If you have spent any time on this website you will have seen a number of notations advising that pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers should avoid using essential oils. While this is true, there are a number of oils that are safe for use during pregnancy and nursing. In addition, there are some that are considered safe for use with babies.
Before we look at what essential oils can be used with babies and what conditions they are effective in treating, we caution you to be extremely careful when using essential oils on babies and infants. If you have doubts, the best thing to do is to avoid using them.
Chamomile, lavender, yarrow and dill essential oils are considered safe for use with infants from newborn to two months of age according to the Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. For babies aged two to six months of age the recommendations are chamomile, lavender, yarrow, dill, mandarin and neroli. For babies between the ages of six and twelve months the essential oil list includes chamomile, lavender, yarrow, dill, mandarin, neroli, calendula, grapefruit and tea tree.
To treat diaper rash add one drop each of chamomile and lavender essential oils to one pint of warm water. Keep this mixture stored in a clean jar and when required, dip a cotton ball into the jar and apply directly to the baby’s bottom.
To combat colic you can diffuse one drop of lavender and two drops of peppermint essential oils in an oil burner filled with water and to remedy severe colic blend one drop of dill essential oil with one tablespoon of sweet almond carrier oil. This blend can be applied as a massage gently rubbed on baby’s stomach and back.
To sooth and calm your baby apply one drop of either lavender or chamomile essential oils to a cotton ball and place inside your shirt. Hold your baby and gently rock them to where they can smell the cotton ball which will assist in comforting them.
There are a number of precautions associated with the use of essential oils with babies. As essential oils are strong compounds and babies are sensitive it is important to never apply undiluted oil nor have them near a baby’s face to avoid any possible irritation. You should also avoid using undiluted essential oils in a diffuser as the scent produced will be too strong nor should these products be ingested. The number of drops used is extremely important due to the potency of essential oils. Do not use more than the suggested number of drops noted in this article to avoid complications.
There are two effective methods of use when treating babies with essential oils. Probably the easiest way is to diffuse the oil, always blended with a carrier oil, with a diffuser or oil burner so tiny oil particles are dispersed through the air for inhalation. Another effective method is the blending of essential oils with a carrier oil and applied as a massage for quick penetration through skin.