Best Essential Oils for Babies {and how to safely dilute them}

One question many people ask - are essential oils safe for babies? (Closely followed by the next question - if so, what are the best essential oils for babies?

Yes, essential oils are safe for babies -- as long as they are heavily diluted {but there's actually a safer option}.

One question many people ask - are essential oils safe for babies? (Closely followed by the next question - if so, what are the best essential oils for babies?) Yes, essential oils are safe for babies -- as long as they are heavily diluted {but there's actually a safer option}.

Best Essential Oils for Babies

FYI - affiliate links to my favorite resources below!

The following essential oils are considered gentle enough for babies (with heavy dilution). They are not 'hot' or strongly odored. Even so, don't make topical application a regular occurrence with your little ones. Save it for those times when it's most important (illness, etc). Be sure to enter your email address in the form below to get a free guide that will give you some more ideas for gentle essential oil usage.

Gentle Oils & Dilution

  • Lavender
  • Citrus oils (grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, orange)
  • Tea tree
  • Roman chamomile

Special care needs to be taken when using essential oils with infants, toddlers, and even children. They are very potent and need to be diluted (even for adults). The basic dilution ratio for little ones:

  • 0.5% dilution for babies - 1 drop essential oil to 1 tablespoon carrier oil
  • 1% dilution for children - 1 drop essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil

If you're looking for pre-diluted blends to use with children, I love the Kid's Line from Rocky Mountain Oils. It's a 2% dilution that is suitable for children older than 2 years old (so not for babies).

If you apply essential oils to babies and toddlers, be sure you are diluting! Even then, there are a few things to consider.

  • Be careful to keep oils away from little hands so they don't accidentally get it in their eyes or mouths.
  • Also, if applying oils to feet, cover with socks afterward (so accidental ingestion does not occur).
  • Stick to lightly aromatic scented oils instead of heavy scents like peppermint or cinnamon.
  • Avoid 'hot' oils like oregano and strong oils like peppermint.
  • Citrus oils are good but are photosensitive so don't apply to areas of the skin that will be exposed to sunlight.
  • Make sure you are using pure, good-quality essential oils.
  • Watch for reactions. Even with gentle use, babies have sensitive skin.

Give Hydrosols a Try

Hydrosols are a much better option for babies. 

But what exactly is a hydrosol? In 'unscience-ey' terms - it's the leftover water after an essential oil has been distilled from a plant. It can also be known as a hydrolat, floral water, or plant water.

Hydrosols are gentler than essential oils -- making them perfect for use with babies and young children. They are a better option than applying essential oils.

At the top of the list for use with babies:

  • Roman Chamomile (great for diaper rash or cradle cap) - it's the ideal hydrosol for baby care. Mist on baby’s bedding to promote calmness and is gentle enough to use on a baby’s bottom for occasional irritation in the diaper area.
  • Lavender (calming and soothing) - it's gentle enough to be used to soothe a baby’s bottom when dealing with occasional redness in the diaper area.

But, like essential oils, you'll still want to avoid the stronger hydrosols (like peppermint). And also be sure that you purchase good-quality hydrosols like the ones available from Plant Therapy.


Essential Oils for Babies

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Put your email address in the form below to join the community & learn how to create a healthy home with essential oils - and get this quick-start guide to help you safely use essential oils with your baby. 


Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.