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Getting two small children to bed is no small task. To ease things in this department, I recently decided to start a new bedtime ritual: a nightly massage for both my infant and my preschooler.

Off I went to my local natural grocery store in search of a calming massage oil for children. To my surprise (as it seems there are massage oils for everything these days), there was none.

Not to worry though as one of the herbalists had the perfect solution: Aura Cacia apricot kernel oil, unscented, to which she added ten drops of German Chamomile essential oil.

It turns out that German Chamomile is just the thing to get little ones (and moms, too!) ready for bed. Believe me, it smells absolutely dreamy.

So, get yourself to your local natural pharmacy (ours is Pharmaca), search out the German Chamomile (not the Roman, which has different properties), and get massaging! Need help in the actual massage department? Check out our earlier post on infant massage.

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Who doesn’t love a massage? As much as mothers and fathers love (and need!) massage, so too do their babies.

It was in Nepal that I first saw infants being massaged. This was back before I knew anything about babies. Children were everywhere there, a wonderfully present part of the public social fabric in a way different than what I was used to in the USA. Whether riding my bike in Kathmandu or walking through villages, I adored seeing women massaging babies.

Infants in Nepal are massaged frequently, often outside in the warm rays of the sunlight. Homes in Nepal have no central heating, so that moment when the sun reaches one’s home is a joyous one. On patios, balconies, and courtyards throughout the country, one will find mothers and grandmothers massaging infants as they sit chatting and enjoying the day. A social, physical, loving activity, infant massage is a practice on the rise around the world.

The benefits of infant massage are numerous….for both baby and parent. And massage is something you can continue with your toddler and preschooler with positive effects. Researchers around the world, including the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, have documented how and why massage works.

Haven’t massaged your baby yet? Not sure how to do it? No worries—there are lots of books and DVDs and oils and lotions out there for you to read and take and use. Always be gentle and loving. Always be focused. Always use products right for your baby (we love Little Twig and Burt’s Bees products.

Be hands-on and have fun!