Aromatherapy and Babies

Can aromatherapy be used around babies?  It depends.  There are certainly some essential oils that can be used around them however, however it is very important to be careful about which oils are chosen and the does they are used at.

There are several reasons why one should be careful of the amount of essential oils used around babies. One they have a highly developed sense of smell and two some of the components found in essential oils can be too much for their young systems to handle and process. For babies under six months 1 – 2 drops maximum in 30 mls (1 oz) of carrier oil is sufficient for young babies and for babies over six months you can add an extra drop of your blend. As you are using so little essential oil it is best to make up your blend first and then add just the number of drops you need of the blend to the carrier oil.

Some of the conditions affecting babies where essential oils could prove to be helpful include colic, diaper rash, teething and fussing. You will find blends for each of these conditions under Baby Blends.

Baby colic commonly affects young babies and is bouts of tummy pain. They will often cry inconsolable until the griping pain stops. The pain can come in waves over several hours and can recur regularly every day. Other signs could include the abdomen feeling hard to the touch and the baby may draw up their legs to the stomach or may clench their fists. To help with this problem make sure that the baby”s feeding times are relaxed and peaceful. When the baby feeds too quickly they could take in a lot of air with the milk which will cause flatulence. Take time to wind baby properly after each feeding. If you are breast feeding also make sure that your own diet is free of foods that can cause flatulence. Foods that might cause problems include caffeine and gassy pop drinks, dairy products, onions, garlic, cabbage and spicy foods. Make up the colic blend and add 2 drops of the blend to 30ml of sweet almond oil. Gently massage a little of this oil around baby”s tummy in a clockwise motion and then massage a little of the oil into the baby”s back.

Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is something that can affect most babies at one time or another. The red rash is caused by the baby”s urine. It can be painful and worrying to baby and if left untreated could cause a fungal infection. After you have cleaned off baby”s bottom you can use a hydrosol of roman chamomile or lavender for the final rinse. If you don”t have any hydrosol you can make up a mixture of 4 drops of the blend, plus 4 drops of emulsifier or liquid soap,  in 500 ml of water. Gently sponge the baby”s bottom with this and after making sure that it is thoroughly dry add a little ointment to which you have added your essential oil blend. You would add 3 drops of essential oil blend to 30ml of ointment. You could also add 1 drop of the blend to baby”s bath water. Changing diapers frequently will help to prevent this problem.

Babies will generally start teething around the age of six months and by the time they are 2 or a little older, they will have twenty ”baby” teeth. Some teeth will pop out with no difficulty but often there will be some inflamation, soreness and swelling. Signs you might see include dribbling, rashes around the mouth, runny stools, fever, irritability, crying, not sleeping, biting on anything. Again a hydrosol can be very helpful. You can use either lavender hydrosol or Roman chamomile hydrosol to make a compress which you can place along the baby”s jawline. Make up the teething blend and then add 3 drops of this to 30mls of Sweet Almond Oil. Put a very little of this onto your fingers and gently massage it around the baby”s cheek running down gently to the jawline.

Babies can be fussy for a variety of different reasons and touch is often a great way to help calm them. You could try doing a gentle, rhythmic massage of their little legs and feet. They may take a little while to settle down but often this can calm them down really quickly. You would add 2 drops of the blend to 30 mls of Sweet Almond Oil.

Rosemary Caddy
, The Essential Oil Blending Guide, Amberwood Publishing, 2000
Valerie Ann Worwood, Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child,New World Library, 2000

Colic Diaper Rash Teething Fussing
1 drop of Roman Chamomile 2 drops of Lavender 1 drop of Roman Chamomile 4 drops of Mandarin
1 drop of Marjoram 1 drop of Roman Chamomile 3 drops of Lavender 1 drop of Roman Chamomile
2 drops of Mandarin

Other interesting articles to consider include Nursing Mothers, Clove for Teething Babies, Chamomile

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