The most luxurious lotion may already be in your diaper bag.

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I recently heard some friends talking about a fancy new lavender lotion that promises to help lull you to sleep—for only $37. I smiled to myself and then went home and pulled out my secret stash of the best-smelling, sleepy-making beauty product in the world: Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Lotion ($5; amazon.com).

I first discovered this product when my now-teenage daughter was a newborn, and getting her to sleep without a fuss was the single most important task in my life. I was handed a few free samples at an event, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

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At first I only thought to use it on my daughter—I would rub a little on her belly and arms as we were cuddling before bedtime, and the light lavender smell was so yummy we would both just sit there in a blissed-out daze until it was time to tuck in for the night. Then a few months into this routine, I was having a sleepless night of my own and decided to steal a few extra drops for myself. It didn’t conk me out right away—I don’t think anything short of pharmaceuticals can do that!—but it certainly made those last few minutes before drifting off a lot more dreamily pleasant.

It’s long been known that lavender scents can help ease you into sleep, and the Bedtime Baby Lotion has the added benefit of being hypoallergenic, with no icky stuff like dyes, phthalates, or parabens. And even better, it's readily accessible at your local drugstore and costs less than a large latte.

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Even though my daughter is old enough now to be studying for the SAT and looking at colleges—and we have no plans for any tiny new ones in my house—I still keep a bottle of Bedtime Baby Lotion in my bathroom. No matter what stage of life you’re in, just dab a little on before bed and you’ll sleep like a baby.

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