The Wonders of Essential Oils for Babies

The Wonders of Essential Oils for Babies

There’s a reason why essential oils have been utilised in homoeopathic medicine in various cultures for centuries — it’s reliable and effective. Essential oils are extracted from aromatic plants to be used as natural remedies spanning treating burns and soothing skin, to alleviating stress and relaxing the mind. While primarily used on adults, essential oils, with proper dilution and application can be used on babies to promote sleep, calm anxiety and even alleviate colic symptoms. Essential oils are widely accessible and that’s why you should be wary and check product labels to ensure you’re purchasing pure, authentic and unadulterated essential oils. Not all essential oils are the same. Those that are tampered with alcohol can cause irritation while others with synthetic fragrances, are firstly, not essential oils, they don’t contribute any benefits and lastly, can be irritating to the skin. Most authentic essential oils are safe for children, but we have listed essential oils that are proven safe when used in moderation and diluted accordingly.

P/S: Do not apply essential oils directly onto the skin. Dilute them first with a carrier oil and never allow babies to ingest essential oils.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla or Chamaemelum nobile)

With a sweet aroma that resembles an apple, Roman chamomile is a gentle essential oil that soothes babies who have trouble sleeping (and adults too). The properties in chamomile, along with lavender, can not only reduce but also offer relief from colic symptoms. If you notice that your baby is particularly fussy, using chamomile in their room can uplift their spirits.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

It has been affirmed that lavender can convey serene and calming effects. When dealing with a fussy baby or to promote their sleep, it helps to massage them with some lavender oil. Besides that, lavender oil can also be employed to treat pesky insect bites and reduce itchiness. According to studies, this soothing oil is proven effective in reducing the symptoms of colic.

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Beneficial for adults and babies alike, tea tree oil is sought after for its intrinsic antimicrobial, antifungal and disinfectant properties. It has been touted that adding a couple drops of tea tree oil to an unscented oil can alleviate diaper rash and fungal infections. This particular essential oil tends to be strong and harsh on the skin, so it's best to avoid application on newborn up until six months old babies. For older infants, it’s suggested to patch-test on their skin first.

Suggested applications

Due to its inherently potent nature, essential oils should never be ingested internally by children or infants and shouldn’t be used in their bath to prevent accidental ingestion. should be kept out of infants’ baths to avoid accidental consumption. The applications listed below are safe and effective when adhered to proper dilution ratios.

Blend with a carrier

There are a few carrier oils that can be used to supplement essential oils and they include vegetable oil, coconut oil and sweet almond oil. Additionally, these carrier oils also lend moisturising qualities that can help to nourish the skin. Peanut oil is commonly mixed into base oils so be sure to check the ingredients list of your base oil for any potential allergens. The rule of thumb when diluting essential oils is using a ratio of 0.5 percent essential oil to base oil. Then, shake vigorously to blend. Before topical application, carry out a patch test on your baby’s arm or leg to ensure the formula is non-irritant.

Spritz

Nap and bedtime can sometimes be a challenge when your baby doesn’t want to go down. It helps to create a tranquil environment, which can be achieved by spritzing diluted essential oil in your baby’s nursery. Spray it in the air instead of on the pillows to avoid accidental ingestion.

Diffuse

Instead of using artificial scents to refresh your space, essential oils are an effective, au naturale substitute. While adults tend to gravitate towards using candle diffusers for its soothing aroma, a safer option, especially for kids and babies is water-based vaporisers. When introducing a new oil, it’s always good to test out a small batch in a vaporiser for an hour to ascertain that it does not cause any irritation for your baby.