sue Gibbins, ND, BHSc, ATMS (Clinical Naturopath and Holistic Nutritionist)
Establishing a sleep routine in babies can often be, quite simply, a mother’s nightmare. Babies are often getting their day and night signals mixed up, choosing to party at 3am. Yes, that precious time when poor exhausted Mummas badly need some shut eye.
Establishing a set routine in fresh little newborns isn’t always the way to go as they often fall into their own rhythm once they work out their feed and sleep cycle.
For those older bubbas, these are some Natural methods that you could incorporate into your usual routine to help settle them and to promote a peaceful bedtime.
Much has been said about establishing a bath-feed-bed routine. It helps to settle little ones, and forms a routine to stick to.
Some natural ways to further aid in promoting sleep amongst babies and children include running a bath with a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil. Lavender Essential Oil has been shown to be an anxiolytic, as it calms nerves. It also aids in promoting a restful sleep.
Another trick to try to promote restful sleep is to give baby a gentle massage with a relaxing massage oil after their bath and before their feed. It is best done in a dimly lit room to help promote Melatonin-that important sleep hormone.
Here is a favourite massage oil that I make up quite easily to store and use on bubs:
100mls Organic Sweet Almond Oil
2 drops of good quality Organic Pure Lavender Essential Oil
2 drops of good quality Organic Pure Chamomile Essential Oil
Add drops of essential oil into the measured Sweet almond oil and once lid is tightened shake vigorously. It is best stored in a dark amber bottle, in a cool, dark place.
Organic Sweet Almond Oil is mineral and paraben free, and a gentle soothing oil which will leave baby moisturised.
(Always carry out a test to check if baby has a reaction, as in rare cases essential oils may cause a reaction).
Himalayan Salt Lamps:
I am a big fan of Himalayan Salt lamps. Not only do they emit a soothing, peaceful glow and work as a nightlight in nurseries, they are also an excellent air purifier as well as sleep promoting tool.
Himalayan salt lamps are fantastic air purifiers as they remove the positive ions in the atmosphere, and replace them with negative ions. This makes for cleaner air, which is especially good for children prone to allergies.
So what are these positive and negative ions, you ask? In any given atmosphere, there are both positive and negative ions. Some examples of positive ion generators include electronic devices such as computers, and mobile phones. Some examples of negative ion generators include ocean waves, and sunlight. This explains why a day out relaxing at the beach can often make one feel at peace, and lead to better sleep.
Himalayan salt lamps generate negative ions, and therefore by emitting these ions it helps to counteract the positive ions in the atmosphere therefore leading to improved air quality, and in turn relaxing sleep. These lamps are often found in good quality health stores, and some specialty candle and fragrance stores.
Magnesium has a plethora of health benefits. It is a nutrient which is an overall nerve tonic. It is also a nutrient that can help promote sleep. So, how do we get this essential mineral into bubs? The best way is through their diet.
Magnesium is found in many foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, whole grains, bananas, potatoes, oats, and yoghurt. A good way of increasing Magnesium into your child’s diet once they are onto solids, is to incorporate these food groups into the menu at least 2-3 times a week. Some examples of Magnesium rich meal ideas:
- Rice with beans and vegetables
- A broth from varied dark green vegetables
- Incorporating a banana a day into either breakfast/snack time
- A breakfast of oats porridge, with a banana
- Snacks of Raw, unroasted Almonds and Cashews for the older children (not appropriate in cases of nut allergies)
-Magnesium rich recipes will be up on www.naturopathinthecity.com shortly
These are a few Natural ways to help your little one relax and to aid in promoting more restful sleep. There are also practitioner-only supplemental supports that you can consider, if all the tried and tested measures do not work. If you would like further information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,
In Good Health,
-Naturopath In The City-