Theresa is the author of a book on essential oils and has been an advocate for alternative health therapies for 10 years.
Aromatherapy for Babies/Infants
Essential oils are generally used by adults for the treatment of various ailments in aromatherapy. Even though they are considered safe, they often have to go through a dilution process wherein they're combined with a carrier oil to reduce the level of concentration.
Therefore, a deeper level of safety measures must be taken when using essential oils on babies due to their highly sensitive skin. Knowledge of the safest essential oils to use on your baby is important in ensuring that they only get benefits from the oil without any contra-indications.
What Oils Are Safe?
Like aromatherapy itself, the use of essential oils for treating ailments in babies and other similar conditions has had a long history. Therefore, there are select choices when it comes to the most reliable oils to use on babies without harming their skin.
Before discussing the possible choices of essential oils that you can use on your baby, it is important to begin by identifying what it is about them that makes them ideal for your baby. Better yet, you can identify factors to determine the safety of a particular type of essential oil when it comes to infant use, in case you cannot access the traditional oils used in babies.
Important Reminders When Choosing Oils
Make sure it is pure and natural with no synthetic substances included.
- Choose essential oils that contain therapeutic properties over fragrance oils.
- Therapeutic grade essential oils provide optimum healing benefits.
- Opt for essential oils extracted from organically grown plant materials.
Jojoba oil acts as a natural emollient, which makes it suitable for your baby's delicate skin. If you were to examine most products manufactured for use on baby skin, it often contains the natural ingredient jojoba oil. This particular property makes jojoba oil effective in treating skin rashes on babies and for general skin care treatment. Jojoba oil is gentle enough for you to directly apply a few drops of the oil onto the skin affected by rashes.
Meanwhile, nursing mothers tend to develop cracking on their nipples. A great solution for that would be to apply a few drops of jojoba oil into the nipples, which is safe for your baby even when they use it later on.
Lavender oil possesses a very distinctive yet soothing scent that has almost been used to represent aromatherapy itself. Although effective, its scent is mild and delicate enough so as not to cause irritation or adverse reactions on your baby when used. This is even the most recommended type of oil to be used on babies with sleeping disorders.
The most common application for lavender oil on babies is through an aromatherapy bath. Whether it is in the morning or pre-bedtime bath, a few drops of lavender oil added to the bathwater should be enough to bring about rejuvenation. Make sure to add carrier oil into the mixture to further protect your baby.
Another popular application for lavender oil is inhalation. It is very simple to use as you simply have to add a few drops of oil to the baby's pillow.
Other Beneficial Oils for Babies
This particular oil is one of only a few suggested for regular use on babies as it is beneficial for the skin. In the process, you are able to help them prevent a wide range of skin conditions. There are two possible methods of application for this type of oil: massage and bath.
This is a very effective oil in pain relief for children, especially those experienced by babies going through the teething phase. You can use it as a massage blend, compress, or bath.
Aside from cooking, rosemary oil is also useful for babies in improving the circulatory and digestive system, improved sleeping habits, and general skin care.
Choosing Oil According to Baby's Age
Age is another crucial determiner of the type of essential oil you use on your baby. Since different types of oils have different natural chemical concentrations, you have to do that extra amount of research to choose one that is safest for your baby.
Some examples of essential oils that suit different age ranges for babies include:
- For two months and below: Essential oil choices include German or Roman chamomile, dill, yarrow, and lavender.
- For two to six months: Essential oil choices include neroli, coriander, and mandarin.
- For six to 12 months: Essential oil choices include tea tree, grapefruit, aniseed, and calendula.
Additional Safety Tips
To avoid complications or contra-indications from using essential oils on your baby, be advised of the following safety measures:
- Always consult your pediatrician or healthcare professional to see if your child has any allergies to a specific type of oil.
- If you are buying oils from the market or health shops, make sure to read the labels carefully. Ask questions from the seller if in doubt to ensure the authenticity of the oil.
- Avoid essential oils that provide a warning that they are not to be used directly on the skin or internally.
- If you have used essential oils before and are trying to buy a new one, scrutinize its smell. Is it more strong than the previous one? Take note of subtle changes in the aroma or scent, as it can produce a large impact on your baby when used.
Administering Oils on Babies
The choice of essential oils to use on your baby is only one part of ensuring their safety while using aromatherapy. You also need to properly administer the oil such that they get the most of the benefits. In the end, it will benefit you both as your baby finds relief from any form of pain or condition while they get back to being healthy as well.
- Topical Use: This method of aromatherapy application on babies is ideal if they are suffering from itchy skin or rashes, especially those caused by using a diaper. The use of essential oil directly on the skin will help dry up the rashes and prevent bacteria formation.
- Compress: This method is typically used on teething babies who suffer from severe pain. Using a compress bag, add a squeeze of chamomile tea with ice cubes and rub it against the baby's gums.
- Bath: A soothing bath using essential oils with a relaxing fragrance will help your child who is suffering from a lack of sleep. You can do this before going to bed such that the baby will feel more relaxed, and the scent of the essential oil will induce sleep.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.