Today's blog is especially dedicated to my friends and family who are expecting very soon or who have recently given birth.
Babies are blooming everywhere... This really makes me long for those days when Matisse (and Asim, who came 5 years later) was just a newborn. His tender smell of sweet warm milk and his soft gentle breath up against my skin is by far the most precious bond one could ever feel with another human being. The most magical type of love filled my heart exponentially, unlike anything before. I just kept smiling in utter amazement for I never knew a love like this could exist.
My little ones slept with us because we found it to be the most natural thing to do. Not only did it make night time feeding easier on the baby and I as we were both able to respond to each others' signals and cues, it allowed us to get better sleep just by the mere fact that my warmth, smell, and heartbeat provided that nurturing comfort he needed. This reduced night time crying! As James J. McKenna Ph.D. explains it, "neurologically-based infant responses to maternal smells, movements and touch altogether reduce infant crying while positively regulating infant breathing, body temperature, absorption of calories, stress hormone levels, immune status, and oxygenation". The amazing human body, charged with maternal instincts, knows to not roll over your baby. I sincerely implore all you new and expecting mommies to explore the different theories about sleeping with your baby before taking my word for it. Here is an excerpt from an article that debunks some of the theories in support of sleeping apart:
While I celebrated this historic room-sharing recommendation, I disagreed with and worry about the ramifications of the unqualified recommendation against any and all bedsharing. Further, I worry about the message being given unfairly (if not immorally) to mothers; that is, no matter who you are, or what you do, your sleeping body is no more than an inert potential lethal weapon against which neither you nor your infant has any control. If this were true, none of us humans would be here today to have this discussion because the only reason why we survived is because our ancestral mothers slept alongside us and breastfed us through the night! You can read the full article here.
Despite the fact that our warmth, body rhythm, and sound provide an endless comfort to our baby, there will be times when we cannot sleep with them, or you may simply decide that bed-sharing is not your preferred sleeping arrangement. In both cases, the trick is to get a fretful baby to sleep peacefully. Here are some herbal remedies that can help you achieve just that:
Babies respond well to a loving touch. Gentle massage on the soles of their feet and toes usually do the trick. But certainly massage the back, legs, and arms. Mix the following ingredients together and save any remaining in a dark glass bottle.
2 drop Chamomile Roman EO
1 drop Lavender EO
1 drop Geranium EO
4 tablespoons of Sweet Apricot Oil
1 drops Mandarin EO (non-photosensitive)
2 drops Chamomile Roman
4 tablespoons of Hazelnut Oil
***Please note that it's even more important to use organic ingredients when using them on your baby. And certainly avoid using mineral oil like Johnson and Johnson does--your baby's skin will get clogged even though it may feel nice to the touch. And lastly, watch out for synthetic ingredients and fragrances--these penetrate your skin and enter the bloodstream without getting a chance to get filtered through the liver as does not-so-healthy foods we ingest. If the DIY is not for you, or not sure what products to trust (though at Whole Foods you can find many good baby products), we have our signature Lavender Baby Oil.
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