Essential Oils to Support Babies and Families
I didn’t discover the amazingness that is essential oils until my daughter was 11 months old Since then, they have made a huge impact on our family’s overall health and wellness as we incorporate the oils into our daily lives. I often joke that I want to get pregnant again just so I can use oils to support me through all the ups and downs pregnancy can bring! Essential oils are an amazing tool that empower moms to support their family’s health in a safe and effective manner.
There is a lot of information online when it comes to essential oils and babies and I think it is important to note that the quality of the oils you use makes a huge difference. These days you can purchase oils pretty much everywhere but there is no regulation in the essential oil industry As a result it is very hard to know which oils are 100% pure and which oils have been altered, or contain solvents, pesticides, synthetics or other chemicals. I personally choose to use the highest quality oils on the market made by doTERRA and feel confident in using them on our daughter in an educated and responsible manner.
So what are essential oils?
Essential oils are aromatic compounds and are often referred to as the lifeblood of plants. They are found in the stems, leaves, flowers and roots of plants and offer a wide variety of benefits. Essential oils are 50-70 times more powerful than herbs. For example, one drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 28 bags of peppermint tea! One drop of an essential oil can impact the whole body so, when it comes to oils, less is more!
There are different grades of essential oils ranging from synthetic, which are found in perfume, to food grade, such as lemon or vanilla extract, and then there are therapeutic grade which can be used to help the body. When using essential oils quality is incredibly important so make sure you do your research. Know that you get what you pay for when it comes to quality.
There are two main ways to use all essential oils.
1. Aromatically. This is one of my favourite ways to experience oils. Diffusing or inhaling essential oils is great for stress relief, energy, mental clarity and mood. Diffusing oils is also the healthiest way to purify and freshen the air. Diffusing oils during the day helps my daughter deal with the overwhelming emotions that come with being a toddler and helps me keep my sanity with the overwhelming responsibility of raising a toddler! I also love to put a drop of peppermint and wild orange essential oil in the palm of my hand, rub my hands together, and take a deep inhale for an energy boost!
2. Topically. This is a great way to use oils on your children. We use oils topically when our daughter is dealing with digestive upset, teething or body discomfort. A mother’s touch plus the amazing power of oils can be very soothing to a child. For parents, adding essential oils to your lotion or bath is a great way to experience the soothing properties of oils and de-stress after a long day. Another example would be adding essential oils to your skin and hair care products, which is a great way to power up your beauty regimen!
As a nutritionist and a mother, essential oils have been an amazing tool and an absolute blessing to my own health as well as my family’s. I love having natural, safe options to support my family for pretty much everything that comes up. You may have heard the saying “I have an oil for that” and that is definitely true in our household.
Essential oils are incredibly powerful and 1 drop of oil can impact the whole body in as little as 30 seconds. In the case of essential oils more is definitely not better, nor is it necessary. The number one safety tip for mixing oils and children is dilution. You can dilute the essential oils with a carrier oil. This can be any vegetable oil and it helps carry the essential oil deeper into the skin. Diluting the essential oils does not impact their potency, it actually aids in absorption. When you use the oil neat on the skin, without a carrier oil, more of the essential oil will actually evaporate into the air. When you dilute the essential oil it absorbs into the skin, so this helps save you money!
With essential oils less is more. It is actually better to use less oil more often then more oil less often. This means when you properly dilute the essential oils it is more effective to use the oil every 15-30mins than it is to apply the oil without a carrier oil once every 4-6 hours.
Diluting essential oils is a great way to avoid skin irritation and sensitivity. Using the same oils in the same place can cause irritation over time. Dilution is especially important for young children, the elderly and anyone who has sensitive skin. By diluting with a carrier oil there will be less chance of sensitivity over time and that means more oily goodness for longer! :)
Dilution ensures that essential oils are at the proper potency for use on children and babies. When I started using oils on my daughter I immediately started making rollerballs as this was the safest and most convenient way to use the oils on her.
For babies the proper dilution rate is 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. For children it is 1 drop of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. For adults it is 3-6 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil. If you are finding you are not getting the results you were looking for you can increase the number of drops of essential oils as needed.
The last reason I love diluting essential oils is that it makes them last longer and anyone who uses oils regularly cherishes each and every drop! Now that we have addressed safety while using oils on children let’s get to the good stuff!!!
Here are my top 5 ways to use essential oils on babies:
Essential oils are very soothing to our emotions and can have a very powerful impact on babies to help calm them. My top picks for this would be lavender, roman chamomile, balance blend or serenity blend. A great way to use these oils to help soothe a baby is to apply these oils to yourself while holding a baby, or to add a drop to a favourite lovey or blanket that the baby might cuddle with. I also love to diffuse these oils before bed time. This becomes a powerful cue as children get older to help them know when bedtime is coming, which makes sleep time less stressful.
When babies are very young their digestive systems are not properly formed, which can lead to tummy discomfort and digestive upset. I mixed 1 drop of lavender and 1 drop of roman chamomile with 2 tbsp of a carrier oil and applied it directly to my daughter’s stomach, massaging clockwise for digestive support. This can be done every 15-30 mins until the child settles.
I have always been very conscious of the products that go on my daughter's skin and I have really enjoyed making a lot of the products I use for her, including a diaper spray. Lavender, frankincense and tea tree oil are great essential oils to soothe and elicit a healthy skin response. I like to mix them in a spray to use at each diaper change.
One of the first ways I used essential oils on my daughter was when she was teething. It is so hard to see your child upset and not be able to comfort them. I did not feel comfortable giving her tylenol or advil when she always seemed to be cutting a tooth. I made a rollerball blend with lavender and roman chamomile and would apply along the jawline as needed and it was amazing how soothing it was. It was such a relief to have a natural option to help manage the discomfort.
We use the oils to support a healthy immune response whenever our family is feeling less than stellar. There are many safe options that can help babies and children to promote a healthy respiratory response including tea tree oil and lemon, which is very gentle for children of any age.
So there are my top 5 uses but there are so many more amazing ways to utilize essential oils to increasing immunity, improve sleep, soothe discomfort, manage stress, administer self care, detoxify the home and more! There is not one aspect of my life that these oils have not changed for the better and I am grateful everyday that I was introduced to them and started using them in our household!
It is my passion and absolute pleasure to empower mothers and families to take control and ownership of their health. If you would like to learn more about how to get these amazing oils in your life and home feel free to contact me!
Jessica Kuiken is a nutritionist and essential oil educator and is the proud mama of her amazingly generous and hilarious daughter, born on Christmas day two years ago. She is the owner and
creator of spOIL the soul.
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