It’s all too easy to delve deep into essential oils and their amazing healing properties and feel a bit overwhelmed. There’s just so many to choose from and so many things that each one can do that it can be really hard to narrow down the best oils for your needs.
Throw your baby’s needs into the mix and you might be on your way to a possible meltdown.
Which essential oils are best for fevers or colic?
Which oils are appropriate for my child’s age group?
What dilution is safe for my baby?
All these questions and many more are common amongst parents who wish to support their young family’s health with natural alternatives like essential oils.
That’s why I came up with a very simple list of some of the most common situations a parent may come across while caring for their baby and some simple essential oils to use for those needs.
12 Ways to Use Essential Oils for Babies
Since a baby’s skin is so sensitive and delicate, it’s super important to first and foremost properly dilute any essential oil before applying. I know you can’t wait to help encourage restful sleep, calm anxiety, and soothe away your baby’s tummy troubles, but you have to become aware of what’s most comfortable and safe to use on a baby’s delicate skin.
The safest way to use (age appropriate) essential oils for babies is to go with 1 drop of essential oil for every 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. This will give you roughly a 0.35% dilution that is both safe and comfortable for your child.
Keep in mind that not all essential oils are safe to use on babies, especially hot oils like clove, cinnamon, and oregano.
You can read more about which essential oils are safe for different age groups here.
Commonly Recommended Essential Oils for Babies
• Dill (3 months +) – calming and soothes digestive upset
• German chamomile (3 months +) – traditionally used to treat insomnia, soothe anxiety, and negate fussy emotions
• Grapefruit (6 months +)
• Lavender (3 months +) – calming and sedative. Encourages sleep and relaxation
• Lemon (6 months +) – best known for its uplifting energy
• Mandarin (6 months +) – uplifting for the mood and encourages restful sleep
• Neroli (6 months +) – stabilizes emotions and uplifts. Makes a great digestive tonic.
• Orange (6 months +) – A super relaxing oil. Good for restful sleep and a happy mood.
• Petitgrain (6 months +) – fights insomnia and anxiety. Anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic
• Roman chamomile (3 months +) – calms fussiness and encourages sleep
• Tangerine (6 months +) – a digestive aid, anti-spasmodic, relaxing
• Tea tree (6 months +) – antibacterial, anti-microbial, and disinfectant. Clear mucus.
• Yarrow (3 months +) – anti-inflammatory and balances feelings of confusion. Very grounding and reassuring.
For most of the simple recipes below, you can swap out oils with others in the list above depending on what you have on hand.
Most babies will most certainly at one time or another experience intestinal discomfort or tummy troubles. You can either gently massage your baby’s abdomen in clockwise motion with the following mixture or run a bath as described below.
An effective blend for such an occasion includes:
• 1 drop roman chamomile
• 1 drop sweet orange
• 2 tsp of carrier oil or baby bubble bath solution
Mix the EOs in to carrier oil or bubble bath and add to running bath water before bathing your baby.
Colds and Flu
For times where you’re either trying to protect your baby from a cold that’s circulating or are helping them fight one off, use these simple blends to keep the air fresh while also cutting the duration of a cold.
• 2 drops tea tree
• 2 drops lemon
• 2 from lavender
• A diffuser
Add the essential oils to a diffuser and diffuse in the baby’s room during a cold or flu or in the living area to help keep germs at bay.
• 1 drop tea tree, lemon, or lavender
• 2 TB carrier oil
Mix the EOs with the carrier oil and use a small amount of the mixture to massage the chest, back, and abdomen 2-3 times daily.
Babies will often experience colic, gassiness, and other digestive troubles. Use a simple formula of 1 drop lavender mixed into 1TB of carrier oil and gently massage to abdomen in a clockwise motion after feeding or during times of fussiness.
A simple mix of 1 drop lavender and 1 drop tea tree in the diffuser is perfect for opening up congested sinuses and mucus-y lungs during allergies or cold and flu.
Whether your baby has a cold or flu with a dry or mucus-y cough, applying a dilution of 1 drop lavender EO in 1TB of carrier oil and applying some over the back and chest is an excellent way to help soothe the spasms of a cough.
If your baby develops crusty or oily patches on their scalp, chances are it may be a case of cradle cap. The good news is, cradle cap is very easy to treat naturally with the following recipe:
• 1 drop tea tree
• 1 drop lemon
• 1 drop geranium (this oil wasn’t on the above list, but it’s amazing for treating cradle cap! Geranium is for children 6 months +)
• 2 TB carrier oil
Add the essential oils to the carrier oil and mix well. Take a small amount and massage it into the affected areas on the scalp twice daily until symptoms are clear. You should then be able to comb away the build-up easily after a few treatments.
While crying is completely normal for babies, sometimes emotional upset can be caused by the need for restful sleep or the sense of feeling calm, safe, and secure. For soothing babies and instilling a sense of peace, add a single drop of lavender or roman chamomile to a tissue and gently waft the scent or the oil towards your baby or hold the tissue near enough for the baby to breathe in the EO’s comforting scent for a few breaths.
You can also diffuse 2 drops of either oil for 20-30 minutes as you comfort your baby.
To help reduce the discomfort and severity of diaper rash it’s important to not only change diapers often, but to also make sure the area is completely dry before putting a new diaper on your baby.
Most of the time a diaper rash will heal itself, but for times where you’re worried about the discomfort a diaper rash may be causing your child, try the following blend to help soothe irritation and redness.
• 1 drop lavender
• 1 drops German chamomile
• A splash of milk or 1TB of ground oatmeal (you can use a coffee grinder to do this)
In a small container, add the milk and essential oils and shake well to mix. Dump the mixture into running bath water and allow your baby to soak for 10-15 minutes or during regular bathing.
You can also do this by adding the essential oils to 1TB of ground oatmeal and blending it well with a fork. Add the powder to running bath water and agitate the solution to mix well.
Loose stool can be a common occurrence in babies and small children, so it’s best to know how to soothe their digestive tract when diarrhea strikes.
Aside from ensuring your baby’s hydration levels, mix up a quick solution of 1 drop roman chamomile with 1TB of carrier oil. Take a small amount (2-3 drops of mixture) on your fingers and massage it clockwise over your baby’s abdomen to help soothe discomfort.
Fever can be a scary thing for parents especially when your child is so young. To help regulate and soothe a fever, simply mix 1 drop of lavender essential oil in 1 TB of carrier oil. Apply a few drops of this mixture to the bottoms of the feet and massage it in. Put some socks on your baby and apply any residual oil mixture from your hands behind the ears and on the back of the neck.
Jaundice is caused when bilirubin builds up and cannot be filtered by the liver fast enough. This results in a yellowed cast to the skin. Jaundice can be quite common in infants whose livers are young and may not be fully developed.
If your baby has developed jaundice, you can help support you baby’s liver and detox processes by mixing 1 drop of geranium essential oil in 1TB of carrier oil. Apply a few drops of this solution over the liver and on the bottoms of the feet (be sure to put socks on the feet after).
Avoid direct sunlight for 30 minutes before and after treatment.
The time most parents dread is when baby teeth start coming in. Not only is the sensation undoubtedly uncomfortable, the teething process can leave your baby feeling especially cranky and inconsolable.
To help soothe pain and irritation, mix 1 drop of roman chamomile with 1TB of carrier oil. Use one drop of this mixture to trace the jawline all the way up to the temples as needed.
What have been your favorite essential oil recipe for babies? Please share in the comments below!
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Nina Garde says
What carrier oil do you recommend is best for baby’s skin?
Sweet almond is quite gentle 🙂