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Babies and Aromatherapy

by Wendy Mackay MIAAMA

Aromatherapy and children often go together beautifully and children generally take very well to aromatherapy as a treatment. For parents and carers looking for natural alternatives, aromatherapy is a great option for a variety of conditions.

But when you are dealing with a newborn baby is aromatherapy still appropriate? After all a baby can’t tell you if they prefer an aroma and they are so much more sensitive to a range of substances.

Aromatherapy can be used on babies, but like children generally, there are some precautions to take.


How to Use Essential Oils with Babies



For daily baby massage a plain carrier oil is best – I recommend Sweet Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil.

For a treatment oil add 1 -2 drops of essential oil to each 50ml of carrier oil.


Add 1 drop of essential oil to each 5ml (1 teaspoon) of carrier oil to dilute it, then add a small amount of this to the bath. Do not use neat essential oils in the bath – always dilute first.


Avoid using vaporisers or oil burners with candles in a baby’s room for safety. For preference choose an electric vaporiser which does not require the use of water (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to check this) Use 1-2 drops of essential oil only.


Which Essential Oils to Use for Babies?

Many essential oils are just too strong for babies and should be avoided. These are a few safe oils that are great for your home aromatherapy kit –

Lavender Lavandula angustifolia - a most versatile oil, relaxing and gentle and also healing for the skin.

Roman Chamomile Anthemis nobilis – from the same plant we use for chamomile tea, so very calming and soothing.

Mandarin Citrus reticulata – a very sweet “happy” citrus smell, mildly relaxing and calming.


Remember that these measures should not exclude medical advice. If symptoms persist or worsen or you are at all concerned, please do consult a medical practitioner.

And if you are not sure of what Essential Oils or methods are appropriate please  consult a qualified aromatherapist.


Some Basic Remedies for Babies

Colic and Tummy Upsets

Make up a massage oil with 1 drop of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil in 50ml Carrier Oil and use a small amount to massage baby’s tummy in slow clockwise motions.

Nappy Rash

Add 1 drop of Lavender Essential Oil to a teaspoon of Carrier Oil and add a small amount of this to the bath water.

Sleep Problems and Restlessness

Use a vaporiser with 1 drop of Lavender Essential Oil (with 1 drop of Mandarin Essential Oil, if desired) in baby’s room before sleep time.

Alternatively put the drop of oil on a tissue and tuck it under the bottom cot sheet or in a corner near the cot (but out of reach!)


(This information is meant as general advice.  Please consult your health practitioner or a qualified aromatherapist for advice on your specific situation.)

Wendy Mackay is a qualified Aromatherapist and a member of the International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association (IAAMA). Wendy along with her husband David is the Founder and Director of Essence of Wellbeing. Essence of Wellbeing is dedicated to the best in Aromatherapy and Pure Natural Skin Care and is located in Mornington on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia.

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