Before reading this article keep in mind that most doctors don’t recommend the use of aromatherapy on babies that re less than three months old. This is because the nasal and skin tissues of an infant are very sensitive and easily irritated by anything but the blandest of substances. Once your baby is past that age consult with your doctor to make sure that the use of essential oils is right for your child.
Traditionally essential oils are used to purify the air in a nursery and calm and relax the infant. The safest and gentlest way to introduce essential oils into the nursery is to put the oils in a diffuser so the molecules of the oil are dispersed through the air. You can also dilute about ten drops of the oil in a bottle of distilled water and mist that around the nursery and the baby’s bedding. Remember always that if your baby starts sneezing, tearing or fretting that it may not be time to introduce aromatherapy into your baby’s life.
For best results try to choose high quality oils. The inexpensive stuff is cut with crude substances and alcohols and can be overwhelming to the delicate system of a baby.
Try to choose oils that are organically grown as they are usually of the highest quality. Avoid purchasing oils in plastic or clear bottles as light and other factors can cause the oil to degrade and lose efficacy. The highest quality aromatherapy oils are usually sold in dark brown bottles that protect them from disintegrating light rays.
There are several oils that are highly recommended for use with babies. Some are mood enhancers, some are room disinfectants and many are a combination of both.
Lavender and roman chamomile are the best two oils that you can use in a mist or a diffuser to calm a fussy baby. A blend of vanilla and orange oils is a favorite blend for mothers who just want to keep the baby in a happy mood as both oils have the reputation of being mood elevators for children. Peppermint or spearmint oils are stimulating to the brain. and may help babies learn faster.
You can also add a few drops of chamomile or lavender oil to a baby’s bath to help prepare them physically and psychologically for naptime. Keep in mind though that all oils added to a bath must first be generously diluted in carrier oil such as almond or olive oil. Never pour essential oil drops directly into a bath as that can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin.
The safest aromatherapy oils to use as disinfectants and purifiers for the air are geranium, lavender and eucalyptus. Lavender sprayed directly onto your babies bedding and allowed to dry before placing the baby back in the crib also helps get rid of allergens and dust mites. Eucalyptus is best used for babies who have a cold or respiratory problems.
Used in a cautious manner, essential oils can not only help you calm and cheer your infant, but they can also mask any unpleasant odors that are always a part of a mother’s life.
About the author
Liz Santher is a aromatherapy enthusiast and freelance author.