How to Safely Use Essential Oils with Babies

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Essential oils, when used correctly, are very safe and effective natural solutions. They are pure plant molecules and can be used with children and even with babies.  

Essential oils can be a safe and effective natural solution for restlessness, fussiness, colic, gas, skin irritations, teething pains, and so much more.

 

Safety Guidelines

First, we need to address safety. First and foremost, do some research and make sure you are using pure essential oils. Essential oils are not regulated and therefore, can make claims that may or may not be true. Many oils found in grocery stores have synthetic fillers, solvents, pesticides, synthetics, and other chemicals in them that can potentially be harmful to your health. 

Now let’s address safety specific to use in babies. Babies have weaker immune systems, smaller bodies, more sensitive skin, and their livers can only process so much at a time.

So, just like with anything else, perform a small patch test before using essential oils on your baby. Put a small amount of diluted oil (see below for dilution recommendations) on your baby’s arm or leg (avoid the hands and wrists if your baby is putting his hands in his mouth). Observe over the next 24 hours for a reaction.  

Just like when you’re introducing foods to your baby, only introduce one oil at a time.  Avoid blends until you know each oil in that blend is safe for your baby.  

Avoid using strong and “hot” oils on your baby like cinnamon, oregano, and peppermint.  

 

Essential Oil Dilution Ratios:

  • For children under the age of two, 1 drop of oil: 2 teaspoons of carrier oil
  • For children above the age of two, 2 drops of oil: 2 teaspoons of carrier oil

Carrier oils to mix with essential oils include vegetable oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil.

If you’re diffusing essential oils around your baby, start with lesser drops in the diffuser. Start with 3-4 drops in most average size diffusers.  

Common Sense Safety Rules

Just like with medications, cleaners, and pretty much most of things in your home, keep oils out of the reach of small children at all times.  

Do not let your children ingest essential oils. If an oil is ingested, don’t panic, it likely won’t do any harm. But just in case, give your child an oil soluble liquid like milk, and call poison control. 

Where to Apply Essential Oils to Your Baby

This applies to adults too, do not put any oils in eyes, ears or nose. You can use well diluted oils around those areas, but keep a safe distance. Also avoid using oils on broken skin. Again, use around the area to help with healing and discomfort.  

The bottoms of feet and along the spine are very safe and effective places to put essential oils. Be mindful of your babies developmental stages and if she is putting her hands and her feet in her mouth, avoid those areas.  

 

Best Essential Oils for Babies

Roman Chamomile

Roman chamomile is gentle, safe and effective for calming, sleep, colic and teething pain. It can be diffused, or mixed with a carrier oil (see above for dilution ratios and carrier oils) and applied to bottoms of feet, along spine, or along jaw line. 

Lavender

Lavender is well known to be calming. It helps with sleep, colic, and restlessness. This essential oil can also be used for teething pain. It is really good for skin irritations like bug bites, diaper rash, burns, bumps and bruises. This essential oil can also be used for cradle cap.  

Tea Tree

Tea tree is a powerful disinfectant. It can be used for diaper rash, skin irritations, infections, and immune support. It makes a good natural disinfectant and sanitizer. It is also good for moms to use before and after changing diapers.  

Frankincense

Frankincense is a powerful essential oil and is good for almost everything. There’s a reason they brought is to baby Jesus! It helps boost immunity and keeps cells healthy. Frankincense is also great for the skin.  

Ginger

Ginger is a well known essential oil and digestive aid. It can help with gas, reflux, constipation, and nausea. Upset stomach, constipation, or excess gassiness calls for a little bit of ginger oil. Ginger is a known digestive aid and has a soothing and calming aroma that is great for diffusing or massaging into the belly with a carrier oil.

 

Essential Oil Remedies

Colic

Fennel, chamomile, ylang-ylang

Cradle Cap

Lavender, tea tree, frankincense

Cough/ Congestion

Lemon, eucalyptus, lime

Cuts and Scrapes

tea tree, frankincense, lavender, helichrysum

Earaches

Tea tree, bail, lavender

Eczema

cedarwood, neroli, yarrow

Gas

Ginger, coriander

Recipes

Diaper Rash Balm

  • 10 T fractionated coconut oil
  • 1 drop lavender oil
  • 1 drop roman chamomile 
  • Combine all ingredients and store in wide-mouth glass jar with a lid.
  • Apply to clean, dry bottom after diaper change.  

Tea Tree First Aid Spray

  • 4 oz purified water
  • 20 drops tea tree oil
  • Combine in a glass spray bottle and shake before using.
  • Spray on wounds and allow to air dry.  

Cradle Cap Moisturizer

  • 1 tsp carrier oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • Mix together in hands and rub into baby’s scalp.  

 

Final Thoughts and Considerations

Essential oils are plant compounds that come from Mother Nature. They are very safe and effective when used correctly. They have been used for thousands of years and need not be feared. They are not new-agey or trendy. More and more people are looking for natural health solutions and essential oils are gaining much more attention these days. As always, find a trusted resource for when you have questions.

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