Taking care of a baby who isn’t a good sleeper (my first one was not!) is super tough, then adding in your own sleep deprivation can make it feel unbearable. You can help baby sleep by giving him an herbal bath right before bedtime. It adds a calming element to your bedtime routine that helps baby (and mama) welcome sleep.
An herbal bath helps to clean baby without using soaps that may be too harsh on their delicate skin. Soap should be avoided as much as possible those first several weeks to let the good bacteria (aka the skin biome) develop properly. Depending on the combination of herbs, they can help soothe skin and calm the nerves.
To give your baby an herbal bath you can buy a pre-made baby bath herbal mix, create your own mix or even just use your left over tea. (Seriously, it’s so easy.)
Help baby sleep with a pre-made mix:
You can get your own pre-made mix from a variety of places. The bulk herb store sells a great baby bath mix of all organic herbs that are safe for little ones. I buy dried herbs from them regularly. They have fresh herbs and great customer service. I bought a pre-made baby mix for my first one and loved the whole process of giving him his first little “flower bath.”
Their mixture contains
- Lavender which eases tension and insomnia
- Rosemary an antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal
- Red Rose petals which smell great and reduce inflammation
- Yarrow which helps to heal skin and rashes
These are all perfect to help those little baby skin problems that newborns seem to get. Mine both had some sort of combination of baby acne, random rashes from god knows what, cradle cap and my second had terrible diaper rash from super sensitive skin. (He got herb baths on the regular, and it really did help him calm down. I know my poor baby had to be hurting!)
Make your own mix:
This is a great option for those who already use herbs, or are interested in starting your own herb collection. Easily put together your own mix and add or subtract ingredients based on preferences and needs. This is a great alternative if you are concerned that baby may have an allergy to a particular herb. Make sure to use quality, organic herbs. Good ingredients to use that are safe for baby are:
- Chamomile: Reduces inflammation, heals diaper rash, helps calm nerves
- Lavender: Induces sleep, calms nerves, improves circulation
- Calendula: Antimicrobial and antiviral, calms muscles, heals diaper rash
- Yarrow: Heals rashes, can help eczema and dry skin, antiviral
- Rose petals: Cleanses skin, relieves inflammation
- Oatstraw: High in nutrients, including magnesium which absorbs through the skin and promotes sleep
To make your mix just use equal parts of whichever herbs you prefer or have on hand and store in a dark container or paper bag.
Why buy loose leaf herbs?
If you’ve never bought loose leaf herbs to keep in the house before, you’re in for a treat. It may sound weird, I know! But bear with me. When I first became a mom, I realized I needed to clean up my act. I didn’t want my baby to suffer from all the chronic disease that everyone around me seems to be getting. (Most of which are completely preventable!) So I decided to try to ditch the “traditional” approach. I wanted to educate myself on natural living so that my children never suffer from things they don’t need to. I want them to have healthy, happy lives. Fact is that prescription medications can be dangerous. (They are great when necessary, but in my opinion, are way overused.)
My first choice of action was a healthy diet, and the second was getting started using herbs. It was one of the best choices I ever made! The great thing is if you buy these herbs as loose leaf herbs, you can start building up your own little herb stash to use for all sorta of quick remedies. You can buy some of these basics like the ones above for your baby bath, and then find other ways to use them. It’s a great way to teach your self useful plant-based herbal medicine skills.
Brewing your herb bath
You can put the bath mix into a reusable muslin bag and just drop it in the water. However, when I did this I felt like the water didn’t get hot enough to extract all the goodness out of the herbs. To counter this, I just filled up the baby bath with really hot water and tossed in the tea bag. Then I let it cool down enough before adding baby. If that’s not easy enough for you there’s always my go to method.
This is the easiest and quickest way, although not as many healing benefits
Every night after dinner I make a big pot of chamomile and lavender tea for everyone. It eases digestion and helps everyone wind down for the night. If there is left over tea (I make enough so there is) I add more hot water and rebrew whatever is still in there. I simply pour that in my baby’s bath. (before I add the baby of course) And there we go, chamomile and lavender to help baby sleep a little better.
This is my personal favorite way because there is no waste of herbs, it barely takes a couple of minutes, and no extra mess to deal with.
I definitely prefer loose leaf tea. (You can read why you should too here.) But if you’re more of a tea bag kinda gal I suggest this brand. It’s the only brand of herbal teas I will consider. (There are so many contaminants in many of the herbal teas on the market!) They are all organic, and the safest brand I’ve found.
Always watch for allergies, I personally have never had a problem with skin irritation for my baby with any of these herbs, but it can happen. When using hot water to brew your bath, make sure to always check that the water is cool enough for baby. What feels warm to us can feel too hot for baby. Lastly of course, NEVER leave baby unattended in or near any water, not even for a “second.”
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