I’m a huge fan of essential oils – and essential oils for baby are lifesavers! To be honest, until about a year ago, I thought they were a bunch of malarkey. But after doing some research and hearing success stories from trusted friends, I decided to give them a try for my family. And I’m so glad I did! They’re now a treasured part of our daily routine.
If you’re thinking of trying essential oils for your baby, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Always buy 100% pure essential oils. To achieve the health benefits listed below, make sure they’re not diluted or a ‘perfume oil’ (like the ones they sell at bath and body stores).
- Buy from reputable sellers. Be careful who you buy from! Some online sellers have been known to empty out bottles, refill with diluted oils and reseal.
- Never use undiluted oil on your baby’s skin! Pure essential oils can be pretty potent, and are best used either diluted with a carrier oil or evaporated using a diffuser.
- Get a cold air diffuser. Some diffusers use heat to help evaporate the oil, however these can become dangerous if tipped or left unattended.
- Don’t confuse oil diffusers with humidifiers! I used to envision diffusing oils in one of those big ugly clinical-looking humidifiers, but there are tons of aesthetically pleasing options out there.
Important: Not all essential oils are proven safe for babies. Here’s a great listwhich outlines all the safe and potentially unsafe oils for kids and infants.
If you’re only going to invest in one essential oil, I would recommend lavender. It seems to have a calming effect on babies, and is great for diffusing as part of a bedtime routine. Some naturopaths also recommend using lavender oil as a treatment for cradle cap: mix olive oil with a few drops of lavender oil, and then rub gently into scalp. Leave overnight.
- German Chamomile
There’s a reason why ‘Sleepy Time’ teas usually contain chamomile! Chamomile can help reduce anxiety and stress, so can be a great oil to add to a warm, relaxing bath or to use (diluted) as part of a bedtime massage.
Thieves oil is a blend of clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus that can be used as an antibacterial agent in your home. It’s especially useful during cold and flu season; use it to wipe down diaper changing tables or other surfaces that are prone to collecting bacteria.
The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests using lemon balm or lavender oil in a warm bath to help ease the symptoms of infantile colic. While there is no known cure for colic (in fact, we still don’t even know exactly what causes it), warm baths can certainly help distract and calm your fussy baby.
Taken from the flowers and leaves of the plant, geranium oil is said to act as an antioxidant and may have sedative properties. It is also said to help ease tension and release negative emotions. Another oil to try during bouts of colic or teething!
This is one we use and LOVE! Frankincense oil has been known to help calm a croupy cough and decrease nasal congestion. A good all-around oil to diffuse during cold season.
Derived from the tree of the same name, this oil may help reduce croupy coughs and may have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. May also be used (diluted) to ease discomfort for simple scratches or mild bug bites.
- Tea Tree
If you’re looking for a natural alternative to store bought diaper creams, there are many recipes online for natural creams you can make yourself using tea tree or ‘melaleuca’ oil. Some experts suggest only using tea tree oil for babies older than 6 months of age, so ask your naturopath just to be safe.
According to some research, the scent of jasmine can be as calming as sleeping pills and relaxants (without all the nasty side effects!). Diffusing jasmine oil at night may help calm and soothe your baby into a peaceful night’s rest (hey, a girl can dream, right?!).
Please note: This post is not intended as medical advice. Please do your own research before using any essential oils with your baby.
Credit: Smart Mom