By Jacinta Lane – Essential oils for babies
With eczema treatments, some of the very best things that you can use have been around for thousands of years. Essential oils, for example, are a wonderful natural way to treat all sorts of conditions, and baby eczema is one of them. In this blog: The best essential oils for babies with eczema we’ll look at all the best oils to use and help you source the best products at the lowest prices.
Often, we find that traditional or natural medicines have fallen out of popular use for a while, and so you might only hear about something as though it is recently discovered when people have been getting relief from it since before the Industrial Age.
We found some of the best essential oils for babies with eczema are:
- Lavender– Has a Calming effect
- Manuka– Honey Fights Bacteria
- Chamomile– Reduces irritation
- Tea Tree – Anti-fungal properties
- Citrus Oils -Soothes the skin
- Turmeric – Anti-inflammatory oil
Sorry, before we get straight into this article I just wanted to ask if you have ever heard of superfoods? Many foods are known to cause flare-ups and inflammation. Superfoods can help combat this issue. It’s a topic that I have just started to research and use myself with great results. For more information click – superfoods.
What Can You Do With Essential Oils?
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 effect can be gained from applying them directly to the skin, but you can also get a lot of relief just by inhaling them.
Some common ways people use essential oils include:
- Putting a few drops in the bath
- Adding them to a base oil and using them for a massage
- Adding a few drops to blankets or curtains to encourage a scent in the room
- Adding some to an oil diffuser to release the scent in the air
- Using them to scent handmade cream or soap
- Sprinkling a few drops in your dryer to bring the scent into your clothes
- Adding drops to special jewelry which retain the scent and can keep you smelling it throughout the day.
Are Essential Oils Too Concentrated For Eczema Baby Skin?
Essential oils are safe for babies but under certain strict conditions. Never apply essential oils in their concentrated form directly onto baby skin, but always dilute them instead.
Never let your baby ingest essential oils, and for this reason, keep any applications away from their nose and mouth and face altogether.
Diluting essential oils doesn’t reduce their effectiveness or potency at all. It just means that it is absorbed more slowly into the skin, which is gentler for sensitive skin. Diluting also means your oils last longer and spread further which means you can be sure to invest in better quality ones to start with.
Make Sure You Buy Concentrated Essential Oils
When you are choosing essential oils make sure that you are not buying any inferior products. Check product labels to ensure the oil you are buying is pure, authentic essential oil. Avoid ones that are blended with anything such as alcohol, because this can irritate skin conditions like eczema.
Also, you can’t just 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.
Safe Use Of Essential Oils For Babies Under Three Months of Age
Don’t apply essential oils, even if diluted, directly onto the skin of babies under 3 months old.
The concentration of the oil can cause skin conditions even in non-eczema babies when they are that young. Essential oils can also increase their sensitivity to the effects of the sun.
Basically, babies, this tiny 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 using essential oils to treat babies at this young age spritz them in the curtains and carpet in their rooms or disperse into the air in a steam diffuser.
Do not use peppermint, eucalyptus or rosemary essential oils at all at this age, even in a spritzer or diffuser. These oils contain ingredients called cineol and menthol which are not safely inhaled by children until they are much older. Steer clear of these all together with your eczema babies.
Safe Use Of Essential Oils In Babies Over Three Months Of Age
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.
How many drops in a massage oil?
For a good guide, never use more than 2 drops of oil per 30ml of carrier oil.
How many drops in a diffuser?
For a good guide, 1-2 drops in a diffuser will be fine.
What Are Some Ways You Can Use Essential Oils For Your Baby?
Always start with a patch test
To perform a patch test (or spot test), 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.
Do not test more than one essential oil within 24 hours on your baby. Introduce new oils one at a time in a very slow approach and slowly introduce your precious little one’s skin to essential oils.
READ MORE: Eczema prick testing and patch testing for allergies
Blend With A Carrier Oil
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 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.
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.
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 diffuse 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.
DIY eczema baby moisturizer
You can make your own safe eczema moisturizer for your baby, with any of the essential oils recommended below, after you have patch tested each individual oil to check your baby for reaction.
An easy recipe is as follows:
Combine the first three ingredients with a whisk until blended, then add your essential oil and combine again. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Treat Cradle Cap
Combine 1 drop of tea tree oil and 1 drop of lavender oil to 30ml of a carrier oil. If you are making this treatment for babies under six months of age, skip the tea tree oil and use 2 drops of lavender oil instead.
Gentle massage this all over the cradle cap to soften the crusts and lift these off.
Jojoba oil can be a good choice as the carrier oil for this one because it very closely resembles the sebum in your baby’s skin.
As cradle cap can be the effect of your baby’s skin creating too much sebum, using jojoba oil on cradle cap can send a message to Bubs’ oil glands to switch off.
Treat Nappy Or Diaper Rash
Combine 2 drops of chamomile oil with 30ml of a carrier oil or shea butter and then this can be used to treat nappy rash. It will help kill any infection, promote healing and moisturize the inflamed skin. In babies older than six months you could swap one drop of chamomile for one drop of tea tree oil.
Which Essential Oils Are Good For Babies With Eczema?
One of my personal favorite oils 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.
Lavender is one of the gentlest essential oils and very commonly recommended for use on babies. It is extracted from the flowers usually through 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.
It can also help your baby to relax and sleep better, which is a definite benefit for all babies, especially the little itchy eczema ones.
Lavender is antibacterial and antiviral, so is 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.
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.
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.
Tea Tree is a wonderful oil for skin conditions and also killing 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 is a natural disinfectant, and also has excellent antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Older than six months you can safely use this oil in the methods detailed above, as it has enormous properties for skin conditions, in killing bacteria and in promoting healing and reducing scarring.
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.
Turmeric essential oil is a wonderful anti-inflammatory oil 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.
Storage Instructions For Essential Oils
- Always secure lids on tight
- Keep out of reach of any children
- Store away from sunlight, as light can reduce their potency
- Always check the expiry date on all essential oils for babies
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Thank you to all the great resources and articles published that help eczema sufferers find benefits from essential oils for babies. Some are listed below.