Best Essential Oils For Babies

 Best Essential Oils for Babies 

 

Introduction

An essential oil is a highly concentrated liquid that has volatile chemical compounds that are extracted from plants. These highly concentrated liquids make great treatments for an adult’s skin especially for those who have eczema. Not only do these oils work well on adults, but they also work just as well on new babies and maybe even better because of their newborn skin.

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Essential Oils 

Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that have volatile chemical compounds which are extracted from plants. Essential oils can be used in a wide variety of ways. They have been shown to reduce inflammation in skin conditions such as eczema; some effects can be gained from applying them directly to the skin, but you can also get a lot of relief just by inhaling them. With this being said, there are several ways that one can use essential oils like as follows; 

  1. Putting a few drops in a bath
  2. Adding them to a base oil and using them for a massage 
  3. Adding a few drops to blankets or curtains to encourage a scent in the room 
  4. Adding some to an oil diffuser to release the scent in the air
  5. Using them to scent handmade cream or soap 
  6. Sprinkling a few drops in your dryer to bring the scent into your clothes 
  7. Adding drops to special jewelry which retain the scent and can keep you smelling it throughout the day 

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How To Use Essential Oils for Your Baby   

When looking for essential oils to buy for your baby, it is best to buy concentrated essential oils. When choosing essential oils, make sure you are not buying any inferior products. Check product labels to ensure the oil you are buying is pure, authentic essential oil and avoid ones that are blended with anything like alcohol. If essential oils like with ingredients like this are used, it can irritate skin conditions like eczema. In conjunction with this, you can also replace essential oils with synthetic fragrances which offer no health benefits and are very irritating to the skin. People who suffer from eczema would benefit from avoiding any skin or washing products with added fragrances as these are prone to causing flare-ups.

Essential Oils are safe for babies but must be used in a very specific manner. Never apply essential oils in their concentrated form directly onto baby skin. It is never good to use essential oils in their concentrated form directly on a baby’s skin for they must be diluted before use. Although these oils are good for topical use, they must never be ingested by anyone but especially a baby. NEVER let your baby ingest essential oils. With this being said, it is best to keep all essential oils out of the reach of your baby as well as avoid applying them near their noses, mouth and face. 

Diluting essential oils before use is one of the most important things to remember when using them. If one does not dilute an essential oil before topical use, it can cause serious skin irritation making the process of repairing and healing the skin much more extensive. Because of this, diluting essential oils is key. Some may disregard dilution because they feel as though this diminishes how the oil will work but diluting essential oils does not reduce their effectiveness or potency at all. Diluting only ensures the oils are absorbed more slowly into the skin, which is much gentler for sensitive skin. Not only does diluting allow for the skin to absorb the oils much slower but it also allows the oils to last longer and spread further meaning you can be sure to invest in better quality ones to start with.

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When and Which Essential Oils To Use for Your Baby   

Before applying essential oils to your baby’s skin, they must be over three months old. In babies less than three months old, skin is still developing. Because of this, the concentration of the oil can cause skin conditions even in non-eczema babies when they are that young. Along with this, they can also increase their sensitivity to the effects of the sun. Conclusively on this topic, babies don’t have the capacity in their bodies to fight back against something that may irritate or cause a reaction, such as essential oils.

If you do choose to use essential oils on your baby at this age, it is best to spritz oils in the curtains and carpet in their rooms or disperse into the air in a steam diffuser. Although you are not directly spraying or applying these essential oils to the baby’s skin, there are some oils that should be avoided like peppermint, eucalyptus or rosemary essential oils in totality especially at this age, even in a spritzer or diffuser. These oils should be completely avoided because they are made up of ingredients called cineol and menthol both of which cannot be safely inhaled by children until they are much older. It is best to steer clear of these all together with your eczema babies.

After three months of age you can use some essential oils on the skin, but as they are concentrated in their original state, so should ALWAYS be diluted for use on baby skin.Essential oils should never be internally ingested by little ones, for this reason, it is not recommended that you use them in the baby bath, even if diluted. You can’t be sure that they will not get any bathwater in their mouths.The proper dilution ratio for babies older than three months is between 0.5% to 1%. If you need help with this, there are some very cool dilution calculators online, such as this one here

Manuka Oil 

One of my personal favorite oils is from New Zealand and comes from the Myrtaceae tree and is native in New Zealand and Australia. More famous for MANUKA HONEY which is amazing for eczema. Read More: Manuka honey. Manuka oil is great at fighting bacteria and infections so use this as daily protection to prevent flare-ups. Never apply to open sores. Available through our affiliate link on Amazon CLICK HERE OR HERE! Full of anti-inflammatory properties and has a beautiful aroma this oil is safe and beneficial for babies with eczema.

Chamomile Oil 

Either the Roman or German chamomile essential oil is safe and lovely for eczema babies. Chamomile oil has a calming effect and can help reduce your baby’s irritation and let them sleep. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties so can reduce the effects of allergies, infections and skin conditions. It can cause relief and help your baby’s skin to heal. READ MORE: Foods to avoid with eczema and psoriasis

Citrus Oils

Citrus Oils like mandarin or lemon have also been shown to have a calming effect on babies. While they do not treat eczema or skin conditions directly, they are safe for babies, and the scent of these can be quite soothing for them, so feel free to add them.

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Turmeric Oil 

Turmeric is yet another herb that is great when it comes to treating eczema because it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral. Just like lavender, turmeric too can speed up wound healing making it that much more efficient. Turmeric essential oil is wonderful and has been recommended for use on older children and adults with eczema, however, the information on its safe use for babies seems to be a bit limited. Some proponents recommend instead mixing ground turmeric powder with a carrier oil or shea butter as this is not as strong as the essential oil, but you would need to be sure that your turmeric powder was pure turmeric and did not contain other additives. It might be safer to stay away from this one, or at least do a lot more research before using it.

Distilled Lemon (Citrus Limon) 

Distilled lemon is a great essential oil that can raise your energy levels and lift your mood. When comparing distilled lemon to expressed, distilled is chosen more times than not. This is because expressed lemon could potentially be a photosensitizer whereas distilled lemon 

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Dill (Anethum Sowa) 

Dill, just like lavender, is very calming. It contains antispasmodic oil that aids with digestion. When using this however, one must remember to blend thoroughly and massage the mixture all the way onto a baby’s skin for best results. 

Lavender (Lavandula Angsutifola) 

Lavender smells great and is a great color to paint your baby’s walls but who knew it’s actually a great eczema remedy! Lavender is one of the gentlest essential oils and very commonly recommended for use on babies.  It is extracted from its flower using a process called steam distillation. As well as having a calming effect, lavender has the ability to relieve pain, which can really help babies suffering from the irritation of eczema or the discomfort in their open wounds and raw skin. Lavender is also known to have a great calming effect which is perfect for babies and infants. It will allow your baby to relax and sleep better, which is a definite benefit for all babies, especially the little itchy eczema ones.

Along with its great smell and calming effect, lavender has several antifungal properties which are key when trying to reduce inflammation caused by eczema. Not only does it reduce inflammation but it also contributes in an attempt to keep eczema at bay and to treat psoriasis. Lavender is antibacterial and antiviral, so it’s great for your little one’s immune system. Lavender oil can encourage your skin to reduce its secretion of sebum in the skin, which helps conditions such as eczema and cradle cap. It helps your body with the formation of scar tissue in healing wounds. In conjunction, it also helps cleanse the skin while also decreasing redness and irritation dramatically. Lavender oil decreases and even eliminates redness from rosacea and even irritated eczema. So, this is a lovely all-purpose oil for eczema babies because it reduces bacteria and infection in the skin, brings relief and encourages healing, and may reduce scarring from eczema.

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Mandarin (Citrus Reticulata) 

For babies who may be irritated by the scent of lavender, using mandarin is the second best alternative. It has similar calming effects like lavender while also having a sweet mandarin scent which is more favorable for babies. Because of this, when diluted and applied topically, there should be no skin irritation. 

Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) 

Tea Tree is a wonderful oil for skin conditions and also kills bacteria on the skin but is stronger than some of the others we recommend here, so should not be used on the skin of babies under six months of age. 

Tea Tree Oil can be obtained from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia trees. This oil can help relieve dryness and itching as well as prevent infections for those who are prone to eczema. It is also a natural disinfectant, and also has excellent antifungal and antimicrobial properties. This oil is best used when treating contact dermatitis. Although this may be the case, not enough extensive research has been done to assertively say that tea tree oil is the best to treat eczema topically. Although this is the case, it can still be used for its ability to alleviate other symptoms of eczema. For babies older than six months old can safely use this oil (method will be explained below), as it has enormous properties for skin conditions, in killing bacteria and in promoting healing and reducing scarring.

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How to Use Essential Oils for Your Baby 

When using essential oils on your baby, there are three main things that must be remembered and executed for the betterment of the child’s skin as well as health and wellbeing. 

Dilution

Diluting essential oils before use on your baby is probably the most intricate part of using this form of eczema treatment. The dilution of essential oils is so important because if not diluted, the oil may be too strong for the skin and cause more harm than good especially if your baby has eczema. Diluting not only eliminates the possibility of there being any skin damage or irritation, but its diluted use is more effective. 

Patch Testing 

Patch testing is very important for those who have eczema and are trying new treatments in the form of creams, lotions and even oils. A patch test is the use of a product on a little spot on your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction. One way to conduct a patch test is to dilute the essential oil, then apply a spot around the size of your thumb tip to your baby’s leg or arm. Leave for 24 hours and watch for any adverse reaction such as redness, inflammation or soreness. If no reaction occurs, this oil is safe for your baby. If there is a reaction, discontinue use of this oil. Different essential oils have different properties and therefore can cause different effects, so always patch test every new oil on your baby, don’t just apply it all over. An additional way to conduct a patch test is as follows; 

  1. Apply three to four drops of jojoba oil to the inner forearm area 
  2. Cover the applied area with a bandage and wait about 24 hours 
    1. Signs of reactions consist of hives, redness, and irritation 
    2. If there is no reaction, feel free to use as recommended 
    3. If there is a reaction, avoid use 

Regardless of the method of patch testing conducted, it is never okay to patch test more than one oil within the same 24 hour period. If this is done and a reaction occurs, it may be difficult to determine which oil is causing the reaction. 

Blending With a Carrier 

You can blend your essential oil with a base or carrier oil, such as vegetable oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. These oils mix really well and also provide great moisturizing and nourishing benefits to the baby’s little skin. Dilute at no higher than 1% of the base oil. Shake vigorously before every application. This can then be used to massage your baby or apply as a moisturizer for dry skin. A light massage on your baby’s back, bottom, legs and the soles of her feet is often a lovely treat for little ones and can be a really nice bonding time for the two of you.

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Spritz

Add a few drops of your chosen oil to a water base and then spritz this in the air around your baby’s room.Don’t spray onto your baby’s pillow or directly onto sheets and blankets of babies under three months of age. 

Diffuse

In a baby’s room, a water-based steam diffuser is probably safest, because then there are no lit flames in her room.If you don’t have a diffuser, a great way to get the scent safely into your baby’s room is to just put 1-2 drops in a bowl of hot water, place this in a safe place in your child’s room, and then just let the scent diffuser as the water cools. This will release perfectly to give the best benefits for your little one. You can safely diffuse oils from any age but stick to the oils we’ve recommended below for eczema babies.

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Essential Oil Storage 

  1. Always secure lids on tight 
  2. Keep out of reach of ANY children 
  3. Store away from sunlight, as light can reduce their potency 
  4. Always check the expiry date on all essential oils for babies 

Conclusion 

Although the minor details may seem difficult to keep up with at first, the end results of following the essential oil usage protocol will be extremely beneficial for your baby to have healthy skin in the future.

Jeslyn Savage

Jeslyn Savage

Jeslyn is a contributor and content developer for Our Eczema Story. She is not a medical professional. Her articles, comments, and suggestions are not intended to replace any medical advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials.