Essential Oil for Babies and Children
Essential oils are great for people of all ages, but when using essential oil for babies and children, special precautions should be observed. Babies and children have an especially sensitive sense of smell. Therapeutic essential oils are very potent and should not be administered around children’s face/nose.
It takes only six weeks for babies to recognize their mother’s scent and distinguish between their mother’s and someone else’s undershirt. Fragrance may be the first secret love bond of life, connecting mother and child in a wonderful way.
The value of aromatherapy essential and carrier oils, combined with massage, is enormous. If the correct oils are used in their correct dosage, the benefits are endless as there are no side effects, only advantages. Children respond very well to aromatherapy and enjoy the sweet fragrances as much as adults do.
If children are hyperactive after attending a birthday party and having loaded themselves with sugar, lavender and other balancing oils which have a calming effect can soothe them. Coughs, colds and runny noses can quickly be treated with the essential oils to prevent further spread of respiratory infections. Eczema, asthma, abdominal cramps and other conditions respond well to the essential oils.
Recommended Essential Oils and Dosages for Infants, Toddlers and Older Children:
Guidelines for Essential oils Suitable for Children and Number of Drops Per age, per ounce of carrier oil for massage or topical application:
- Newborn…..1-2 drops per Ounce of Carrier – Roman Chamomile, German Chamomile, Cape Chamomile, Lavender, Mandarin, Blue Yarrow, Vanilla, Helichrysum Italicum, Frankincense
- 2-6 Months…..1-3 drops per Ounce of Carrier – All of Above plus Mountain Juniper, Neroli, Tea Tree, Manuka, Geranium, Rose Otto, Sandalwood, Palo Santo
- 6-12 Months….1-4 drops per Ounce of Carrier- All of above plus Palmarosa, Niaouli, Cardamom, Orange, Bergamot (not before going in sun)
- 1-5 Years….5-8 drops per Ounce of Carrier – All of above plus Thyme, Ginger, Lemon, Grapefruit, Ravensara, Coriander, Helichrysum,
- 6-8 Years…5-10 drops per Ounce of Carrier – All of the above plus Marjoriam, Eucalyptus Citriodora, Pine, Myrrh, Peppermint, Spearmint Spikenard, Fennel
- 9-11 Years….5-12 drops per Ounce of Carrier – All of the above plus Cypress, Melissa, Elemi, Ylang Ylang
There are many synthetic oils on the market. Do not use synthetic oils on babies, children or any other person.
Children benefit therapeutically from essential oils used in their baths, but it is necessary to exercise caution when using essential oils. It is important not to exceed the recommended drops and to add essential oil to a handful of crystal salt, or to 1 oz fatty liquid such as light cream, whole milk or carrier oil before adding to the bath. Never use undiluted essential oils in a child’s bath. The following table is a guideline:
Drops for a Bath –
Essential Oil drops per age:
- Children age 1-2 years: 1 drop
- Children age 3-4 years:2 drops
- Children age 5-6 years:3 drops
- Children age 7-12 years: 4 drops
- Children age 13 -16 years: 6 drops
- Youth age 17 – 18 years: 6 drops
- Youth age 18+ years: 6-8 drops
Some Essential Oil that can be used as Remedies…Formulate in accordance with drops per age and age appropriate oils:
|Refreshing: Mandarin, Geranium, Mountain Juniper
Sprains & Bruises: Helichrysum Italicum
Cuts, Scrapes and Pain in General: Helichrysum Italicum *Note: for anything that requires skin, muscle or tendon repair, Helichrysum Italicum is the most effective oil.
Important Points to Remember:
Do not apply essential oils around baby / toddler’s face/nose. It is best to apply to bottoms of feet. There is always a possibility that they may rub them in their eyes or get some on their hands and put them in their mouth. Essential oils are powerful but must always be used with caution.
Never use undiluted essential oils. Exceptions are made with lavender and or minor burns, cuts, stings, etc.
Never administer oils orally.
Never apply oils internally.
Essential oils used in a bath should be diluted in milk, good crystal salt or carrier oil. Never use skin irritant oils undiluted.
Before using an essential oil, check the safety of the oil and the recommended drops.
- If you are diffusing, make sure the concentration is not very high (a lot of essential oil in the diffuser, in a small and closed space). Other kinds of inhalation should be generally safe.
- Two essential oils, eucalyptus and peppermint, pose a risk when inhaled by small children. These oils apparently stimulate the cold receptors in the lungs, and they can dangerously slow breathing in small kids.
Do no leave children in a room with doors closed with essential oils in a diffuser or vaporizer.
Keep undiluted, as well as diluted essential oils out of children’s reach.
Only use “child-friendly’ essential oils.
Do not allow children to pour essential oils into their baths, or any other treatment variation unless closely supervised, as they may exceed the limit of the drops allowed.
References: Aromatherapy for Natural Health and Beauty by Cecilia Salvesen