When I was pregnant with my Jeffrey bean (after struggling a bit and miscarrying) I wanted to make sure I did everything “right.” In my research I learned some disturbing facts about personal care products, and I was surprised to learn that many products marketed to mommies for babies (like baby lotions) contain some pretty yucky ingredients. I’m talking things like propylene glycol, parabens, triclosan, 1,4-dioxane and ethylated surfactants. You may recall some of these from my recent post on deodorant.
Back then I was still using grocery store essential oils because I didn’t know any better, and as far as baby products went, I bought the safest stuff I could find at my local health food store. If I could go back in time I would find 20-something-year old me and say “Hey, girl! Here’s some Gentle Baby essential oil blend and cold-pressed, organic coconut oil. You’re welcome.”
Gentle Baby is profoundly comforting to both pregnant women and babies alike, and I so wish I had found it sooner. Its soothing aroma is great for relaxation and stress management during pregnancy, and many babies (and children) love it for sleep. My 5 year old daughter loves this one at bedtime, or anytime she needs comfort. I have used it in my diffuser for sleep too, when I’ve run out of lavender. It smells divine, like a freshly bathed, snuggly baby. It’s a lovely oil to diffuse during a baby shower and, for me and many others, it powerfully evokes the memory of our own cuddly babies. I don’t know how they got a mix of a bunch of flowers to smell so much like babies, but it seriously does. So if you catch the “baby fever”, don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉
The scent magically transports me back to when I was a brand new mommy, with my squishy, cloth-diapered newborn in his Yellow Submarine themed nursery. We talked about why smells can do that to us in a previous post. Essential oils go to work on the limbic system, the emotional processing center of the brain. The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for learned associations, so certain smells can instantly call up memories and evoke powerful emotions or reactions. I have to be honest here. Looking at these pictures of my now 7 year old son as a cloth-diapered baby while smelling Gentle Baby for inspiration completely reduced me to a blubbering puddle of tears; my husband came downstairs while I was writing that last paragraph and I think I kinda freaked him out. If you’re reading this, sorry babe. I’m ok now. 😉
Sigh…they grow up so, so fast, but I digress…
Gentle Baby is also wonderful for skin support. I initially bought it to reduce the appearance of my post-baby stretch marks and wrinkles, and many mamas I know use it as an all natural solution to soothe diaper rashes and dry, chapped baby skin. For babies, dilute heavily with coconut oil or other carrier oil of choice and apply as needed. Remember, therapeutic grade essential is highly concentrated, so a single drop goes a long way.
Any doulas reading this? This essential oil is perfect for women to have during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Mamas-to-be love this oil (when mixed with a carrier such as V-6 or coconut oil) during prenatal massage for relieving stress and anxiety, and it can also help create an atmosphere of serenity. Bonus, it can help prevent scarring. Before and during labor it can also be massaged on the perineum to help it stretch for easier birthing.
Gentle Baby is an essential oil blend combining geranium, rosewood, lemon, lavender, jasmine, Roman chamomile, bergamot, ylang ylang, palmarosa and rose essential oils. Geranium has been used in skincare for centuries because of its ability to support skin tissue and nerves. Rosewood is also soothing and nourishing to skin and can enhance the skin’s elasticity. Lemon is a great support to the circulatory and lymphatic systems of the body, and its fragrance is invigorating. Lavender is considered the “Swiss Army knife” of essential oils because it’s beneficial to most of our body systems, including the skin, plus it is relaxing and grounding. Jasmine is great for sensitive skin and exhaustion and Roman chamomile combats restlessness. Bergamot is both calming and uplifting and fabulous for melting away stress. Ylang ylang is also relaxing, restoring confidence and equilibrium. Palmarosa is moisturizing to the skin and helps to reduce nervous tension. Rose can reduce scarring and promotes elasticity of the skin, which is why it’s been used to beautify skin for thousands of years.
Please note: this essential oil blend does contain lemon and bergamot—photosensitive citrus oils—so it can cause the skin to be more sensitive to sunlight. To be safe, it is best to avoid direct sunlight while wearing this blend or thoroughly washing it off before exposing the skin to UV rays.
For more information about Gentle Baby essential oil or to learn more about the safe use of essential oils during pregnancy, labor, infancy and beyond, I highly recommend reading the book Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern. It would make a sweet gift for a mama-to-be, along with a Premium Starter Kit (which you can buy here.) Trust, every mama needs oils in her tool box. Anyway, thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me. I hope you learned something new! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me any time. Until next time.