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June 11, 2021
Being a new mom can be extremely tough especially when dealing with colicky, restless and fussy babies who leave you feeling exhausted and sleep-deprived. New moms are constantly flipping through magazines and reading hundreds of blogs trying to find new ways of improving the wellbeing of their babies with sleep and tummy discomforts being on top of the list. Essential oils and the use of aromatherapy have been used and trusted for thousands of years and one could easily make the assumption that they are all safe and can be used on infants and babies in the same way that adults use them. However, babies have a little more sensitive skin and using the wrong essential oils in the wrong methods and quantities can cause unwanted and unpleasant skin irritations for babies.
Aromatherapy is good for babies because it helps to calm anxiety, encourages sleep and can soothe symptoms of colic. When used incorrectly, essential oils can be harmful to babies younger than 3 months and in this article we will explore safe methods of using essential oils for newborn babies and infants and also recommend a few essential oils for babies.
Some essential oils are considered hot oils while others are considered ‘neat’ oils. Neat oils are those that can be applied undiluted to the skin while hot oils are those that need to be diluted or else they can burn the skin. Whenever you are using essential oils on babies you may want to use them aromatically (in this instance they don’t have to be neat oils) or topically (in this instance they would have to be neat oils and be further diluted to avoid causing harm to the baby’s skin). Examples of essential oils that can be applied to the skin undiluted include tea tree oil, lavender, helichrysum, rose, sandalwood, Eucalyptus and chamomile oils amongst others.
Although neat oils are safe to use undiluted on adult skin, they will definitely need to be diluted when using them on your baby’s skin. Rose, Frankincense and lavender oils are highly recommended for babies because they are all neat oils and great for delicate skin but remember to dilute them for the baby!
There are some essential oils that are a definite no-no for your baby’s skin: these include, cloves, cinnamon, oregano, thyme and cassia.
The best way to apply essential oils on your baby’s skin is by using roller bottles because they make for easy application avoiding any messy spillages. This is also the most convenient way to mix and store your diluted neat oils. If you are making new essential oils roller bottles for a newborn baby it is suggested that in a 10ml roller bottle, you add about 1-3 drops of an essential oil of your choice and top it off with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut. Coconut is especially good for baby skin because it is delicate and the fractionated oil remains in liquid form and does not solidify.
Lavender essential oil is known and loved for its calming and soothing effects. You can prepare an effective blend of lavender and frankincense oils to relax a fussy baby and promote a better night’s sleep. In a 10ml roller bottle, add 1 drop of frankincense essential oil, 1 drop of lavender essential oil and top off the blended oils with fractionated coconut oil. To help calm and relax your baby, you can apply the oil on the bottom of their feet or at the back of their neck.
For a colicky baby or baby that is experiencing any kind of tummy discomfort, a blend of ginger and fennel essential oils will do the trick. Add 1 drop each of your ginger and fennel essential oils to your roller bottle and top it off with fractionated coconut oil. For this blend, you will want to apply it directly to your baby’s tummy whenever they are experiencing any kind of discomfort in their tummy area or are gassy or constipated.
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