9.09.2015

essential oils // and babies

Just like using oils during pregnancy, it is really a personal choice if you use essential oils on your little ones or not. I know moms who have used oils on their babies from day one. Those kids are perfectly fine. I also know moms who waited until their babies were around three months of age to begin using oils on them. Those kids are fine too. And I know moms who waited until their babies were no longer babies, but rather toddlers. You guessed it. They are all fine. For me personally, I feel more comfortable using essential oils on Porter (and have since he was just a little baby) than over-the-counter medicines. Not to mention, in most cases, essential oils have worked just as good, if not better, for our family.

For babies (one day to two years old), there are said to be a few oils to be cautious of or avoid altogether. Because babies have sensitive skin and are more sensitive to smells in general, the following {strong-smelling} oils should be used with caution:

Eucalyptus
Basil
Juniper
Peppermint
Hyssop
Wintergreen

Now let's talk about my favorite 11 everyday oils. If you already have a Premium Starter Kit, the only single oil from this kit that you would want to avoid, or at the very least use with caution, with babies is Peppermint. The single oils from this kit are the following:

1. Lavender
2. Lemon
3. Peppermint
4. Frankincense
5. Copaiba

The blends included in the starter kit are the following:

6. Thieves - clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata, rosemary cineol
7. Purification - citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, lavandin, myrtle
8. Panaway - wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, peppermint
9. RC - eucalyptus, myrtle, pine, marjoram, eucalyptus radiata, eucalyptus citriodora, lavender, cypress, tsuga, peppermint
10. DiGize - tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise, patchouli
11. Stress Away - copaiba, lime, cedarwood, ocotea, lavender, vanilla (fruit extract)

Above I included the single oils that make up each of the blends and also red-flagged any oils that are included in the "cautionary oil list" mentioned above. Keep in mind that there is a fairly small amount of this oil in each blend, and then if you dilute the essential oil blend with a carrier oil, as we do in our family, there's even less of the cautionary oil going onto their skin (I personally have used diluted Thieves, Panaway, RC and DiGize on my babies and have felt completely safe doing so. But again, do what you feel is right. Do what you think is safe based on the research you've done and what you and your pediatrician decide on).
We started using essential oils on Porter when he was just a few months old and followed a few tips that we found to be helpful. First, we always started with the heels of his feet for application. Heels are tough. If no redness or rash occurred, we then knew we could move on to the spine or other vita flex points. We also diluted the essential oils before applying to Porter's skin. When he was a baby, we used a 1:30 ratio, meaning one part (one drop) of the essential oil and 30 parts (30 drops) of the carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil. And finally, when diffusing oils in his room, we only used a few drops of essential oil in our water based diffuser and would only run the diffuser for 10-20 minutes tops. Just remember, a little goes a long way ... especially with babies.

After two years, it is said that these sweet little babies toddlers have much stronger and less-delicate skin. Therefore, the oils listed in the "cautionary list" above are said to be okay to use on two year olds and up. Although not necessary, we still choose to dilute all of our essential oils before applying them, mostly because we know that Porter has very sensitive skin. However, I know several moms who apply oils neat (without a carrier oil) once their kiddos turn two years of age. It really is a personal preference.

P.S. If you have an oil blend that is not part of the 11 everyday oils that I listed above and want to know if it is safe to use on babies, you can use your reference guide to look up the oil blend to see what different oils it contains. Or just shoot me an email and I'll let you know.

P.P.S. The book Gentle Babies (by Debra Raybern) is an amazing resource if you plan to use essential oils with your little ones. I can't recommend it enough. Or maybe I can. :)


more about oils over here.