Calm Babies, Toddlers & Children

May 2, 2013

calm-babiesThere are primary ways the body feels distress/stressed.

  1. Through the brain, spinal fluid and nerve tissue.
  2. Through the adrenal glands production of stress chemicals & hormones (flight, fight or freeze response).


More than 100 years ago it was discovered when blue dye was injected to the brain it could not cross into the body. This discovery led the understanding of the existence of the Blood Brain Barrier. In short the Blood Brain Barrier is a filter/membrane that protects the brain, spinal cord and nervous system from chemicals. These chemicals can be from external sources and are called exogenous toxins. Chemicals can also be produced within the body and are called endogenous toxins like hormones and neurotransmitters. The problem is that there are chemicals that can cross the BBB. These chemicals (i.e. alcohol) can do immediate damage to the brain and its nervous system and/or cause long-term problems.

The BBB can be broken down by:

I. Hypertension
II. Development: the BBB is not fully formed at birth
III. A high concentration of a substance in the blood can open the BBB
IV. Microwaves: exposure to microwaves can open the BBB
V. Radiation: exposure to radiation can open the BBB
VI. Infection: exposure to infectious agents can open the BBB
VII. Trauma, ischemia, inflammation, pressure (injury to the brain) can open the BBB

There are several areas of the brain where the BBB is weak i.e the “vomiting center” to protect animals from poisoning. Adapted from BBB the Society for Neuroscience.

Our babies, toddlers and children are susceptible to chemicals in food not being broken down through digestion and then crossing the BBB.

Signs and symptoms of this include:

  • ‘Outbursts’ of irrational and often aggressive behaviour
  • Hyperactivity
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Night terrors
  • Restless sleep
  • Bedwetting in older children
  • Asthma
  • Skin reactions
  • Seizures and drop seizures
  • Developmental delays
  • Academic / learning challenges

The chemicals from food that cause these unfavourable

Symptoms are:

  • Artificial colours
  • Artificial flavours (eg MSG is an excittoxin)
  • Preservatives
  • Artificial sweeteners (excitoxin)
[blockquote]“The average person exposes themselves to 175 different chemicals each day”[/bockquote]

When a baby or child ingests a food containing chemicals their body tries first to break it down through the normal practices of digestion. If this fails the chemical is transported to the liver for processing. If the liver is unable to breakdown the chemical it makes its way into the body’s main bloodstream and its up to the BBB to protect the brain and nervous system. Some food chemicals react at a gut level causing digestive disturbances. Some chemicals react when they reach the liver causing sluggishness, moodiness, skin reactions and allergies.

If a chemical is put on the skin or inhaled it is taken to the liver in the hope of it being broken down. If this is unsuccessful the brain and nervous system are susceptible again.
“The body absorbs 60% of all chemicals we use on our skin and hair” ~ The Chemical Maze by Bill Statham

There are conditions/disorders where the BBB is though to be faulty in some way. Thus the symptoms mentioned above affecting the brain and nervous system can become an everyday occurrence. These conditions affecting children include:

  • ADD
  • ADHD
  • Aspersers Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy

The very bad “numbers” that need to be completely avoided by babies and small children are:

102, 107, 110, 122-129, 132, 133, 142, 151, 155, 160b (annatto)

Sorbates 200-203
Benzoates 210-213
Sulphites 220-228
Nitrates, nitrites 249-252
Propionates 280-283
Gallates 310-312
TBHQ, BHA, BHT 319-321

Glutamates incl MSG 620-625
Disodium guanylate 627
Disodium inosinate 631
Ribonucleotides 635
Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

The numbers to be avoided are referenced from Sue Dengate’s wonderful website


The second way of triggering stresses in babies and children are via the adrenal glands (fight, flight or freeze response).

Signs and symptoms of these stresses include:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Anxiety, fear, phobias
  • Obsessive compulsive disorders
  • Mood swings
  • ‘Acting out’, ‘attention seeking’
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Bedwetting in older children
  • Nightmares
  • Intermittent stomach or head aches
  • Drastic changes in academic performance
  • Lying, bullying, defying authority
  • Emotionally over-reactive
  • Nail biting and finger picking
  • Situations known to cause these stresses in babies and children include:
  • Birth trauma
  • Childhood illness
  • Unhappy/stressed primary Carer
  • Mum or dad starting to work when they have been at home
  • Separation in the family
  • Change in the family eg. Grandparents moving in, step-parents moving in
  • Death in the immediate or extended family
  • Moving house
  • Starting kindy/school
  • Changing schools
  • Bullying – by teachers, parents, or other children
  • Natural disasters
  • World news
  • Sleep disturbances

The above situations contributing to childhood stresses are an unavoidable part of life. When childhood stress happens there is a lot we can do to minimize its affects and help our children develop life skills, essential and invaluable to childhood and adult happiness.

The goal of minimizing or healing from stress is obtained by focusing on:

  1. Building confidence & courage
  2. Encouraging positive thinking
  3. Teaching our children to consciously relax their minds & bodies


The better a child feels about themselves and their place in your family the less they find situations stressful e.g. the more confident a child is, the less likely a separation from mum is going to be stressful.

“Feeling good about who you are allows you to be less judgmental and critical about others and yourself (or conversely more accepting of others and yourself); helps relax self-imposed limitations; generates a state of calmness and contentment and allows us to be more open to receive the love from others.” ~ Things I Love About Me by Trace Moroney

Let them know verbally that you love them and that you think they are fantastic several times per day!

Show them that you love them with physical affection and quality time.

[blockquote]“Being demonstrative in our love for our children provides the core foundation, or building blocks in developing their self-esteem.” ~ The Big Book of Love by Trace Moroney[/blockquote]

Another fabulous resource book is “The Five Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell MD


The power of positive words/affirmations is well documented and incredibly contagious! Saying positive affirmations can also help change your mood from angry and upset to feeling happy and more peaceful. They help provide a positive outlook and a positive attitude.


  • Are short, succinct, written or spoken statements
  • Are written or spoken in the first person
  • State what we want as if we already have it
  • May include emotional descriptions to make the statements more powerful

Affirmations are best repeated 3 times slowly and with good intent while looking at oneself in the mirror. The same affirmation is best said daily for at least 30 days.


  • “The Big Book of Love” by Trace Moroney
  • “The Things I Love About Me” by Trace Moroney
  • “My Special Voice Says I’m A Winner” by Leanne Arnell
  • “No Matter What” by Debi Gliori
  • “A Teaspoon of Courage for Kids” by Bradley Trevor Greive
  • “Secret of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman
  • “Quest for the Crystal Castle” by Dan Millman
  • “Angel Cards for Children” by Diana Cooper
  • “Butterfly Kisses & Dragon Kisses” Inspirational Affirmation Cards for Children by Jane Ward
  • “Indigo Dreaming – Positive Affirmation Cards for Children”



ANCIPATE POTENTIALLY STRESSFUL SITUATIONS – talk with your child about what will happen, how they might feel, how you would/might feel in the same situation.

LET THEM KNOW IT IS OKAY to feel angry, scared, lonely and anxious. Everybody feels like this sometimes; its our body’s way of keeping us safe and happy. It’s a normal signal telling us it is time to relax, remain calm and find a solution.


  • Some children need to be taught how to relax.
  • Relaxation allows the body to feel content and happy.
  • Regular relaxation prevents anxiety
  • Regular relaxation prevents emotional outbursts

Ways to teach your little ones to relax include:

  • Magic baths using crystal, essential oils, music & low lighting
  • Yoga for kids Yoga has been relaxing people for over 4000 years
  • Massage – “Calm Kids – Massage Stories for Children” by Tricia Jordan
  • Free dance
  • Journaling – especially for older children
  • Bedtime rituals
    – Positive stories
    – Talk about what made you happy today
    – Relaxation music
    – Essential oil massage or back tickle
    – Lots of cuddles and kisses
    – Children’s meditation
  • Meditation for Children
    The benefits according to
    – Encourages a healthy mind, body & spirit
    – Increases creativity and imagination
    – Turns bedtime into a pleasant experienc
    – Encourages better sleep in children
    – Promotes confidence and self awareness
    – Increases memory and concentration
    – Better equips children to cope with stress
    – Encourages good listening skills
    – Develops positive attitudes
    – Teaches relaxation skills & how to quiet the mind
    – Provides children with a tool they will have for life
    – Helps children deal with emotions they do not fully understand
    – Teaches children to enjoy time alone in a positive way
    – In our changing world it teaches our children to use their minds without external stimulation


  • “Indigo Dreaming – A Magical Bedtime Story Book”
  • “Indigo Dreaming – Meditating for Children” by Amy Hamilton
  • “Earthlight”
  • “Moonbeam Meditations for Children”
  • “Starbright Meditations for Children”
  • “The Power of Inner Self” by Maureen Garth
  • “You, Me and the Rainbow” by Petrea King

The more content and happy you are – the more content and happy your children will be!

Great website

  • Breathe
  • Own Time – take some time each day or each week where no matter how many pressing things there are to do you relax for at least 30 mins. No goals, no expectations, no guilt. Do something nice for yourself preferably by yourself.
  • Keep fit
  • Get enough sleep
  • Slow things down – even walking & talking
  • Read – “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson
  • – “The Calm Technique” & “Instant Calm” by Paul Wilson
  • Affirmations and mantras “This too will pass”
  • Journal daily
  • Laugh
  • Remember what makes you happy!
  • ‘Calm Babies, Toddlers and Children‘ Workshop by Tanya Goldie ND, Dove Cottage tel 55774652 12
  • Tend to your spirit
  • Speak nicely to each other
  • Focus on your relationship
    – “Feel the Fear Guide to Lasting Love” by Susan Jeffers
    – “Act with Love: Stop Struggling, Reconcile Differences, and Strengthen Your Relationship with Acceptance & Commitment Therapy” by Russ Harris


When Children Are Having A Chemical/Food Reaction

  • Magic Bath
    – Epsom/Magnesium Salts 1-2 cups
    – Bicarb Soda 4-8 teaspoons
  • Rescue Remedy
  • Vitamin C 1 pinch – 1 teaspoon
  • “Taurine” by Musashi ½ – 1 teaspoon

If this problem is chronic despite dietary changes please see your Naturopath.

When Children Are Sad

  • Magic Bath
    – Rose Quartz crystal
    – Lavender essential oil *
    – Bergamot essential oil *
  • Warm milk & Cacao powder with honey for older children
  • Affirmations and flower essences

When Children Are Anxious or Frightened

  • Magic Bath
    – Lavender essential oil *
    – Bergamot essential oil *
    – Sandalwood essential oil *
    – Epsom Salts 1-2 cups
  • “Humming Technique”
  • Rescue Remedy
  • Warm milk and honey for older children
  • Chronic anxiety can be treated very successfully with herbs, homeopathics, tissue salts and bush flower essences.

When Children Are Hyped or Overly-Emotional

  • Magic Bath
    – Mandarin essential oil *
    – Chamomile essential oil *
    – Epsom/Magnesium Salts ½ – 1 cup
  • Rescue Remedy
  • Chamomile tea
  • There are very successful natural remedies for ongoing dramas.

When Children Are Tired And/Or Exhausted

  • Magic Bath
    – Rosemary essential oil *
    – Peppermint essential oil *
    – Lavender essential oil *
    – Celtic/Himalayan Salts ½ cup
    – Oats (in muslin/pantyhose) 1 cup
  • Egg flip
  • Egg flip with manuka honey for older children (patch test raw egg first)
  • Flordix (Iron supplement from supermarket/chemist as directed)
    – Iron levels lower with infection
    – Low iron causes low appetite
    – A sign of low iron can be seen as a redness at the tip of the tongue


  • Age 6months to 2 years – 1-2drops of essential oil to 10ml (2teaspoons) of carrier oil.
  • Age 2 to5 years – 2-3drops of essential oil to 10ml carrier oil
  • Age 5 to 10 years – 3-4 drops of essential oil to 10ml carrier oil
  • Age 10+ years – 5 drops to 10ml carrier oil
  • Adults – 90 drops to 100ml carrier oil (pregnancy ½ adult dose)

A wonderful book for using aromatherapy to help treat common ailments affecting children “Calm Kid ~ A Guide to Natural Therapies for Children” by Jennifer Jeffries


  • Add 5-10 drops essential oil to water in vaporizer (oil burner), depending on room size


  • 5 drops essential oil with 10ml carrier oil


  • 5 drops essential oil to bath water


  • 15 drops essential oil, 15 drops solubalizer, 50ml water

Reference: Sunspirit – Emotional & Physical Healing / Aromatherapy Handbook


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