Can I Use Essential Oils Around My Baby?
How to safely enjoy essential oils when your family home includes babies and toddlers.
When it comes to the youngest members of our community, we want to make sure their wellness is taken care of from the moment they arrive in this world. It takes a while for a baby’s immune, respiratory and central nervous systems to fully develop; they absorb products through the skin more easily; and even their sense of smell is different.
Generally speaking, the younger the child, the more delicate and sensitive they will be. With so many different opinions floating around about whether essential oils are safe to use with babies and children, how can you be sure you’re making the best choice for your family?
No matter what you’re introducing into your baby’s new home, you want to make sure it’s not doing any harm. Since their little bodies are much different (and much more sensitive) than our adult ones, we always recommend checking with your pediatrician when considering how to keep your little one well.
We looked at all the research to find the safest way to enjoy essential oils while you nurture your family the natural way. Ultimately, however, you’re going to be the best person to decide what’s best for your family. Use the information below as a guide for how to use our products when you have babies and children in your life.
Where to start
Most of the research on essential oil use is related to adult use, which isn’t much help when it comes to adding essential oils to your family’s life. Before adding any essential oil product of any kind to your home, we recommend taking these steps:
- Read everything. Look closely at what is listed on product labels, especially the safety precautions. The information on the labels is mandated by the federal government, and is there to keep you and your family as safe as possible. In Canada, many of our essential oil blends are licensed as Natural Health Products, and are recommended for use by grown-ups (age 18 and over). This recommendation may be different from what you would receive from a certified aromatherapist. Choosing what advice to follow for your growing family is best left to the expert: you.
- Avoid ingesting. None of our essential oils or essential oil blends are intended for internal use by anyone. Unless a product is specifically designed to be food, it’s best no one eats it.
- Pay close attention. If you decide to add a new element to your child’s environment, monitor their reactions very closely and make sure there is fresh air available at all times. When it comes to understanding whether or not a new product is affecting your child in a negative way, you’ll know best.
Products safe for newborns to 3 months
The gentle mist of an ultrasonic diffuser is a simple and effective way to enhance your wellness. Just add water, turn it on and benefit from the addition of water vapour to the air you and your family breathe. With young children in the home, we recommend using just water in your ultrasonic diffuser, without essential oils, and introducing blends when they’re a little older.
All of our Baby Care products can be used at this stage of life, with the exception of Mini Moisture. Keep in mind your baby’s system will be very delicate in the first three months, and may not need any type of product at all.
More 100% natural care
Lavender Mist or Rose Mist can be used on bedding: just make sure to avoid misting directly on your little one. Jojoba Oil is a neutral, skin-friendly oil that can be used as a moisturizer or a massage oil. Sweet Comfort Soap, made with a nourishing honey base and contains no essential oils, creates gentle, skin-soothing suds for skin of all ages.
Products safe for 3 months to 2 years
For babies and kids in this age range, you can safely use all of the products listed above. You can also add the following:
Diffusing Essential Oil Blends
Now that your little one is not quite a newborn anymore, you can consider adding Citrus Dream Diffuser Blend to your ultrasonic diffuser.
Choose an ultrasonic diffuser with an intermittent setting like the aromaOm. Run the unit for 30-60 minutes on, then turn it off for 30-60 minutes. Remember to always use your ultrasonic diffuser in a well-ventilated space, and keep the unit out of reach of little hands.
More 100% natural care
Once the three-month mark has passed, you can use our all-over moisturizer, Sentiva, to soothe both your own dry skin and your baby’s. Well-loved by our community for 25 years, Fairy Mist can also be added to your natural care options.
Products safe for kids ages 2 to 6 years
Young kids have delicate systems until at least the teenage years, so the products we recommend for children as young as three months old stays much the same for kids ages 2 to 6 years. You can feel safe using any of the products recommended for younger kids, above.
Diffusing Essential Oils
Now that your bundle of joy is a toddler, you can consider adding more diffuser blends to your wellness routine: soothing and calming Aroma Fairy, and uplifting, floral Bloom, in addition to other community favourites like Chill Out, Embrace, Goddess, Liquid Sunshine and Unwind.
As always, only diffuse in a well-ventilated space, and keep the unit well out of reach of little hands.
More 100% Natural Care
Another mist option for this age range is Tranquility, which can be misted on bedding to help kids drift off to sleep. Gentle bar soaps like Eczema Ease and Parisian Garden are great options for cleansing little bodies.
Save these essential oils for later in life
Some essential oils have a strong effect, especially on a baby or young child, and are best avoided until adulthood. Thankfully, the list is short:
- Birch (sweet), also known as wintergreen is high in methyl salicylate, which is only recommended for adults
- Eucalyptus has a strong effect and may be too much delicate, developing bodies
- Peppermint is high in menthol and creates a distinct cooling effect which may not be as pleasant for youngsters as it is for adults
- Rosemary can increase blood pressure and should also be avoided until adulthood
Before adding any product to your child’s life, we always recommend speaking with your child’s health care provider. When adding essential oils into your baby’s wellness routine, check with a certified aromatherapist for advice. That way, you’ll have all the available information you need to make a decision that aligns with your and your family’s needs.