Speaking of sleep...
Here are a few of the "recipes" we use at BreadwithHoney to wind down our days. Our schedule is always changing and we may not go to bed at the same time two nights in a row. We sleep and eat around daddy's schedule which makes any scedule virtually impossible.
But our bedtime rituals and our morning routines are the cues our family uses to ease the transition more or less smoothly- and yes, sometimes it is *less* smoothly- from sleep to day and day to sleep.
Since nothing soothes like warm water, the bath is a nightly ritual, right after the bedtime snack, of course. Sometimes bubbles (California Baby makes excellent bubble baths), sometimes and herbal soak (dried roses, lavender, and calendula in a muslin square, make a quart of strong tea and add to the tub), or our go-to lavender baby bath salts.
I prefer the lavender baby bath salts because the salt really aids the body in detoxification and the scent of lavender is a very powerful soother for jangled nerves- in child or mother!
The recipe is really too simple:
1 box of sea salt* (just refill the box)
10 drops of high-quality lavender essential oil
Combine in your container of choice and shake well to distribute the oil. Use about 1/4c per bath. Double or triple if your child seems to be coming down with a touch of anything.
*PLEASE note: Under no circumstances should you use regular table salt in your child's bath salts. Ever. Table salt contains nasty chemical additives which will soak right into your child's system when his or her pores open up in a warm bath!
Usually bath will be followed by teeth brushing and stories, then prayers and lights out. In reality, fights sometimes break out over whose book is first or even which side of the bed is *mine!!!*. When the hour is late and tired tantrums erupt, as they occasionally will, I like to whip out the Rescue Remedy Spray.
One nice thing about this spray is that it stretches the rather expensive homeopathic remedy that it calls for. This makes it a very economical way to use Rescue Remedy.
4 drops Bach Rescue Remedy
2 ounces distilled or boiled and cooled water
2 ounces vodka or brandy
Combine in a brown or dark blue glass spray bottle and shake well before each and every use. Spray 2 sprays on the tongue, on the forearm (rub in), in the hair, or even on the sheets or just in the air.
And finally, two recipes for mother. Great for those nights when you can't sleep or you just need help relaxing. The first is a recipe for Sleepy Tea. Those pathetic little teabags of "sleepytime" tea from the grocery, or even the health food, store? Don't bother. Trot on over to a health food store, i.e. a REAL food store, and gather the ingredients for this REALLY sleepy tea!
In a dark or stainless steel jar, combine:
1 part valerian
1 part nettle
1 part raspberry leaves
1 part stevia herb (or add a pinch of extract after brewing)
3 parts cinnamon chips
To brew, place 1 teaspoon per cup in your vessel of choice, then add a hefty dash of pumpkin pie spice on top (this is optional, but it makes the tea go from ok to out-of-this-world delish) and add the boiling water. Steep, COVERED TIGHTLY, for 8 minutes up to 1 hour.
Drink. You've had enough when your body begins to feel just a touch "rubbery". You've had too much if you feel, um, drunk. Don't drink a quart of this tea before driving or using a buzz saw.
You can give a sleepless, cranky child*** over the age of 2 or so a teaspoon of this tea diluted in something else, or straight under the tongue.
(*** Please remember that when you choose to use any herbal formula, it is the herbalist's rule of thumb to check THREE sources before administering any preparation. Especially to a child. See any reputable herbal manual for how to perform a patch test on a child. I recommend .)
You can cut out the nettle and raspberry in a pinch, if need be. Oh, and a squeeze of lemon is nice, too.
The next recipe for mother is a calming perfume. I have never been able to wear store-bought perfumes. I've been unscented for years. Last Christmas, though, Ed went to the real-food store and sniffed every essential oil they had. He brought home plain 'ole vanilla. I didn't want to smell like a cookie... but I took the hint and figured out the (super-simple) way to make perfume.
In a dark brown or blue spray bottle, combine:
2 oz. distilled or boiled and cooled water
3 oz. vodka
10 drops vanilla
10 drops essential oil of your choice (I used lavender and 1 drop geranium)
Shake well and before each use.
Lavender makes for a really relaxing perfume, so it is always my favorite.
"There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson