It should come as no surprise to those that use them that essential oils are a huge factor in just about every aspect of life. And when you love what essential oils can do for you, it should come as even less of a surprise that you will want to share them with the entire family, newborns included.
Essential oils can be of great use for babies and young children, but it is essential that you use the oils in a way that is safe for them. This is critical because their systems are so sensitive early on in their development, so you don’t want to run the risk of irritation when used improperly.
Give your children a healthy start
You can't help but want to give your children a healthy start by introducing essential oils into their lives. This makes sense because as parents, we want to make sure that our children get off to a good start in life and we will do just about anything that we can to help them do so.
Part of this is turning to products that we trust. Essential oils are among the most trustworthy and safe products that there are, but that does not mean that you can carelessly use them on your infant or young child. Essential oils are strongly concentrated, so you’ll need to take the necessary precautions so your little children can enjoy all the same benefits that you do when using those essential oils.
Dilution is key
While there are certainly no steadfast rules when it comes to the dilution factor of essential oils, there are a couple of good standards that you might want to reference, especially when using those essential oils on your child. It is essential that you use a carrier oil – something like a V-6 vegetable oil complex is a good place to start – to properly dilute that essential oil. These oils are very potent and can cause massive irritation if not diluted properly.
If you plan to use essential oils on your children or infants, here are a few important dilution recommendations to keep in mind:
Ages 0-1 – Use 8 drops of carrier oil for every one drop of essential oil. If you don’t notice an adverse reaction in your child, you can try to decrease this to 7 drops of carrier oil for every drop of essential oil.
Ages 2-6 – By this stage, your children have developed tolerances and are less sensitive to, well, just about everything. You can use three drops of carrier oil for every drop of essential oil here.
Ages 7-11 – Pretty much the same idea as the previous dilution recommendation; your children have developed tolerances at this point and aren’t extremely sensitive to many things. One drop of carrier oil to each drop of essential oil should work just fine here.
Ages 12 & Up – You can skip the carrier oil at this point and just go for the full labeled concentration without having to worry about any adverse effects on your child.
General Safety Guidelines
As with just about anything, you want to take some general safety guidelines into account. Because children and their systems are so new to the world and are still developing, blindly giving them essential oils will lead to serious irritation or reactions. Take caution and use some common sense. Also, take a few of these into consideration:
Avoid using any essential oils in your baby’s bath. When children are young, they love to splash in the tub and this will increase the chances that they may swallow these essential oils or that it will come into contact with their eyes. Obviously, you would want to avoid those two things at any cost, so try to keep them out of the bath.
It is good practice to consult a physician before you use oils of any types, especially if your young one is sick. The last thing that you want to do is assume that an essential oil will make things better only to exacerbate the problem altogether.
DO NOT let your child ingest any kind of essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated and powerful and can have pretty devastating effects on young ones if they are ingested. Keep them away from your young ones at all costs.
Try to keep the air next to the crib or around play areas humidified whenever possible. You can then use the essential oils to infuse scents using something like an ultrasonic diffuser. Also, add less oil than you typically would to make sure that you don’t overwhelm your little one’s sense of smell.
Make sure to introduce these essential oils to your baby slowly and gradually. Try wearing it on your skin first to get them more accustomed to the fragrance of the essential oils. This is a great way of knowing if there will be any adverse affects to your baby.
Whenever you are using a new essential oil, make sure that you dilute it heavily first and then perform a spot test on the arm or leg of your baby. If there is no reaction, you can feel comfortable knowing that the essential oil you are using is safe and will not harm your child in any way.
What ready-made solutions are there?
Perhaps you want an easy way to implement and introduce those essential oils into your nursery. There are lines of these products that have been tested and ready to use for your infant. Things like wipes, lotions, creams for rashes and so much more that are infused with essential oils to give them all of the benefits with none of the negative effects.
All of the ingredients in these items are plant-based, which means that there are no harmful additives involved. They are meant to be gentle so that your baby never feels negative effects. Some oils that are generally known for being safe to use with children contain things like Geranium, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, and Coriander – all natural products. Whether the solutions are premade or you dilute the oils yourself, your child will finally be able to benefit from oils the same way you do.