As a parent, you want what’s best for your baby. Many times this means using natural remedies to help him feel better and stronger. If you’re an Aromatherapy user, then you probably have lots of questions. One of them would be whether diffusing essential oils around babies is safe or not. Well, it is and it isn’t.
In this post, you’ll find the answer to that question, plus:
- Frequently asked questions about diffusing essential oils and Aromatherapy around babies, in general. Learn how to use them, what oil to use and what for, etc.
- Safety precautions and tips to make sure the oils don’t cause your baby any trouble.
- A couple of reviews for some Aromatherapy children’s diffusers. Plus some essential oils diffuser recipes for babies.
Diffusing Essential Oils around Babies FAQ
Diffusing Aromatherapy oils is very easy and it’s a really pleasant activity too. Essential oils can change the scent in a room and put you in a certain mood. If we count the fact that they also have health benefits, all the better.
Diffusing turns into a habit, but what do you when a baby comes? The good news is that you can continue diffusing your aromatic oils. You just have to take some precautions first.
I put up an FAQ section with some of the most common worries and questions. Let’s see what they are and what the answers are.
1) Why would you want to diffuse essential oils in the first place?
Essential oils are liquid plant extracts with a wide range of health benefits. They have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and they’re also anti-inflammatory. They can relieve the pain, soothe an excited mind and help you sleep, among others.
Through diffusion, we inhale somewhere between 50 – 70% of the active oil molecules. This is the fastest way of experiencing their effects.
When we inhale these oils, they reach our brain and blood very fast. They then send signals to the brain to release certain neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters stimulate various hormones that make us feel in a certain way.
Besides the obvious health impact an aroma oil has on us, it can also purify the air. Being so volatile, an aromatic essence can fill a room with a pleasant scent. These reasons are enough to make you want to diffuse essential oils in your home regularly.
For the same reasons, you’d naturally want to continue doing so, even after a baby is born. However, you must be extremely careful when doing so.
Aroma diffusion is generally very well-tolerated by most people. If the right amounts are used and the proper conditions are met, it’s also gentle.
Your child is considered a baby from the moment he’s born until he’s one year old. This article is about diffusing essential oils around babies. So, I’ll refer to those oils you can use for that age only. For more details on dosage and lists of other oils, for older kids, you can read this article.
Aromatherapy for babies can help with sleep and air purification. But some oils are also calming and can help a restless and anxious baby.
2) Are essential oils safe?
Essential oils can be safe only if they’re used properly. What does this mean? It means you should use small to moderate amounts every time. It also means you should not diffuse continuously (the whole day or night).
Some aromatherapy oils are downright forbidden to use around babies. The first year of life is the most sensitive. Baby skin, for example, is not fully developed in infancy.
During the first year of life, babies don’t have their immune system fully formed either. In other words, a strong essence such as an essential oil can cause the baby problems.
3) What are Aromatherapy diffusers?
The oils are volatile, which means they evaporate and disperse into the air anyway. Aroma diffusers are devices that disperse the oil molecules into the atmosphere. A diffuser does it more efficiently and covers much larger spaces.
Aroma diffusers use different technologies to do that. The best one so far is called a nebulizer and it uses the atomizing technology. This diffuser doesn’t use water. It means that it diffuses only pure volatile molecules, with a strong therapeutic effect.
Read more about it here:
Because of this power and its features, they’re not recommended for use around kids. Milder options are ultrasonic diffusers that use essential oils and water. They use ultrasonic sounds to make a membrane vibrate.
This vibration then breaks down the oil and water molecules. It makes them easier to disperse through the air. This adds a bit of moisture to a small room and dilutes the therapeutic effects of the oils.
Ultrasonics make the whole experience gentle enough for babies. But only if you’re using safe aromatic oils for babies, which I will talk about soon.
Ultrasonic diffusers have a downside too. Because they use water, you need to clean them every other day, especially around kids. Mold can grow in as fast as 24 hours and dispersing its particles can cause health problems.
4) Are diffusers safe to use for your baby’s health?
Most diffusers are safe to use around babies and young children. Especially if they’re used for short periods of time (periodical bursts of 10 – 15 minutes). I would avoid candle-burning diffusers because they can heat the oils. Heat destroys most of the oil’s properties.
Nebulizers can be used just not in the baby’s room. Use them in a more open space, like a living room, and leave the door to the baby’s room open.
The weak concentration of oil molecules in the air can help the baby’s immune system. It helps the respiratory system too and calms down his nervous system.
In conclusion, an essential oil diffuser is safe for babies. What matters most is the essence you diffuse, not the device itself.
5) Is it safe to diffuse essential oils around babies?
As a general rule, you should not diffuse or use essential oils around a baby during his first 3 months of life. Diffusing essential oils around babies older than that can be very safe.
6) Which essential oils are safe for babies?
I kept telling you that some oils are safer than others to use for babies and kids in general. For example, diffusing Lavender around babies is safe.
The oil (in small quantities) is calming and soothing. It can help the baby sleep and/or calm down his nerves. It can also boost the immune system and help with digestion.
Essential oils safe for babies 3 – 12+ months old:
- Blue Yarrow
- Tea Tree
- Ylang Ylang
- Chamomile (Roman & German)
Again, use them in very small amounts (up to 2 drops).
7) Which essential oils should be totally avoided around babies?
Some essential oils, however good they may be for you as an adult, can be dangerous for babies. You should refer to this list whenever you’re not sure about an oil:
Essential oils to avoid diffusing around babies:
- Atlas Cedarwood
- Black Spruce
- Rose Geranium
- Bay Laurel
- Wild Mint
- Black Pepper
- Clary Sage
Other essential oils could be used around babies only after consulting with a doctor. They are:
- Lemon Eucalyptus
- Lemon Myrtle
- Green Mandarin
- Blue Tansy
8) Is it safe to use Eucalyptus oil on/around babies?
Eucalyptus is somewhat safe to diffuse around a baby. That can be done in as much as 0,5% concentration. It is a very popular natural remedy, especially against colds. It’s excellent for the respiratory system among others.
The reason it can do all that is its chemical composition. It’s very high in 1, 8 cineole (a.k.a. eucalyptol). The oil also contains camphor and menthol.
These substances are powerful nervous system stimulants. Large amounts can cause respiratory arrest in babies and young children. They can be quite toxic to the nervous system.
What about diffusing Peppermint oil around babies? Well, the latter statement applies here too. Peppermint is very high in menthol. Peppermint oil is not recommended for children under 3 years old, neither for diffusion nor for topical use.
How Do You Diffuse Essential Oils around Babies Safely
I was telling you that diffusion needs to be done properly. But how do you diffuse essential oils around a baby properly, right? Here are a few steps to follow:
- Use an essential oil diffuser, not a humidifier. The latter’s not built to diffuse oils and vice-versa.
- Use very small amounts of essential oils for babies. This usually depends on how big the space is and the diffuser itself. A baby’s room is generally not that big. A drop or two of essential oil is usually enough.
- Diffuse in bursts of 10 – 15 minutes. You can diffuse every 2 hours or more. The condition is to maintain the room well-ventilated. Leaving a window or door ajar should do the trick.
- Try to diffuse the oils when the baby’s not in the room. It’s best to diffuse for a few minutes, turn the diffuser off and let some air in for a few more minutes. You can then bring the baby inside, put him to bed or play, etc.
Or you can diffuse more oil in a different room and leave the door to the baby’s room open. In small amounts, this is also a good way to get some beneficial oils around your baby.
Now, diffusing essential oils around infants doesn’t seem so scary right? Check out the next safety precautions too, to be fully prepared.
Safety Words and Tips
Parents need to always be aware of all the risks they’re taking when it comes to their babies. It’s one thing to decide for yourself, and another to do so for another human being.
Read through these next precaution tips to get the complete picture on how to diffuse essential oils around babies safely.
- First, test the oil for allergic reactions from your baby. When you have a new essence, diffuse only a drop the whole day. If that’s the case, the baby will start showing allergic symptoms within an hour or so. Redness, shallow breathing, agitation, irritation are a few of the signs.
- Keep the diffuser away from the child’s face. It’s best to be kept somewhere far away even from his nose.
- Avoid diffusing essential oils around your baby while he sleeps.
- Ask the doctor before diffusing any essential oil. This is especially useful if your baby suffers from other conditions too.
- Keep all bottles away from the baby’s reach.
- Use only 100% and pure essential oils. Stay away from synthetic fragrance oils, which are irritating, to say the least. They don’t have any therapeutic benefits.
- Research an essential oil before using it and also ask for a medical opinion.
Kids Essential Oil Diffuser Reviews, plus Aromatherapy Recipes
After all the talk and explaining, it’s time to take a look at a couple of cute kids’ oil diffusers. Check out the pros and cons, to see whether they would be useful in your baby’s room.
1) VAVA Essential Oil Diffuser for Kids
- Cute cartoonish pattern, with a kid-friendly lock. For better safety, the lid is sealed and the cover is locked. This also prevents water spilling.
- It is BPA-free.
- Quiet (no beeping sounds).
- Two mist options (continuous and interval).
- 7 color LED lights, to enhance the aesthetic rainbow enjoyment.
- It can work for up to 14 continuous hours, though, for safety reasons, that’s not recommended.
- The water reservoir holds 200 ml.
- The package contains the diffuser, a power adapter, and one measuring cup. It also comes with a cleaning brush and one user guide.
- It weighs 1.2 pounds (544 grams).
- The product is covered by an 18 months warranty.
- Being an ultrasonic diffuser, it may leave residues on the furniture. Make sure you place something underneath it to prevent such thing from happening.
- Because of the mold growth risk, it needs to be cleaned regularly.
Why I like it:
This VAVA children’s diffuser makes a very nice nighttime lamp for the little ones. It’s cute and simple to use. It can also humidify the air, though it’s not very powerful since that was not its built-in purpose. More than 80% of the people who’ve bought it are satisfied.
2) TOMNEW Ultrasonic Mini Essential Oil Diffuser for Kids
- It’s a very small ultrasonic diffuser with a nice wood grain exterior.
- The top contains beautifully drawn patterns that make a room seem almost magical.
- The diffuser comes with an auto shut-off option, though again, it’s not needed. You’ll have to turn it on and off manually after a few minutes. The device can go for 1, 3 or 5 hours; but it also has a continuous mode.
- TOMNEW comes with 7 color LED lights too. You can keep a color steady or opt for all colors to rotate. You also have the option of no light at all. The colors can be adjusted from bright to dim and vice versa.
- Very quiet (“whisper smooth”).
- Adds a bit of moisture to a small room.
- The water reservoir holds up to 150 ml. This quantity can keep the diffuser on for 5 – 8 hours.
- It is recommended for spaces of up to 165 sq. ft. (15 sq. meters).
- High and low mist option.
- The materials it’s made of are PP/ABS/PVC.
- The package comes with the diffuser, an AC adapter, and its user manual.
- The package weighs 12.8 ounces (360 grams).
- You can’t add more water than specified (by a line). The less water you use, the more mist it makes.
- The seller recommends using only water-soluble essential oils. There is no such thing unless you add an emulsifier to bind the oils to the water. You can use regular essential oils without a problem though.
- The lights are not projected on the ceiling.
- This diffuser may also leave water (and oil) residue on the surface you keep it.
- You need to clean it regularly.
Why I like it:
Another lovely night time lamp that would make the baby at least intrigued. Kids seem to love this essential oil diffuser for its changeable illuminated images. I can see why, though 🙂 It’s safe to use and a good value for your money, plus the kids love it. That seems to me like a win-win situation.
Aromatherapy Diffuser Recipes for Babies
Here’s a small dose of inspiration for your next DIY project. Check out these next blends and try any one of them, following the “rules” of a proper diffusion, of course.
Essential Oil Recipe for Babies with Cold
- Lavender essential oil: 5 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 5 drops
Mix these two essences together in a glass bottle. Diffuse only one or two drops in a well-ventilated room, for about 10 minutes. Make sure the baby is not in the room during diffusion.
Soothing Essential Oil Blend for Babies
- Ylang Ylang essential oil: 10 drops
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 10 drops
Mix the oils together and use a drop or two as needed. These oils are known to calm down the heart rate and soothe the nervous system.
Play Time Essential Oil Recipe for Babies
- Tangerine essential oil: 15 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 5 drops
Give the blend a gentle shake first, then use a drop per diffusion. Make sure the room is very well-ventilated and the diffuser not too close to your baby.
Babies can also enjoy the benefits of essential oils, as long as you use them responsibly. Very small amounts can actually help them feel more at ease. Aromatherapy can also help build a healthy immune system and prevent viral infections. Now, all the family can enjoy the therapeutic effects of Aromatherapy.
What do you think about diffusing essential oils around babies now? Does your baby seem to have favorites? I’d be happy to read about all your aromatic experiences.