Can you use aromatherapy for babies?
Well, the answer is yes.....as long as you are careful to take a few precautions! We must be very careful when using essential oils with babies, as they are extremely concentrated and powerful. They must be very well diluted before use. Babies are not like adults where a general dosage is often recommended.
So, how can aromatherapy for babies be used?
For a start most babies love a massage! (Let's face it who doesn't?!). Massaging is a wonderful way to relax with your baby and create a loving and trusting bond. Not only that, but there are physical and mental benefits too!
What's more, you don't have to be a massage therapist!! Babies just love any contact that is gentle and relaxed. Massage is excellent for promoting sleep (and that's good for everyone concerned!), stimulating circulation and relieving colic. Massage oil can also help improve your baby's skin.
Here's a recipe for a Baby Massage Oil:
1 drop Lavender
1 drop Roman Chamomile
1 drop Geranium
30ml sweet almond oil
Blend together well. Can be used on a daily basis from 3 months onwards.
Baths....a single drop of lavender or chamomile mixed well with 20ml of full-fat milk, is plenty for a baby bath! (the milk helps disperse the oil). A great idea for easing crankiness or promoting sleep!
How about putting a couple of drops of lavender on a hanky placed near you when feeding, or near a sleeping baby. The baby will soon associate the lovely aroma with feelings of comfort and security.
Room diffusion is another gentle aromatherapy application that works well. Put a bowl of steaming water, away from your baby's head and out of harms way. Add 1 drop of essential oil to 1 pint (600ml) of water....it will rise with the steam and circulate through the room.
Or use a diffuser - but make sure it is glazed so that you can clean it properly. Add a drop of essential oil to a tablespoon of water and mix well. Put it in the bowl of the diffuser. Do not use essential oil neat on a diffuser with a baby.
If your baby isn't sleeping well then use Roman chamomile. For cleanliness, and well...just a lovely aroma, use lavender. It has antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant and anti-viral properties. For any digestive problems (colic, indigestion, diarrhoea etc.) use dill.
Lavender and chamomile are the most suitable essential oils to first use with your baby. As your baby grows there are more oils that are fine to use.
Peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils are all avoided in younger children because they contain chemical constituents called cineol and menthol.
According to Robert Tisserand, in the newest edition of Essential Oil Safety:
As your baby grows - and doesn't that happen at an amazing speed! - then there are other suitable essential oils that can be used.
In the meantime.......enjoy using aromatherapy with your baby!