I felt compelled to write about this, as I have been asked recently by parents wanting to use essential oils for some kid issues such as calming a fussy baby, letting the baby sleep through the night with essential oils, skin issues etc.
Here are some rules I abide to and wish you do so too if you are thinking of using essential oils on your kid or know someone who wants to use essential oils on theirs.
1. Please, no essential oils directly on the skin of a baby. Not on the soles of the feet, not on the chest. Not diluted and definitely not neat. Essential oils are extremely extremely concentrated. I have met a paediatric dermatologist who complained to me on how he saw an increase in numbers of children with skin issues whom their parents tried applying essential oils directly onto their skin.
2. Essential oils that are baby friendly are Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) and Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana).
3. The best way for kids to enjoy essential oils is diffusing. Diffuse in a room for about 15 minutes and not the whole night. Diffuse when the kids are sick, diffuse when you want a more restful night for your baby, diffuse when you want to calm them down.
4. “I rubbed lavender essential oil all over my baby and he slept through the night!” If you give him sleeping medicine, it’d also exactly that too. This is really scary to me. Sometimes it may be too overwhelming for the baby’s system and this could be just one of the coping techniques. Sometimes, essential oils in too large doses depress the system.
5. Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) are common essential oils, for adults yes, but these are way way too strong for little ones. Go with the 3 essential oils I mentioned above at point 2.
Please remember how tiny those little kidneys and livers are and how new their bodily system is; what may seemed minute to us, may be a lot for the little bodies to handle. And the skin! So delicate!
Also bear in mind that natural is great and good, but that doesn’t mean it is okay for me to lather it all over myself.
P/S: The children I refer here are between the age of 0-5.