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Essential oils…we know we love them but are they really safe for infants and babies? And how much is too much of a good thing? When it comes to using essential oils with infants and babies, I have often wondered how much to use, or if certain oils were safe for the little ones. After all, essential oils are extremely concentrated and powerful substances.
First, essential oils should always be diluted for babies, even stronger than dilutions for adults. Never ever use them neat.
Babies and Children should never ingest essential oils. They are for topical use and diffusion only. If your child accidentally ingests some essential oils, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Call your general practitioner unless signs of poisoning are present, then you should immediately bring your child and the bottle that was consumed, to the nearest emergency room.
Introduce essential oils the same way you would first foods, one at a time. You haven’t discovered all of the things that they are allergic to so introduce them one at a time, watching your baby to see if they have any sort of reaction. Do not introduce more than one a day. If your baby is going to have a reaction to an essential oil they will likely show signs of a reaction in the first 15-30 minutes after inhalation or dermal application.
Don’t use essential oils on babies less than 3 months old. Unlike adults, newborns are not as capable of dealing with adverse reactions to essential oils. There should be even more caution with premature babies, avoiding all essential oil use until they reach at least 3 months after their due date. Hydrosols are a much gentler and safer option for babies, where essential oils can’t be used.
Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on babies 3+ months
The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on babies 3+ months topically, 1-2 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
Roman and German Chamomile
Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on babies 6+ months
The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on babies 6+ months topically, should not exceed 3-5 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
Atlas or Virginia Cedarwood (use only in small amounts)
Citronella (use only in small amounts)