Essential Oils for Babies and Infants

Updated on November 13, 2017
TheresaAnn profile image

I have been an active advocate of alternative health therapies for 10 years, and I am the author of a book on essential oils.

Essential Oils for Babies and Infants

Aromatherapy and its use of essential oils has garnered major popularity among all age groups because of its effectiveness in treating various kind of ailments and allowing several choices of application methods. Among the common usage of essential oils include baths, teas, massage oils, inhalants, and diffusers, among others.

Another reason for its popularity is accredited to the fact that it is a safer form of treatment as compared to synthetically produced drugs that contain a lot of harmful chemicals. A branch of aromatherapy called baby aromatherapy addresses this issue of whether essential oils are safe to use, even for babies and toddlers. Read on to find out more information.

Baby Massage Techniques

Safety of Using Essential Oils

Whenever introducing foreign substances into the body, even with essential oils, it is always best to take a certain amount of precaution to protect your own safety. This requires a bigger emphasis when dealing with essential oils on babies. Their skin is very sensitive that even essential oils that are considered to be gentle and natural can bring about harm.

Here are some pointers that you need to keep in mind when using essential oils on your baby:

  • Always dilute the essential oil before using it on your baby. One way to do this is by adding carrier oil, especially if you intend to use the oil in massage.
  • Take note of proper dosage when using the oil. A tiny difference in the formula you use can be hazardous to the baby's sensitive skin (check for proper dilution per the supplier).
  • Never put essential oil near the mouth, eyes, or any other sensitive areas.
  • If possible, wait until the baby is two weeks old before you start using essential oils on them. The suggested method to use for applying essential oil is during bathtime.

Choosing Essential Oils to Use on Babies

The method of application is only secondary in importance when using essential oils for babies. The most important consideration you have to make concerns the type of essential oil you use. It is important that parents understand the needs of their babies and use that information when making their choice. Hence, you can perform a little research on what qualities are present in each type of essential oil to address the child's condition.

Below are factors to look into:

  • It must be pure and natural. To get the best quality oils that offer optimum therapeutic benefits, make sure the oil you are using does not contain synthetic or chemical substances.
  • Opt for essential oils, not fragrances. There are several types of oils manufactured as perfume or for their scents. If you want to experience the healing properties of the essential oils, then make sure you are not buying the scent oils.
  • Price can be an indicator of quality. Natural and therapeutic grade oils go through an intricate process of extraction, therefore, they are often more expensive than other types of oils. Hence, if you find a product in the market that claims to be 100% pure and natural but comes with a cheap price tag, then you might want to reconsider before buying.
  • Oils that come from organically grown plant sources. The quality of the oil begins with the growing and harvesting methods. This will help ensure that the extracted oil from the plant contains no chemical residues.

Baby Massage

Popular Essential Oils Used on Babies and Infants

The use of essential oils for treatment, for adults, and children alike, dates back to several centuries. Hence, there are some old staples and reliable choices when it comes to essential oils for use on babies that you can adapt as well.

Lavender Oil

This type of oil is ideal when introducing your baby into aromatherapy for it comes with a soothing and calming scent. Hence, it does not irritate your baby as compared to some other types of essential oils that emit a strong aroma. In fact, lavender oil is suggested by aromatherapists for babies who are suffering from sleeping disorders, regardless of the reason.

There are two methods of using lavender essential oil to treat sleeping disorders in babies. First, you can make an inhalant by adding at least a couple of drops of lavender oil into the baby's pillow proper to bedtime. The aromatic essences will be absorbed by the cotton and it will be inhaled by the baby as s/he sleeps during the night. The scent will produce a calming sensation for improved sleep at night.

Next, you can add a few drops of lavender oil into the baby's bath. As with any method of topical use, you have to dilute it with your chosen carrier oil to protect the baby's skin.

Jojoba Oil

For your child's skin care, jojoba oil is an ideal type of essential oil to use. In fact, if you are to examine several baby skin care products, jojoba oil is often among its ingredients for the wonderful effects it produces on the skin while being gentle enough to not cause any harm.

Aside from contributing to a healthier skin for your baby, jojoba oil can also be used to treat diaper rashes. Simply rub a few drops of jojoba oil into the affected area to provide relief.

Some More Popular Essential Oils for Babies and Infants

Chamomile Oil

A method of application for chamomile oils in babies is in a massage blend. Even adults find the fragrances emitted by chamomile essential oils to be effective . . . and yet, it is safe and gentle enough for babies as well. You can also add chamomile essential oil in the baby's bath to produce the same calming and soothing effect.

Almond Oil

Almond oil is another popular choice of oil to use on babies. In fact, aromatherapists agree that it is good for babies to use on a regular basis, especially for skin care. This will help prevent certain skin conditions or other forms of irritation.

For your baby to experience its benefits, the ideal method of application would be in the form of a massage prior to taking a bath. Check with a healthcare professional before using if your child has preexisting allergies.

Rosemary Oil

This type of herb is popularly used for cooking but its oil is also useful for babies. Like almond oil, it is safe enough to use as a daily massage oil. It can provide two benefits for your baby: maintenance of healthier looking skin and prevention of skin diseases. Other benefits include improved digestive and circulatory system functions, improved eating habits, and treatment for sleeping disorders in babies.

Questions & Answers

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    • OTmommy profile image

      OTmommy 

      8 years ago from Southern USA

      Very thorough! Although I think oils add to the process of a massage, be careful because babies are constantly mouthing their hands or forearms so an edible oil is the best choice.

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