Living in New York City until my son reaches the age of thirteen, essential oils are our primary way of connecting to Nature, aside from travel. Occasionally turning toward western medicine when needed (an asthma inhaler at times, a handful of occasions with antibiotics), essential oils prove extremely supportive for prevention as well as lessening the intensity and duration of certain threats.
But the best part are the tiniest daily routines: at night, massaging his feet with calming Balance blend after a long day of walking with Anna (his sitter/auntie), soccer or basketball. Waking him up with a drop of bright Bergamot on my hands. Rubbing his chest with a couple drops of Frankincense when his chest is congested.
When he's around eight, doTERRA launches the Kids Collection; wishing I'd had that for 0-8. Pre-diluted and super easy to carry and apply, if you're not one for crafting and blending, the Kids Collection covers all the bases.
Here's how we managed it all over these years.
Frankincense rubbed undiluted on his chest starting around 4-5 years of age (diluted in a rollerball for babies). Wonderful to mitigate difficulty breathing and open airways.
doTERRA's Breathe Stick was also a wonder (I'd "draw" a heart on his chest).
Diluted Eucalyptus is also wonderful, using 1-2 drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil.
doTERRA's pre-diluted Stronger blend rollerball rolled along the spine and on soles of feet for kids older than 2 is wonderful.
Lavender, Copaiba and Roman Chamomile are all wonderful for teething, used externally: dilute 1 drop in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and massage jawline and around ears. Trust your intuition, a tiny touch of pressure on the mandible (jaw joint) goes a long way on a tiny baby.
Every now and again I'd use just one drop of Frankincense on my pointer finger to massage into his gums where the teeth were coming in, which seemed to help him. For tummy issues associated with teething, see "Tummy Care" below.
Spearmint blended with Lavender and a carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil or Jojoba, applied clockwise on the belly for digestive help. Again, 1-2 drops of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of oil is fine.
doTERRA's pre-diluted Tamer blend is wonderful for ages 3 and older.
Tea Tree is great for babies with ear pain; Basil or Lavender are perfect for ages 3 and up. Dilute in a 10mL bottle with up to 30 drops of essential oil, topped with carrier oil. Roll behind ears--never, ever inside the ears. Repeating: no oils inside] ears, adult or child.
Now that he's older, one year away from leaving the house, he knows what he needs. In love with Northern Escape, which is great for deep breathing and freshening the air. He's always got Geranium around for the occasional blemish, and uses Eucalyptus inhaled from the bottle or diluted on chest when he's congested.
For the basics: 30 Days of Oils, a collection of super short videos to introduce you to the oils we use every day.
General Guidelines for Oils for Kids:
- Always avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, inner nose and sensitive areas of the body.
- Patch test first with sensitive skin.
+Dip a toothpick tip in the oil bottle orifice.
+Pass the toothpick over the child's inner elbow skin.
+Wait 24h to watch for any reactivity.
Begin with 1 drop at a time on the skin. Essential oils are extraordinarily potent more isn't better. Consistency of use is the key. Pre-diluted Kids Collection or Touch (diluted) blends are fine to use more liberally.
- Carrier oils such as jojoba or sea buckthorn oil instead of fractionated coconut oil can be used if coconut oil feels too drying.
- In case of skin reaction: To remove essential oil, apply a bit of carrier oil on top of essential oil and wipe off with a paper towel or clean cloth. Then clean the area with soap and water.
- For bathing in the tub: Adding essential oils directly to bath water is dangerous for kids of all ages, including adults. Essential oils float on the surface of the water and cause irritation, redness and even burn in the case of the more intense oils.
To add oils to the bath, add 2-3 drops to a cup of bath salts, then add the salts to the tub. Try Lavender, Tea Tree, Frankincense, Black Spruce and the pre-diluted Kids Collection blends (use your fingernails to pry the roller ball off rollers).
Mom, meditator, artist, poet, Elena Brower has a healthy 17-year old son, a thriving practice as a teacher and almost four decades of experience with essential oils. Learn more from Elena on essential oil basics.