How to Safely Use Essential Oils for Babies and Children

How to Safely Use Essential Oils for Babies and Children

Your little one’s safety has been entrusted to you…

You want to make sure you use essential oils wisely.

Essential Oils are potent extracts of plants that contain powerful medicinal properties.  When getting started with essential oils it is very important to be educated on how to use them safely, especially when using them around small children.  Oils should always be thought of as of having potent medicinal uses, even though they are also used for preventative measures.

As a childbirth Doula, I use essential oils around pregnant mommies and babies often.  Some oils can be quite gentle while others can be quite potent and shouldn’t be used around babes at all.  Here is a guide to help you use essential oils on your little ones with the most care possible to ensure that you have an essential oil experience that is sure to change the health of your entire family.

It is important to follow common sense when using essential oils and start use gradually especially with little ones.

Alwaysalways, always use unadulterated organic 100% pure essential oils.  I love to use Young Living essential oils for my family and clients because I know that the oils are as pure as they come. I can’t emphasize enough to not use anything less than quality when using potent plant extracts that will carry all the toxins with them if not the purest of quality. These quality oils really do make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the essential oil.

You are able to trust Young Living oils because

  • They have their own farms and distilleries around the globe
  • Pesticides and toxins have not been used on the land where they gather their plant matter in over 50 years.
  • They hand weed the crops
  • Oils are steam distilled at low temps (with the exception of cold pressed citrus oils)
  • They always use Non-GMO seeds
  • They often use essential oils as a natural pest repellant when they don’t meet safety standards.
  • They test, test, test in internal labs and third party facilities to ensure the highest standard

Learn More about their quality standard here: 

SEED TO SEAL from Young Living on Vimeo.

Important Tools:

Always keep on hand carrier oils in order to dilute essential oils. I typically recommend olive oil, almond oil or coconut oil.   I recommend diluting all essential oils for babies and small children.  When in doubt dilute 1:30.  Dilution does not diminish the effectiveness of essential oils, but it does slow the absorption into the body.   Such as 1-2 drops of oil in 1/2-1 tsp of a carrier oil.


  • Keep essential oils out of direct sunlight and in a cool place.
  • Keep essential oils out of reach of children.
  • Keeps lids tightly closed

Safety Guidelines

  • When using citrus oils on the skin diluted or not always avoid sunlight exposure for at least 12-48 hours.  These oils are photosensitive and could cause a rash, sunburn or dark pigmentation on the skin.
  • Never use essential oils that contain menthol or peppermint on the throat, neck or face of children under 18 months.
  • Never put essential oils directly into the eyes.
  • Epileptics and those with high blood pressure should use caution when starting a essential oils regimen.  They should work with an experienced professional.
  • Individuals with many allergies should test essential oils on a small area of skin like the inside of the upper arm before using them anywhere else.
  • The bottoms of the feet are one of the safest places to apply essential oils topically.
  • Do not give babies and young children essential oils internally.
  • When adding essential oils to bath water mix 2-3 drops in Epsom salts before running the bath so that the essential oil gets diluted throughout the bath water.

Allergic reactions

If a reaction occurs from the essential oils such as a rash or redness decrease or discontinue use of the essential oil.  If an oil has been applied neat and a reaction occurs then dilute it right away directly on the skin with a carrier oil to slow the reaction.  Reactions can occur either due to allergies, allergic tendencies in the body or they can occur due to the ability of certain oils to digest toxins in the skin.  Just make sure you have the child drink lots of water and dilute with a carrier oil.  It can also be helpful to run an Epsom salt bath.

Next time, use a different oil or try single oils so that the allergic reaction isn’t caused again.  There are typically multiple essential oils for the same health issues so if one seems to give your child a reaction another one will not be hard to find.

Here are the safest essential oils that you can use with your children:

In Shirley Price’s book, Aromatherapy for Babies and Children, she mentions 19 oils that are safe for children. These oils are:

  • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)*
  • Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)**
  • Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile)
  • Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
  • Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Lemon (Citrus limon)*
  • Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)*
  • Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
  • Melaleuca-Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Orange (Citrus aurantium)*
  • Rose Otto (Rosa damascena)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)**
  • Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)
  • Sandalwood (Santalum album)
  • Thyme (Thumus vulgaris CT linalol)
  • Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)

*These oils are photosensative; always dilute. To prevent a rash or pigmentation of the skin, do not use citrus oils when exposed to direct sunlight.
**These oils should never be used undiluted on babies and children.                  

Favorite Resources:

Gentle Babies: Essential Oils, and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Babies and Young Children By Debra Rayburn                  

Dr. Moms Essential Oils First Aid by Judy Jehn                  

If you are interested in purchasing high quality essential oils for your family check out more information over at my Young Living page here.     If you haven’t got started yet in essential oils and would like to find out how they can help your family live healthier lives join my facebook learning group here.

One of my favorite essential oils for pregnant mommies and babies is the Gentle Baby blend.  Make sure you check it out and enter to win one here.



  1. Some of my friends were talking a bit about health and essential oils came up. One of my friends shared her concern about using Lavender oil on young boys because of what she had found online. I tend to disagree with her on this because of some of the health blogs I follow, but assured her I would check into it a bit more. Do you have an opinion on this? TIA


  1. […] be done with caution in mind as they can be strong for them. For babies and children it is best to dilute them with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut […]

  2. […] mame – zelo uporabna knjiga o eteričnih oljih za nosečnice in dojenčke – in še en blog doule … recimo, da je dovolj za začetek raziskovanja o tej […]

  3. […] mame – zelo uporabna knjiga o eteričnih oljih za nosečnice in dojenčke – in še en blog doule … recimo, da je dovolj za začetek raziskovanja o tej temi. […]

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