You shouldn’t take any chances when caring for your baby’s health. You might not be a huge believer in excessive medication, but babies are different. They’re more prone to certain problems, and their bodies are just getting used to being in the world. So while this is a discussion about the benefits of essential oils, I am not advocating that you try to replace traditional medication with essential oils or ignore your doctor’s recommendations in favor of them.
Having said that, though, medication doesn’t work wonders, and you could be doing everything right and still have a baby who’s experiencing unnecessary discomfort and pain. There’s no essential oil out there that will cure any serious problems, but there are some that can help ease that pain and discomfort.
Before we get into how to use oils and the different benefits of different oils, let’s first run through some precautions that you should take:
How Essential Oils Can Benefit Your Baby’s Health
As is recommended by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, you should steer clear of using essential oils to help babies who are under three months old, and give them a bit more time to adjust before you start incorporating that.
Also, you should always dilute the oils before you use them. Some babies have very sensitive skin, and pure oil could irritate and cause infection. It could also result in breathing problems if the scent is too intense.
Dilute with something that we’d refer to as carrier oil. This would be something like coconut oil or sunflower oil. These are very neutral and easily inhaled, providing a good base for the more beneficial oils.
And most importantly, if you are going to use essential oils, talk to your doctor about it first. Your baby might be on some medications that should not be mixed with essential oils, and you could be unaware of it.
Your doctor might recommend you that you shouldn’t use essential oils at all in the specific case of your baby, and if that’s his advice, then that’s his advice. Again, take no chances when it comes to your baby.
For the most part, though, this won’t happen because essential oils rarely cause much damage. Now then, which oils are useful?
Lavender is one of the most popular and widely used essential oils out there and with good reason. Its benefits are numerous. It’s useful for easing anxiety, it’s an anti-inflammatory, and it can even treat hair loss (NCBI).
Obviously, that last one is hopefully not something a baby will require, but lavender has other uses for your little one. Because it’s an anti-inflammatory, you can use it to ease the pain of teething or cradle cap.
The best way to apply lavender oil to treat these issues would be to massage it into the skin of your baby’s jaw for teething and into their scalp for cradle cap.
Eucalyptus is great for treating the symptoms of a common cold and soothing arthritis and joint pain, and you can also use it to treat burns. No wonder the koalas love it so much!
If your baby has a cold, use eucalyptus oil in their bedroom so that they can breathe it in while they sleep. It will help them fall asleep and fight the symptoms of the cold during the night.
An oil diffuser would be ideal for this. Make sure that you keep it well away from the baby’s cot, though. If the aroma is overpowering, then your baby’s sleep will be impaired. Keep it on the other side of the room and don’t overfill the diffuser with oil.
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Not quite as well known among the essential oil family but an effective one nonetheless. You do want to try and find unrefined oil because while it is more expensive, it’s not made with high heat or chemicals like refined oil, which can squash out some of the nutrients.
Almond is great for babies who deal with rashes and skin issues. It’s a common ingredient in skin care products because it helps to prevent water loss (NCBI), which will keep your baby’s skin soft and less likely to crack or get irritated.
Massage the oil gently every couple of nights, and you should be able to see the improvement after a little while.
Although a baby will probably be disgusted if they try to eat a lemon when the oil is distilled, they can reap the benefits of this popular citrus fruit without dealing with the sour taste.
While the eucalyptus, as mentioned above, the oil will help your baby fall asleep; lemon is for when they need that infusion of energy early in the morning or after a nap. It’s good as a mood booster too. I would use the diffuser for this one, also.
So there are quite a few oils that can help you take care of your baby’s health. If you try some of these and your baby doesn’t react well, it might not be the best choice for you, but it’s worth trying some of these as supplements to a baby’s well-being.
Note: We do not recommend the casual ingesting of essential oils. It can cause irritation and possible damage to your organs. Please do not ingest essential oils unless under the supervision of a medical doctor versed in pharmaceutics and an experienced aromatherapist.