Essential Oils Safe for Babies and Children


Essential oils certified 100% pure are safe for therapeutic use for your babies and young children. When the oils are used correctly, they can also be used for your newborn babies. Always investigate and never let a child or adult ingest essential oils.

1. Essential Oil Safety for Babies

essential-oils-safe-for-babies-and-childrenAlways use caution when considering using essential oils for your infants and babies. The oils are intense and highly concentrated. Yes, oils are from nature, but even natural substances must be safeguarded for anyone; you do not want to make a lethal mistake. A good book to read is The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. She suggests the following essential oils for infants and babies:

Infants 0 to 2 months old—German and Roman chamomile, lavender, dill, and yarrow

Babies 2 to 6 months old—Neroli and mandarin plus the ones listed above for infants

Babies 7 to 12 months old—Grapefruit, calendula, and tea tree and those listed above

2. Best Quality Essential Oils

Always check for the best 100% pure essential oils available. Some good companies are dōTERRA® and Young Living including others shown here. Never substitute perfumed waters, perfumed oils, or massage oils.

Bottle labels might show therapeutic grade oils, but since there are no FDA laws governing the products, it does not necessarily mean this is true. Stay with a reputable seller and read their websites. Box stores and drug stores do not usually carry the best oils, so shy away from those places to buy.

Remember that caution is the keyword with babies. Use only 1 or 2 drops mixed with water or lotions for a restful and soothing massage for baby. If you use a diffuser, only use 1 or 2 drops as well, because the mist enters the baby’s lungs.

  • Under no circumstances ingest—take internally—essential oils
  • At no time put undiluted essential oils near the baby’s face
  • Do not use full-strength essential oils in a diffuser or vaporizer for babies; always dilute in water
  • Never put full-strength essential oils on a baby’s skin because it will irritate and burn

3. Essential Oil Methods for Babies


The easiest methods are with a nebulizer or ultrasonic essential oil diffuser or massage. A massage oil for baby must be mixed with a carrier oil so that it will permeate the skin. Add 1 or 2 drops to 100% pure essential oils to about 2 to 3 tablespoon of sweet almond or avocado oil and blend well. Try a small sample area first on baby’s hand or foot top. Wait 20 minutes to see that there is no redness or rash to continue massaging or not. Go at it slowly; you can always continue if no problems, but cannot take away what has been done. When your baby is over 2-months old, you can use 3 to 5 drops of essential oil to blend with the carrier oil.

4. Essential Oil Uses for Baby

You first need to know that carrier oils are not as volatile as pure essential oils. This makes carriers much more appropriate for blending to have a less unpredictable situation. Baby oil is a mineral oil and will not penetrate baby’s tender young skin so stay away from it. It can irritate and is not used in aromatherapy for that reason. It will not penetrate adult’s skin either, so not a good choice. Vegetable oils can be absorbed into the blood stream via the skin pores providing nutrients for example vitamin E and A. It can nurture the skin as well.

What a carrier oil does is to be the lubricant for massaging and diluting the full strength of the essential oil. Oils can become rancid (sour, rotten, stinky, stale) in about 6 months. However, if you add to your essential oil carrier oils 5% avocado or wheat germ that contains the antioxidant vitamin E, you should be able to keep this mixture for about 9 months.


  • Sleepy Time Massage Oil—At bedtime, mix and blend well 1 drop of chamomile or lavender with 2 tablespoons of your preferred carrier oil.
  • Diaper Rash—Changing baby’s diaper more often will prevent this painful condition. If it happens, simply put 1 drop of German chamomile 100% pure essential oil and 1 drop of lavender 100% pure essential oil into a pint jar of warm water. Use a soft cloth to dip into the solution and gently apply to the rash. Do not press hard or rub back and forth that will further irritate baby’s tender and already sore bottom.

Baby powder, whether plain or herbal, are highly controversial for use on babies and adults. They are now known to cause adult women (who were once babies) to have ovarian problems. Little boy babies can get the powder into his penis, and that is not a good situation. Powders become wet and gummy around the inside of the thighs near baby’s private area and moisture can cause other bacterial and viral conditions to exist. Recommendation: do not use powder at all for baby’s bottom and front diaper area.

  • Crying Baby—sometimes we don’t know why they cry when their diaper is clean, and their belly is full. At these times, put a drop of Roman chamomile on a tissue, or your hand, and have your baby smell it. Do not put too close to the nose; it might be a shock and make baby cry more.
  • Teething—this is a crying time for your baby for the very first teeth coming through the gums—it hurts. Try using 1 drop of lavender or Roman chamomile with 1 tablespoon of a light mild carrier oil. Gently massage the jaw area and face under the eyes. Another pain relieving medication that is all natural is clove oil available at the pharmacy counter. It is food grade, and we ingest cloves in baked goods. Put a drop on your index finger and rub your baby’s sore gums.
  • Cranky Baby Colic—is usually caused by muscle spasms, gas, or reflux, and typically goes away by 3 to 4 months. Put in your diffuser 1 drop of lavender and 2 drops of peppermint and fill the reservoir with water. The mist breathed in by baby should help. Never have baby ingest essential oils.

Use 1 drop of dill blended with 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil and rub your baby’s tummy and back in soothing circular motions. If baby has irritated bowels, this might help with eliminating stool making baby irritable. This is very soothing and might put your baby to sleep a good healing time.

  • Calming Baby—put a drop of chamomile or lavender 100% pure essential oil on a washcloth or cotton ball and insert in your blouse or shirt holding your baby close to you where it can be inhaled. Your warm body and beating heart with the fragrance of the oil will calm and relax your baby—and you too.
  • Cleaning Baby’s Nursery—put about 8 drops of mandarin 100% pure essential oil and 1 cup of cool water into a spray bottle to wipe down surface areas, windowsills, cribs, dressers, toys, and other objects.

5. Essential Oil Uses for Older Children

Feeling Poorly—all youngsters and kids feel yucky at times with non-specific problems. Maybe they are just down in the dumps or feel poorly but don’t know why. Put 1 to 2 drops of lemon or thyme into 2 tablespoons of your favorite carrier oil. Massage this mixture on their area of concern—the chest, neck, back of neck, head—but not face—or maybe the arms, legs, and feet.

Gastrointestinal Tract—this could be the upper stomach or the lower belly area where the small and large (colon) intestines are. Mix 1 to 2 drops of ginger, rosemary, or orange in 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil and massage in gentle circles on the tummy area including the lower back. Include the feet as well since pressure points are located there. Another good thing that works 99% of the time is crystalized ginger slices available at health food stores. Chew on 2 to 5 of these slices and your stomach and belly problems will disappear. Older kids with teeth can eat these. Babies, of course, cannot chew on them. If anything more severe is going on, please see your child’s doctor.

Scrapes and Booboos—are not always a big deal to mom, but are a trauma to a youngster. Put 5 drops of lavender and 5 drops of melaleuca in a cup of warm water to clean the affected area. You can add the slightly stinging lavender oil of 1 drop to a band aide and cover the booboo. Kids love it when you blow on the area to make it stop stinging or burning.

Ear Aches—if mild not needing a doctor, a slight ache can be eased by applying lavender and melaleuca to the outside of the ear only. Never put drops down into the ear canal! Simply put the 100% pure essential oil on a ball of cotton and sit it in the outer ear outside, not down into the canal. It the aching or more severe pain persists, see your pediatrician. Use a fragrance such as orange, lemon, lavender, and sandalwood.

Infrequent Body Discomforts—soak in a bath where you have added a few drops of lemon or cypress 100% pure essential oils. You can also purchase an unscented bath gel and add a few drops to it as well and rub on your body.

Over Heated—from the weather or from exercising, add a drop of peppermint or lavender into 2 tablespoons of your favorite carrier oil and massage this on the back of your neck. Your toes and behind the ears will love this too providing an instant cooling feeling to turn the heat off.

Sun Exposure—use 5 drops of lavender to 1 tablespoon of aloe vera from a real plant or a bottle of it. Gently apply to the area on your body that had exposure to the sun. If you have a severe sun burn, try pure apple cider vinegar straight from the bottle to your skin with a cotton ball.

6. Common Carrier Oils and Benefits


Always use 1 to 2 drops of 100% pure essential oil to 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil.

The gentle, mild, calming and soothing oils are good for baby’s upset tummy, colic, and overall comfort, using:

  • Lavender, Roman chamomile
  • Frankincense, ginger
  • Melaleuca, sandalwood
  • Orange, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine
  • Geranium, thyme, oregano, ylang-ylang

The blend, DigestZen, is excellent for baby, but please do not put where baby can get his or her hands on it and rub their little hands on their eyes. This is also good for young children and all people whatever their age.

7. Carrier Oils for 100% Pure Essential Oils

Carrier oils are classified by category of their source.


Carrier oils must always be 100% pure virgin cold pressed vegetable oil that has not been refined. This is the best type for the base oil to be added to 100% pure essential oils. For a wonderful aromatherapy massage, you will want a lighter oil for your face and a thicker oil for your entire

Pink flowers on almond trees yield sweet almonds while trees with white blossoms –– produce bitter almonds.

The light yellow oil without much of an odor and resists becoming rancid is used for massage. It has unsaturated fatty acids and can be used all over the body. It is low in linoleic acid.

grapeseedGrapeseed oil is very light and a base oil that is good for oily skin. It is easy absorbed by the pores of the skin. Grapeseed oil is a good alternative to olive oil sold in grocery stores for salads and cooking. Cooking oil is not the same product as the essential oils base oil.

Note: The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not approved nor is involved in evaluating the products discussed here. None of the products are meant to prevent disease, cure ailments or disease, or cure problems. Essential oils are used by holistic people and those who want a measure of relief and comfort from common conditions not necessarily requiring a doctor.

Final Thoughts

We hope some of this information is helpful and gives you some ideas with your babies and youngsters. Always read more and be cautious with powerful 100% pure essential with your children. Base oils and vegetable oils are removed from the fatty portion of plants. Carrier oils are necessary for massage since essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin. The scent of carrier oils is very light compared to essential oils and will work well for your aromatherapy experience.


Melissa Styer

Melissa Styer is the Founder, and long time Editor-in-Chief of With a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Oregon, and a Masters Degree in Biology from California State University, Melissa has been writing and teaching about essential oils and the importance of a maintaining a healthy living environment for over 25 years. === Hi All, I started Wellness Appliances in the Winter of 2014 as a way to and share my knowledge and thoughts on essential oils and the importance of healthful living. As a youngster, I have vivid memories of walking through the large fantastic garden my dad kept for his entire life. It was there I learned about all the plants and the varied, important properties they can offer humanity. A cool morning misty walk down the meandering paths was a child’s delight, and something I still do to this day in my own sprawling gardens. While I have stepped back from the day-to-day managing of Wellness Appliances, I intend to continue contributing articles on subjects that matter to me from time to time. My days are largely filled volunteering at the local co-op, tooling in my vegetable and fragrance gardens (which I attempt to keep as a year-round gardens), writing, and being the leader of the pack to my two dogs Jacko and Lea. Thanks for the years of great readership! - Melissa

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