While some wellness fads come and go, aromatherapy and the use of essential oils has been a mainstay in health and wellness for ages. Cultivating the healing properties of various plants, flowers, roots and all the wonderful things in nature that create a restorative calm. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to use aromatherapy and essential oils for you and baby, and remember: Avoid oils with newborns until after three months.
How to Use Essential Oils with Baby
- Dilute – Add a few drops to a stronger base like coconut oil or vegetable oil and shake/blend well. Start small with just a drop or two in a spray bottle half filled with stronger base.
- Test – Do a patch test on babies foot to make sure sensitivity or allergy occurs (a small red patch will form if sensitivity exists, if so, discontinue use and inform pediatrician on your next visit).
- Diffuse – Add a few drops to a diffuser or humidifier in baby’s room or during bath time. You can also spritz in select locations to create a calming effect.
- Baby Massage – Once you’ve established that a sensitivity does not exist, add a drop of essential oil to your regular lotion and rubbing babies back or tummy can have added calming effects.
How to Use Essential Oils for Mom
- Study – Keep in mind that not all oils are the same, so make sure to do your research. Avoid oils with additives or that are premixed with alcohols as those can be irritating even for adults, and always use a trusted source.
- Unwind – I love adding a few drops of rose water to a hot bath. The trick is to add as the tub is filling, not once it’s done. While adults typically don’t have the same sensitivity to oils as children do, make sure you’re not overdoing it. Remember, you can always add a drop or two more if needed.
- Spritz – I love lavender. I keep little bags of it in my closet, have it in vases and generally prefer the smell of it in most hand soaps. One thing I also like is to add some to a bottle (with a base like mentioned above) and spray it on my bed about an hour before I go to sleep. It’s just a small, gentle way to unwind and at the end of the night reminds me that it’s time to shut down my brain and get some rest.
Getting to Know Your Essential Oils
- Chamomile – Great for troubled sleepers. When mixed with a touch of lavender may also help reduce colic.
- Mandarin – Good for calming and relieving anxiety. Superior to many other citrus oils because the notes of sweetness help keep it from being too strong for smell or irritating for skin.
- Lavender– Good for calming a fussy baby, safe on skin so very good for baby massage if dealing with colic
- Sunflower– Great for babies with a bit of eczema because it’s so hydrating. Using sunflower oil as a carrier is also a good alternative to olive oil as it’s a bit lighter on babies skin.
- Peppermint – Good for tummy troubles and headaches. Peppermint leaves have been used for centuries to help with indigestion, which is why they are added to desserts or offered at the end of a meal. This would be a good in a diffuser for baby with a slight cold.
- Ginger – This one is a bit strong so avoid with baby, but if your muscles are sore or you are dealing with join inflammation adding a few drops to Vaseline and gently rub where you’re experiencing pain.