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Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Best baby sensory toy Calma Koala, made in australia
How to smell your way to calm

To understand how we can use our sense of smell to calm we must first understand how smell works. Smells enter the nose and create a chemical reaction on the mucous membranes of the nasal passages which is then interpreted by the brain as a smell.

Smells go directly to the conscious brain and have direct connections to the limbic system. The limbic system controls our memory and our feelings. Therefore, when we smell certain smells we quickly get transported back to a memory of a place and or feelings about that place. This is why smell has the power to affect our mood and energy levels instantly. Smell is the most powerful human sense.

For Parents

How do we as parents use scent to calm ourselves and what scents are best to create that sense of calm? These are our top three scents for adults.


Lavender is one of the most popular scents, it’s known for its calming properties. It can help reduce tension, unwind and slow a racing mind. Great to help you relax which in turn helps us to fall asleep.


Use jasmine If you are feeling tired and stressed, jasmine will help to soothe your tension and encourage relaxation.

Rose and Geranium

These two smells can help decrease stress and anxiety levels, helping you to relax and calm down.

Here are four ways to use these scents to create a sense of calm.

  1. Add a few drops of your chosen scent to a relaxing warm bath

  2. Add a few drops to your diffuser at any time of the day, by breathing in these naturally calming scents you will find yourself relaxing.

  3. Put a few drops on a pillow before bedtime, this allows you to breath in your scents and help you unwind.

  4. Create a compress. Wet a face washer with warm water and add a few drops of your favourite scent, place on your neck or forehead to allow the stresses of the day to disappear.

For Babies

Scent is a powerful sense for a baby, scents can help build the bond between baby and mother, reduce stress, increase a sense of calm, soothe a baby before sleep and improve mood and alertness. Here are three scents that have natural calming properties for babies.**


Has relaxing and sleep-inducing properties.

German chamomile and Roman chamomile

Chamomile has natural soothing effects and is traditionally used to treat insomnia in babies and adults.


Mandarin has calming effects similar to lavender, making it a great night-time alternative for babies who are irritated by the scent of lavender.

These are our top three ways to calm your baby using scent.

  1. Bath time - add the smell to your baby’s bath. The warm water and smell together relax and help calm your baby, recommend following with a relaxing baby massage.

  2. Bedtime - To help calm baby before bed, wrapped them in a blanket with the scent of their mum.

  3. Diffuser - (water-based vaporiser) to calm baby. Place out of reach and in a safe area.

**Please note all essential oils used on/with babies need to be diluted (with a carrier oil, cream or with water), always complete a patch test and should be avoided on babies under 3 months. If unsure please seek professional medical advice before using.

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