Bathing young infants in bath water with lavender essential oil was found to reduce stress and crying and enhance sleep in very young infants, according to a scientific study.
Very young infants, ranging in age from one-week to four-and-half-months, were given a bath with or without lavender-scented bath oil. The mothers in the lavender bath oil group were more relaxed, smiled and touched their infants more during the bath. Their infants looked at them a greater percentage of the bath time and cried less and spent more time in deep sleep after bath. The cortisol levels of this group of mothers and infants significantly decreased, confirming the behavioral data showing increased relaxation of the mothers and their infants. These findings support a body of research showing the relaxing and sleep-inducing properties of lavender essential oil.
Field T, et al. Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants. Early Human Development. 2008; 84(6):339-401.