Administration, restrictions… The point about essential oils in babies

Essential oils are well known in the natural healing world for their effects on the mind and body. However, can they be used on a baby? What precautions to take? What oils should be banned in infants? With what cans? We take stock of this topic with Sabine Monnoyeur, non-medical practitioner.

From what age can essential oils be used for a baby?

Before asking the question of which essential oil to use, it is important to know at what age you can start using them, as Sabine Monnoyeur introduces: “First of all, do not use essential oils in babies under 3 months. In fact, newborn babies are still too young to be exposed to the active ingredients of essential oils. Also, the way of administration differs depending on the age of the baby. It is not recommended to give essential oils orally to a child under the age of six! Before this age we prefer the application by cutaneous route or by diffusion”. It is also possible to use certain humidifiers with essential oil diffusers.

Massage, diffusion in the children’s room… How to use essential oils?

Approved essential oils are not used anyway. For the well-being of the child, certain precautionary measures must be observed, as Sabine Monnoyeur explains: “If you want to apply the oil to the skin, it is first important not to make a pure app. The oil is diluted in a fatty substance, such as a natural vegetable oil. It is also necessary to assess the child’s risk of allergy to some of these essential oils. To be on the safe side, you can apply a drop of essential oil (diluted in vegetable oil) to the inside of your wrist. If after 24 hours we see a reaction on that area of ​​the baby’s skin, it means that he is allergic and the oil should not be used.”

If you want to dilute the essential oil in the baby bath, you must also dilute it beforehand and not use pure essential oil: “The oil is not water-soluble. If the essential oil is poured into the bath as is, it will remain on the surface and may burn the baby’s skin.”

Finally, if you want to nebulize essential oils in the baby’s room, the following precautions must be observed: “When the product is nebulized, the baby must not be present in the room. Then we air the room well before we bring the child back in.”

Finally, we do not hesitate to seek medical advice at the slightest doubt.

Which essential oils are dangerous for infants?

While many have healing properties, not all essential oils can be used with a baby. Here are the top oils not to use:

  • Oils with neurotoxic components rich in ketones: eucalyptus with krypton, peppermint, rosemary, sage officinalis, thuja, atlas cedar…
  • Phenol-rich oils: compact oregano, clove, savory, clove, thymol, thyme, cinnamon. In fact, this type of essential oil can cause potential dangers such as liver damage and is too strong for the baby’s mucous membranes.
  • Dermocaustic oils: cinnamon, oregano, thyme thymol, savory,
  • Photosensitizing essential oils. These are citrus based, but it’s hard to tell as there’s no specifics on the label. As a precautionary measure, it is recommended to avoid sun exposure after application.

Non-exhaustive list of essential oils to avoid in babies

Ajwain, dill, angelica, basil, bergamot, bergamot without bergapten, cade, cajeput, wild chamomile, cardamom, cumin, Atlas cedar, lemon, Java lemongrass, kaffir lime, coriander seed, criste marine, turmeric, cypress de Provence, frankincense, black spruce , tarragon, eucalyptus smithii, galbanum, wintergreen, juniper, geranium, ginger, madagascar helichrysum, khella, bay leaf, super lavandin, lavandula stoechas, greenland ledon, lemongrass, pistachio, mastic tree, lovage, marjoram, lemon balm, field mint, greens Mint, Nutmeg, Red Myrtle, Neroli, Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, Patchouli, Douglas Fir, Scots Pine, Black Pepper, Hemlock Fir, Balsam Fir, Siberian Fir, Turpentine, Savory Leaf Thyme, Goldenrod, Exotic Verbena, Lemon Verbena, Vetiver.

Hydrolates, a good substitute for babies

Since baby’s skin is sensitive, it is possible to use an essential oil substitute. These are hydrosols that are less heavy and less aggressive, as Sabine Monnoyeur explains: “Hydrosols are made at the same time as essential oils. It is in fact the aqueous “residue” produced at the time of conception of the essential oil. the hydrolates also contain the active compounds. It’s a good alternative because it’s effective and less dangerous for the baby.”

Which essential oils for which complaints?

So we have seen the essential oils that are not suitable for use on newborns. Conversely, there are others that can be used. Any oil can be used depending on the infant’s problem. Here is a non-exhaustive list of possible uses of essential oils, compiled by Sabine Monnoyeur.

Nervousness: which essential oil to use to calm the little child

Stress and nervousness affect babies too! Which oils to calm down? “If you are stressed or nervous; I recommend using Roman chamomile oil. Roman chamomile is known for its calming properties. You can also use marjoram with clams or petit grain bigarade, which have the same benefits as roman chamomile.”

La Ravintsara, used to treat colds and bronchiolitis

For babies, colds are often synonymous with being unwell. What types of oil will help you best to cure this disease? “Ravintsara essential oil is ideal for treating colds in infants. It can also be used for bronchiolitis.” Of course, these oils are not a substitute for medication. If symptoms persist, it is important to consult a pediatrician.

Which essential oil for teething?

Teething is a real source of suffering for young children. They can be relieved with different types of essential oils, including Roman chamomile and fine lavender. You can also make a blend of essential oils diluted in vegetable oil. The result can be gently applied to the baby’s gums.

Essential oils that help babies fall asleep

Difficulty falling asleep, sleep regression, sleep guilt… The toddler can often be affected by sleep disorders. Here are the different essential oils that can be used: “Again, Roman chamomile can be used. True lavender also has virtues to facilitate baby’s sleep. It is also possible, in the form of a massage, to use Petit Grain Bigarade essential oil diluted (10% essential oil) with apricot oil and massage the soles of the baby’s feet.

Lavender for colic and flatulence

Essential oils can be used for infant colic or even flatulence: “Lavender officinalis can help babies to relieve stomach pain. In terms of use, it is possible to dilute 10% of this essential oil in vegetable oil (olive oil, apricot…). To apply, gently massage baby’s tummy.

Antibacterial essential oils

What essential oils for the baby to avoid bacterial diseases? “Tea tree is great for fighting bacteria. Linalool thyme can also be used,” explains the naturopath.

Other essential oils for other problems

There are also other types of essential oils that can be used in babies in certain cases. Sabine Monnoyeur gives us some examples: “In case of tiredness or to boost immunity, we can mix it. In a 10ml bottle, mix 15 drops of rosewood essential oil with 15g of tangerine essence and fill the bottle with apricot vegetable oil. This preparation can be applied to the baby’s chest. To fight against lice, we mix (50/50) lavender oil and vegetable oil. We apply a few drops behind the ears and on the child’s neck before going to crib or school. Finally, when the baby has Eczema, you can apply a hydrosol based on Roman chamomile or Matricaria chamomile on the affected area.”

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