Aromatherapy is now popular in-home use to promote wellness. Thanks to the wide availability of essential oils in the market. Many are amazed to experience the wonderful effects of oils in the human body. Mothers are thinking of using these oils on their babies. But are they safe for the little ones?

Essential oils are plant extract which are used to relieve some health conditions. Such as: pain, stress, insomnia, and allergies to name a few. Because they are 100% natural, it is easy to speculate that they are safe to use. However, these oils are not entirely safe especially for children and infants’ sensitive systems.

In fact, essential oils have many adverse effects when used improperly. This includes:  poisoning, skin irritation, unconsciousness, and seizures. Using oils should be handled with strict safety measures as they can be toxic.  

According to American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, all essential oils should not be use on babies below 3 months old. This is because they have sensitive skin and their immune, respiratory, and nervous systems are still developing. Essential oils can affect their growth negatively. In pre-mature cases, the plant extracts should not be given until they are at least 3 months after their original projected due date.

It is important to introduce essential oil on babies slowly to lessen possible adverse reactions. You can start by wearing the oil on your clothes or skin. It is a good practice to do a patch test when using an oil for the first time to check for irritations or allergies. Use one oil at a time to easily spot which oil is causing adverse effect on your baby. Reactions usually show 30 minutes after application. However, it is safer to wait for 24 hours before using the tested oil in your preferred method.  

Do not use pure essential oils on your baby. Always dilute them with water or a carrier oil depending on the method of application you are using. Dilute with water when using a diffuser or with a carrier oil when applying on skin. Essential oils are highly concentrated extract from plants and work up to the cellular level of the body. They can be harmful to the body when used excessively.

The dilution for babies is greater than adults. The recommended dilution ratio for babies is 0.5 to 1% while adult is 2.5 to 10% pure oil to additive. You can use essential oils for babies by diffusing, baby massage, spritzing, or rubbing on skin. Do not give oil orally as it can cause poisoning. Avoid using oils in baby’s bath as it won’t merge with water. The formed substance can be ingested or come in contact with the eyes.  

Each essential oil has different properties. Not all are safe to use on or around babies. Make sure to only use safe varieties of essential oils for babies. Some of the most popular oils that are safe for infants are:

  • Lavender – For sleeplessness, congestion, cough, cold, allergies, and diaper rash
  • Chamomile – For diarrhea, gas, and digestive discomfort
  • Citruses like Lemon and Tangerine – For Congestion and cough
  • Sweet Orange – Also for sleeplessness and upset stomach
  • Copaiba – Good remedy for teething

If you are not sure about the safety of essential oil, it is best to consult a certified aromatherapist. It is also good to ask for a medical practitioner’s advice when using oils during pregnancy or on babies. The combined expertise will help you make an informed decision for your child.

Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore is a mother of two. She likes writing articles about health, fitness, family, motherhood, and households. You can find some of her work at An appliance website that offers premium electric kettles which guarantee safety for the whole family.