Essential oils and babies

When starting to use essential oils at home it is important to check if there would be negative effects on any family members, especially with young children, where caution should be taken with most things we expose them to as parents.

Make sure you choose organic, pure and unadulterated essential oils. This would ensure the oils you’re about to use have no unnecessary additives or alcohol in them, and also ensures that you are getting the full benefit of the plants and nature, without the use of any harmful pesticide and chemicals. 

According to the research done up to this point, most oils are found to be safe to use with children under 2 years of age. However, there are a few occasions where it’s best to stay away from particular oils. As always, If you notice any negative effects, terminate the use of the oil immediately and seek medical attention.

Young children could be very sensitive when exposed to concentrated substances. Essential oils are botanical oils, extracted from plants in the purest form possible, and often are too concentrated and harsh to be used on the naked skin. With adults, it is recommended to use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oils before applying to your skin, if used topically. With babies and infants, essential oils should never be applied undiluted to the skin. 

If your baby is under 3 months old, it is best to avoid essential oils altogether, as the research that has been done as of yet is limited, therefore the possible side effects are not too well known.

Make sure to store oils out of babies reach, never let them ingest the oils as they could be toxic to the baby. If in doubt about a certain oil, it is vital to research the oil’s properties before use/purchase.

Best oils to use with babies

Essential Oils have been used for centuries to help people of all ages for a variety of issues. Mothers have found essential oils especially helpful too, with encouraging sleep, calming anxiety, and in some cases even relieving symptoms of colic. 

Good carrier oils for diluting, when it comes to babies, are almond oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil or grapeseed oil. Olive oil is to be avoided as it is known to damage the skin barrier and could lead to the development of skin conditions in the future.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil could help treat pain in babies, diluted and massaged on the baby could reduce colic symptoms. One study found that newborns who smelled lavender while having a heel prick test experienced less pain and a lower heart rate than those in a control group.

Chamomile Essential Oil

A common cure used for sleep problems and anxiety for both adults and infants.

Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

Used to relieve stress and anxiety, Ylang Ylang has been found to help with depression and high blood pressure and even has anti-anti-inflammatory properties.

Oils to avoid with babies under 3

Some oils are known to be potentially toxic to babies so they are best to be avoided at this early age.

  • Birch
  • Wintergreen
  • Eucalyptus Globulus
  • Peppermint

Oils to avoid during pregnancy

There is a general lack of clear information regarding the toxicity of essential oils during pregnancy at this point. However, there are some oils which are found to affect pregnant women negatively and it’s best to stay away. In the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, experts suggest avoiding essential oils altogether, due to a small risk of causing uterine contractions that may have an adverse effect on the baby.

  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Citronella
  • Cinnamon
  • Bay
  • Cumin
  • Clove
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon verbena
  • Aniseed
  • Birch
  • Camphor
  • Basil
  • Clary sage
  • Parsley Seed
  • Tarragon
  • Wormwood
  • Wintergreen
  • Manuka
  • Jasmine
  • Myrrh
  • Rosemary

Safe to use during pregnancy

The following properly diluted essential oils appear to be safe for use during pregnancy:

  • Benzoin
  • Bergamot
  • Black Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Chamomile (German & Roman)
  • Cypress
  • Clary Sage
  • Coriander
  • Eucalyptus Radiata
  • Frankincense
  • Fir Needle
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Helichrysum
  • Holy Basil
  • Juniper Berry
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Neroli
  • Sweet Orange
  • Pine
  • Petitgrain
  • Patchouli
  • Peppermint
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Tangerine
  • Tea Tree
  • Turmeric
  • Ylang-ylang.

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. Readers are cautioned to rely on their own personal judgment about their individual circumstances and act accordingly. Always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional generally and especially with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or pregnant. 

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