While essential oils are great and can bring many benefits into the home and those who use them, many people ask if diffusers and these oils are a good combination when babies are around. Many families have grown accustomed to having an essential oil diffuser in the home. However, families with younger children and babies should tread on the side of caution.
Because diffusing essential oils have gained popularity in recent years, many agree that diffusion could be beneficial to the entire family. Unfortunately, there has been so much misinformation surrounding the subject, making many of us ask the question: how can we know whether diffusing essential oils around babies is safe?
Just because something is labeled as “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. It’s always a good idea to do your research before using an essential oil diffuser, especially if you have kids and pets in the home.
So we did a bit of research ourselves to share with anyone concerned with diffusers in their home. Over ten years, Rodney Young and Robert Tisserand conducted a research study and subsequently published their findings in Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals.
Of course, we’re not medical professionals, and this information isn’t intended to replace medical advice in any way.
Is It Safe To Diffuse Essential Oils Around Babies?
When around infants, it is best to proceed with great caution. Since a baby’s neonatal skin doesn’t mature until three months of age, it is more permeable and sensitive to essential oils. A newborn is also less equipped to deal with any adverse effects than an adult because of lower metabolic capacity.
These cautions should be applied more so with premature babies, and in these cases, it would be prudent to avoid all use of essential oils. This is because their skin can absorb droplets of diffused oils, not to mention the fact that their lungs and respiratory systems can too.
Because of this, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians doesn’t recommend using essential oils to all babies younger than three months.
Tisserand recommends using ultrasonic diffusers for a total of 60 minutes at a time whenever around babies and toddlers. It is then best to turn the diffuser off for a resting period between 30-60 minutes before diffusing again. However, he strongly advises against routinely diffusing any essential oils around babies and toddlers, and that doses are kept to a minimum.
This means only using two to three drops per day, diluted with water in an ultrasonic diffuser. While this may seem too much for essential oil lovers, it is much better to be safe than sorry. On the bright side, diffusing only has to be minimal for three months. Once the baby’s skin has fully developed, you’re free to smell and benefit from essential oils again.