The popularity of essential oils is growing fast in recent years. This is because of their alluring scent, promise to heal, and promotion of natural wellness. Over the years, people have learned the harmful effects of synthetic substances in human body. That is why many are now eager to use natural products when it comes to health. Essential oils can be beneficial for children and babies, but it is important to use them safely.  

All essential oils can be harmful when used wrongly. Excessive or inappropriate application of them can cause serious health problems. Poisoning, skin irritation, breathing problems, and liver failure are some of the dangerous effects of essential oils when not used properly. Therefore, using these oils should be done with extra care especially for babies.

Do not use essential oils on babies under three months old. This is the most important thing to bear in mind about these oils. Essentials oils are beneficial for the little ones but are too strong for newborns. Their bodies are still developing and very sensitive. The highly concentrated extracts from plants, although natural, may caused alarming effects on them.

The second precaution about essential oils is not to give them orally to babies. It is never safe for infants to ingest these potent oils. Even when diluted. They can be poisonous. In fact, the cases of poisoning caused by essential oils are increasing each year. When ingested, the strong smell of these oils may cause choking which may send the oil into the airways or lungs. This can cause difficulty in breathing or pneumonia to your infant. 

Store your essential oils in a locked container or out of reach from children area. Babies like to put everything in their mouth. The leaked or even the dried oil in the bottle is harmful enough for them.

Dilution ratio is crucial when using essential oils for the little ones. These highly concentrated extracts from plants affect up to the cellular level of the body. They can be harmful when use in excessive amount. The recommended dilution ratio for infants is 0.5 or 1 drop of essential oil to 9.5 or 9 drops of carrier oil for skin application. For aromatherapy via diffuser, mix 1% essential oil to 99% water. Use a moisturizing carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil to nourish your baby’s skin and avoid irritation.

Introduce essential oils to your infant slowly. Start by wearing the oils on your skin to help him/her get used to the fragrance. Always do a patch test every time you use a new variety of essential oil in your baby. Patch test is done by putting little amount of diluted essential oil on skin to see if there is any reaction. This prevents possible adverse effects on your little one.

Avoid using essential oils in baths. Oils do not merge with water. They just float. Therefore, it increases the risk of oil ingestion or coming in contact with the infant’s eyes. The concentrated form can also irritate the skin. The safe methods to use essential oils for the little ones are via diffuser, baby massage, or rubbing them on affected area.

Essential oils are great for the little ones. They help improve sleep, reduce colic symptoms, ease teething discomfort, and relieve upset stomach. However, there are essential oils that are not safe for babies. Such as: Basil, Clove Bud, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Oregano, Rosemary, Peppermint, and many more. Please consult an aromatherapist if you are skeptical whether an oil is safe for your baby.

Here are essential oils that are safe to use for infants:

  • Lavender – This gentle oil helps baby sleep, relieve pain including pain caused by teething and colic, and soothe insect bites. You can use it by baby massage, diffuser, or applying them on jawlines for teething.
  • Citrus oils – Any citrus oils such as tangerine, orange, and lemon are great for bedtime diffuser. They help improve sleep as they have a calming effect.
  • Copaiba – has a comforting effect that help ease teething discomfort. Simply dilute it with coconut oil and apply on your baby’s jawline.
  • Ylang Ylang – A special oil that helps nourish baby’s skin. Can be use for rashes.
  • Roman Chamomile – a wonderful oil for sleep and calming vibes. Like lavender, it is great to use in a diffuser and baby massage.
Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore is essential oil user for more than 10 years. It helps her relax, improve her sleep, and have focus especially when writing for An appliance website that offers wide selection of electric kettles.