Natural Wellness with Julie Reneaud

Essential Oils in the Nursery

Using Essential Oils in the nursery and with your family can be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience.  

But, it can be a little scary. Who am I kidding, VERY SCARY. Despite, the amazing potential for wellness benefits, using essential oils in the nursery continues to remain a topic of great controversy. With that in mind, this post is a little wordy, but quite informative. If you make it through the whole post, you are a ROCKSTAR PARENT!

Of course, the choice to use oils with your young ones is ultimately a decision that only the parent can make. You are an empowered parent and can choose how and when to use oils on your children. Please, be certain to do your own research and use common sense.

Up front, I want to share my resources for this blog. All information has been taken from Young Living Educational resources,  a text called Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children by Debra Raybern and a blog from My Merry Messy Life. To view the blog –> Click Here 

To get my favorite Mommy and Baby oils book, click the following link to the Amazon Bookstore -> Gentle Babies Book  

Here are a few things to consider when using essential oils with your children.

  1. A babies skin and respiratory system are much more delicate and sensitive than ours. They are more likely to be very sensitive to the potency of oils. Dilute essential oils well for topical use and diffusion.
  2. ALWAYS  keep them out of reach of children as they are not toys and can be hazardous when used in large quantities.  A little essential oil goes a long way. Some of these oils smell like food or candy, but can be dangerous if drank or splashed on a child in large quantities.
  3. Oral use in babies is not recommended and I like to encourage keeping oils away from an infant’s throat, nose, and face.
  4.  Never put oils inside the ear. You may use some well-diluted oil behind the ear if desired.
  5. For babies, I do not recommend putting oils in their bath water. Their skin already has greater absorption rate than ours and warm water will further open pores and increase absorption that MUCH more. If you choose to do this, I would stick to only 1-2 drops at most in a tub of water.
  6. Start low and go slow. Limit exposure and gradually increase as the child becomes older and has had prior exposure. Use a test spot of diluted oil before using the diluted oil as a massage oil for your baby.

    Considered Safe for Children

According to the text “Gentle Babies”, there is a consensus of opinion on oils safe to use on children. It includes, but is not limited to…….

  • Bergamot

  • Cedarwood

  • Chamomile, Roman

  • Cypress

  • Frankincense

  • Geranium

  • Ginger

  • Lavender

  • Lemon

  • Marjoram

  • Melaleuca-Tea Tree

  • Orange

  • Rose Otto

  • Rosemary

  • Rosewood

  • Sandalwood

  • Thyme

  • Ylang Ylang

Use with Caution

The following oil singles are to be used with caution in babies and very small children. When using oil blends, be sure to look at the ingredient list within the blend to ensure safety for your littles.

  • Idaho Tansy

  • Hyssop

  • Sage

  • Clary Sage

  • Wintergreen

  • Eucalyptus

  • Peppermint

The use of eucalyptus oil is quite controversial and can be disputed. For instance, some research indicates that Eucalyptus oils are safe oils for children when not used is high quantities or near the nose. Most incidents of adverse effects caused by oils are due to tainted products or incorrect/unsafe usage of oils.  To be cautious and conservative, Eucalyptus Radiata has the lowest amount of eucalyptol making it a better choice of eucalyptus in children. Use your own judgment and always do your own research!!

Peppermint is a concern due to its cooling effect and when inhaled by the very young in large quantities, it may trigger a cold response in their lungs leading to apnea. NAHA says, “Direct application of peppermint oil to the nasal area or chest to infants should be avoided because of the risk of apnea, laryngeal and bronchial spasms, acute respiratory distress with cyanosis and respiratory arrest. ”   This recommendation is coming from a study with menthol and mentholated products showing adverse effects when placed near the nose of an infant, but they deemed otherwise safe to use in children.

The choice to use is up to you as a parent.  Click here to read the full study report. (Tip: pg 15) I would avoid topical use of peppermint oil on my infant, just to be caution…but I would feel comfortable having my baby in a ventilated room where it was being diffused.


Here are some areas on a baby’s foot to help guide you using zones and techniques from acupressure and reflexology.


Frequency of use and Dilution

Essential oils metabolize in the body in 2 1/2 to 3 hours, so you can technically apply that often.

Ages 0-1: Dilute to 1/8 the labeled concentration

Ages 2-6: Dilute to 1/4 the labeled concentration

Ages 7-11: Dilute to 1/2 the labeled concentration

Ages 12+: Use concentration as recommended on the bottle

Common Recommended Oils & Uses for Babies

Note: Roman Chamomile is gentler than German, so it is best suited for newborns and infants.

**When you put oils on your babies feet, please keep in mind extra caution if he/she puts his/her feet in their mouth**  In most cases, not a big deal, but just something to consider.

Immune Support: Lavender, Frankincense, or Lemon

-Use topically by diluting 1-2 drops in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil of choice and massage on the Vita Flex points on the bottoms of the feet, 2 to 4 times a day when sick.

Digestion Support:  Fennel, German Chamomile, Melissa, or Marjoram

-Use topically by diluting 1-2 drops in 2 tablespoons carrier oil of choice, and massage a small amount gently on stomach and back

Respiratory Support: Thyme or Lemon

-Diffuse with an aromatherapy diffuser or

-dilute 1-2 drops in 2 tablespoons and massage a little on neck and chest

CryingYlang ylang, Lavender, or Roman Chamomile. Also consider, Peace and Calming Blend from Young Living

-Diffuse with an aromatherapy diffuser

 Diaper Area: Lavender

-Try a tablespoon or so of diaper rash cream and add 1 drop of lavender to it, then rub on.

-Dilute 1-2 drops in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil of choice

-Buy KidScents Tender Tush from Young Living

Respiratory System: Melaleuca Alternifolia

-Put a dilute drop of oil on a cotton ball and place in the ear (but do NOT put the oil itself directly in the ear), rub diluted oil behind ear

Digestion and Liver Support:  Geranium or DiGize.

-Dilute and apply on the liver area and on the liver Vita Flex feet points

For Healthy Skin: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Rose, or Sandalwood

-Dilute and apply on location

-For skin on the scalp, consider a combination of 2Tbs almond oil with 1 drop of lemon and 1 drop of geranium OR 1 drop of sandalwood and 1 drop of Cedarwood. Mix and apply a small amount on the babies head.


Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Ginger, Marjoram, Melaleuca

-Dilute and apply a small amount to feet

For teething, some parents have found that a diluted drop of Clove or Thieves oil placed on the gum is helpful due to its numbing effect. If you choose to do this, please be sure to dilute as recommended by the dilution chart in the graphic above. These 2 oils are hot oils leading to a sensation of numbness, like when you are at the dentist. Try it on yourself first after diluting so you can feel its effects prior to putting on your babies gums. It feels funny, but boy does it take the dental pain away quick!!

 The main point & take away.

These oils are very potent and only require a drop or 2 for effectiveness. Dilute well using a carrier oil with around a 1:30 blend (one part essential oil and 30 parts carrier oil) and it’s best to keep the oil mixture away from the nose of an infant.

Now, that you made it through this whole post, you have achieved ROCKSTAR status! Feel free to reply or comment with questions, I’ll do my best to help you out, but in most cases……you as a parent should listen to your “gut”.



The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our hearts (Unknown)

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