Many home remedies for common ailments rely on essential oils. Essential oils are powerful agents for health and well-being, and can work to support a range of physical and emotional functions. Used correctly, you can rely on essential oils to help your baby grow up big, strong, healthy, and happy. However, most essential oils aren’t safe to be used on babies under 6 months of age, even if heavily diluted.
The good news is that there are 6 essential oils that actually are safe to use on little babies. Although you don’t necessarily need to run out and collect them all, it’s good to know what your options are. Six months doesn’t seem like a long time until you become a parent, and then it seems like forever.
Remember to always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil (such as jojoba or grapeseed oil) before using on baby. Never put an undiluted oil near baby’s face or in a diffuser. Keep in mind that babies are tiny, and therefore they only need a fraction of the amount of oil you would use on yourself.
Use this list to help you remember which oils are safe and to learn about how they can help even the tiniest babe through the difficult journey of becoming big.
Both Roman and German varieties are considered safe to use from birth. Chamomile is a strong calming agent, and can be added to a carrier for a massage oil to soothe a fussy baby, especially during times of colic.
Lavender is another powerful calming oil. Its scent is relaxing and soothing, so add a drop to baby’s evening bath water and watch him melt into sleep. You can also safely add 1-2 drops to natural baby wash, diaper solution, or an aromatherapy diffuser.
Yarrow is a pretty uncommon essential oil, but it can boost the power of chamomile and lavender in soothing baby’s teething woes when added to a carrier oil and massaged on the jaw.
Dill is another strong colic remedy. Mix 1 drop of dill essential oil in 1 Tbsp of carrier oil and massage on baby’s belly in a clockwise motion. It can also be used on the back for a similar effect.
After 2 months of age, neroli is a great addition to the evening bath or massage. Neroli oil is the essential oil of the orange flower, so it has a sweet citrusy aroma. It’s known to have calming and sedative effects.
Coriander seed (which grows up to become cilantro) is another essential oil that is considered safe after 2 months of age. It also has relaxing properties, but is also used for releasing fear and aiding in recovery from shock, so it’s a great addition for babies with sensitive temperaments.
Essential Oils Never to Use on Newborns
The six essential oils listed in this article are the ones generally considered to be safe for young babies by master herbalists and aromatherapists. Although all other oils should be avoided because their effects are unknown or unsure, there are a few which are known to be harmful for newborns (e.g. babies under 6 months old). Eucalyptus and wintergreen are two oils that should be avoided until your child is at least 2 years old.