Safe Essential Oil Use With Babies & Children

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I am a mama hear me roar. All I want for my baby, is health, happiness, and the chance for him to experience life to its fullest without any pain or suffering. It's really what all mamas out there want for their children. The hardest thing about being a parent is making decisions for my son that could affect those things. Keeping him healthy and safe can be a difficult task, and using essential oils to help naturally heal him is no exception. As we learned in the last post, Introduction to Essential Oil Safetyessential oils, no matter the quality or brand of the oil, are an extremely concentrated combination of multiple chemical constituents and therefore require a certain amount of concern with safety when using them. This week we are going to learn about safe essential oil use with babies and children! All of the safety rules we outlined in the last post, still stand true with children, but we must be even more careful when using essential oils around babies and children. Essential oils should be much more diluted for use with babies as compared to use with adults.  With so many different types of one plant, it's important to use the correct species of essential oil. To make this easier for you and to take out the guesswork, I have added the Latin names of the essential oils that I list. All of the Latin names listed are the type of that essential oil that is deemed safe for use. When purchasing essential oils, be sure to note the Latin name of the essential oil you are purchasing, to make sure you are getting the right one.

Babies and Children should never ingest essential oils

Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and babies. Certain essential oils could be toxic if ingested. No essential oils should be given orally to children. According to Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety;

The majority of cases of essential oil poisoning involve accidents with young children, often between 1 and 3 years of age. Approximately 75% of cases in the USA are in children up to 6 years old.

If your child accidentally ingests some essential oils, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Call your general practitioner unless signs of poisoning are present, then you should immediately bring your child and the bottle that was consumed, to the nearest emergency room. You can read more about ingesting essential oils in my post The Case for Ingestion - Is Ingesting Essential Oils Safe?

Dilution is very important for ALL essential oils

There is no exception in this category. No matter what brand you use, what essential oil it is, or how much you are using, it is not safe to use ANY essential oil neat (without a carrier oil or some other dilution material). ALL essential oils should be diluted for use with babies and children. It is also important to note that when adding essential oils to baths of children, they must first be diluted in a water soluble carrier, such as raw unfiltered honey or vegetable glycerin. Adding essential oils straight to bath water, without a carrier, runs you the risk of causing irritation to the skin. There are many applications for essential oils with babies and children, but they should be kept away from a child’s face. Essential oils should not be used in or around the nose in children. I often suggest massaging the feet with young babies rather than the chest and back, for the safest application of essential oils.

Slowly introduce one essential oil at a time

Allergies are no fun. When introducing essential oils to babies, you have to remember that you haven't yet discovered the things they are allergic to. It's important to introduce essential oils one at a time and sparingly, to both watch your baby for any sort of reaction and to allow your baby's body to slowly become introduced to that essential oil. Do not introduce more than one essential oil in one day. If your baby is going to have a reaction to an essential oil they will likely show signs of a reaction in the first 15-30 minutes after inhalation or dermal application.

What age is safe to use what oils?

This is a question that has run through my mind so often in the last three years. Through all of my reading, I have found quite a bit of good information, but there is still very little known about the use of many essential oils on babies and children. It is best to use your judgment when choosing essential oils for your child. I have spent hours pouring over my essential books and school materials, to find as much information about each of the most commonly found essential oils that you can purchase on the market. I based a lot of the information provided below, upon the most up to date essential oil safety research that is detailed in Essential Oil Safety – By Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

It is not advised to use essential oils on babies less than 3 months of age because their skin is not mature yet and therefore more permeable and sensitive to essential oils. Unlike adults, newborns are also not as capable of dealing with adverse reactions to essential oils. There should be even more caution with premature babies, avoiding all essential oil use until they reach at least 3 months after their due date. This is just a general guideline and great care should be taken to research each essential oil's maximum dermal use individually before use. Hydrosols are a much gentler and safer option for babies, where essential oils can't be used.

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on babies 3+ months

The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on babies 3+ months topically, should not exceed .2% of the recipe, or 1-2 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

  • Chamomile, Roman and German (Anthemis nobilis, Matricaria rectutita)
  • Dill (Anthum graveolens)
  • Lavender - (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • Yarrow, Blue (Achillea millefolium)

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on babies 6+ months

This is just a general guideline and great care should be taken to research each essential oil's maximum dermal use individually before use. The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on babies 6+ months topically, should not exceed .5% of the recipe, or 3-5 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

  • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) bergamot essential oil is a phototoxic oil and can cause phototoxic reactions on your skin if used before going out in the sunshine. diffusion and wash-off products are safe.
  • Carrot Seed (Daucus carota)
  • Cedarwood, Atlas/Virgina (Cedrus atlantica, Cedrus deodora, Juniperus virginiana) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum) this is safe for diffusion ONLY. Cinnamon bark is not safe for use on anyone's skin, as it is too irritating. Use Cinnamon leaf instead, for topical preparations!
  • Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum verum) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Cypress (Cupressus sempervires)
  • Fir needle (Abies sibirica)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
  • Helichrysum (Helichrysum angustifolium)
  • Lemon (Citrus limon) this is safe for diffusion. Though this is safe for topical application, sweet orange is suggested instead, because it's less harsh on the skin. If cold pressed rather than steam distilled, this essential oil is a potential photosensitizer.
  • Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
  • Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
  • Palma Rosa (Cymbopogon martinii)
  • Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium)
  • Pine (pinus divaricata, pinus resinosa, pinus strobus, pinus sylvestris) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica)
  • Rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia)
  • Rose Otto (Rosa damascena)
  • Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)
  • Spruce (picea abies, picea glauca, picea mariana, picea rubens)
  • Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • Tangerine (Citrus reticulata)
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on children 2+ years

This is just a general guideline and great care should be taken to research each essential oil's maximum dermal use individually before use. The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on children 2+ years topically, should not exceed 2% of the recipe, or 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

  • Basil, Lemon (Ociumum x citriodorum)
  • Basil, Sweet (Ocimum basilicum)
  • Benzoin (Styrax benzoin, Styrax paralleloneurus)
  • Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) this is safe ONLY for diffusion. Cinnamon cassia is not safe for use on anyone's skin, as it is too irritating. Use Cinnamon leaf instead, for topical preparations
  • Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • Clove Bud/Clove Leaf (Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia aromatica, Eugenia caryophyllata) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Copaiba Basalm (Copaifera officinalis)
  • Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
  • Garlic (Allium sativum) this is best for diffusion because it can cause skin irritations when applied topically.
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
  • Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
  • Lemongrass (Andropogon citratus, Andropogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon flexuosus) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Lime (Citrus x aurantifolia)
  • Melissa/Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • Oregano (Origanum onites, Origanum smyrnaeum, Origanum vulgare, Origanum compactum, Origanum hirtum, Thymbra capitata, Thymus capitatus, Coridothymus capitatus, Satureeja capitata) 
  • Sweet Marjoram (Marjorana hortensis)
  • Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
  • Spearmint (Mentha cardiaca, Mentha spicata)
  • Tea Tree, Lemon (Leptospermum petersonii, Leptospermum citratum, Leptospermum liversidgei)
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris, Thymus Zygis) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Tumeric (Curcuma longa)
  • Verbena, Lemon (Aloysia triphylla, Aloysia citriodora, Lippa citriodora, Lippa triphylla)
  • Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
  • Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) this can be diffused for children under 2 years

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on children 6+ years

This is just a general guideline and great care should be taken to research each essential oil's maximum dermal use individually before use. The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on children 6+ years topically, should not exceed 3% of the recipe, or 30 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

  • Anise/Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Anise, Star (Illicium verum) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Cajeput (Melaleuca cajuputi, Melaleuca leucadendron)
  • Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Cornmint (Mentha arvensis, Mentha canadensis)
  • Fennel, sweet and bitter (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Laurel Leaf/Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
  • Marjoram, Spanish (Thymus mastichina)
  • Niaouli (cineole chemotype)
  • Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) use a smaller amount of this topically as it can cause skin irritation if not properly diluted.
  • Sage, Greek/White (Salvia officinalis, Salvia fruiticosa, Salvia tribola, Salvia apiana)

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on children 10+ years

By this age, most of the essential oils are safe for topical use or diffusion for children, though you should always be sure to slowly introduce each oil individually, to be sure that there are no adverse reactions or allergies. Peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils are all avoided in younger children because they contain a chemical constituent called cineol 1,8 and menthol. According to Robert Tisserand, in the newest edition of Essential Oil Safety:

Essential Oil Safety with Babies and Children

This is the reason that it is suggested to avoid the use of these essential oils (and others containing a high content of these chemical constituents)  in young children. Peppermint is safe to use at 6+ years, but ALL eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils should be avoided until 10+ years of age. It's important to note that the brand of essential oil you choose to use does not change this recommendation.

  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus maidenii, Eucalyptus plenissima, Eucalyptus kochii, Eucalyptus polybractea, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus autraliana, Eucalyptus phellandra, Eucalyptus smithii)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Thieves blends should be avoided in children under 10 years

All of the anti-germ type Thieves blends of essential oils contain eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, cinnamon bark, and lemon. The eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils should be avoided in children under ten years of age. The clove essential oil shouldn't be used topically on children under 2 years of age. Cinnamon bark essential oil should be avoided for dermal use in all ages, as it is too irritating to the skin, cinnamon leaf is recommended instead. For a child-safe version of this anti-germ blend and a eucalyptus-free congestion blend, I share my Medicine Woman Jr.  and my Cool Vibes Vapor Rub Jr. here!

Safe EO blends for children

I have a ton of great kid-safe essential oil blends and projects for you to make on your own, but if you don't have all the oils on hand, Plant Therapy has some wonderful kid-safe blends that you can purchase, already blended for you! I am a big fan of the Nighty Night blend!

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All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

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  • Ragan Lewis

    My 15 month old has terrible allergies and keeps ear infections. Which essential oils would best to help with this in a diffuser?

  • Lauren


    My 3 year old is having terrible allergies and I was going to use some EO topically and diffuse them in my home. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Alisha Paz

    After seeing this post I’ve been trying to find a kids safe blend for bug repelant. The one I was interested in was shoo fly by edens gardens for ages 2+ but then I noticed the first listed ingredient is eucalyptus citriodora. I’ve seen multiple posts that say no eucalyptus but this specific one is never listed so I’m wondering is it one that should be avoided with children?

  • Mandy Martinez Ahlschwede

    Why avoid eucalyptus, rosemary and thieves in young children? Can you offer any other specific information on this please?

  • Felicia

    My daughter just turned five months today and is congested… I have bought lavender essential oil for my diffuser? My question is, is it safe for me to use it for my daughter and how many drops

  • Michelle Brotherwood

    Do you have any advice on giving peppermint oil orally to help with IBS? I can only find advice on how to dilute it in tea but he’s only 6 and won’t drink a full cup of tea and he can’t swallow gel caps. Thanks

  • Ashley Marie

    ok i have another question!! I am waiting for roman to come in; when it comes in can i just melt down the one i already made and add it into it? or do i have to start over again. im putting in a mason jar so ill be able to microwave or double boil it.

    • yeah you can do that, though I would definitely suggest double boiler over really low heat because the essential oils already added to it may evaporate. I usually will add a few extra drops of each when I do that so that the recipe doesn’t lose all the eo’s!

  • Stephanie Kerr

    A lot of natural cleaners use essential oils. Should I be cautious of what I use? Or does it not have the same effect as using them topically or diffusing them?

    • You should be fine using the cleaners around your home! As long as you don’t spray them directly by your baby or kiddo, they should evaporate quickly enough to not be an issue. With diffusion you can diffuse in rooms that the kids aren’t in, and let them come back in after you are done diffusing!

  • Neeru

    My son is 8 years old and has eczema on his face. Can I use a homemade eczema cream with Lavender EO (adequately diluted) on the face? I am asking cos you said we should keep EOs off the child’s face.

    • if you use a high dilution, like a couple drops per 2 oz. carrier oil, it should be totally fine! At such a small dilution it’s used for healing and not scent, so it shouldn’t irritate the skin.

  • amy

    Hi there, I am having a hard time with all my friends lately signing up with a larger company and getting false information….or not all the information, nor researching anything for themselves. I was at a good friends house, who knows I do use oils (trying to get into them more) and my daughter had a fever from her vaccinations. She came over and put peppermint on her. Besides the fact that it did not seem diluted enough at all, and I am nursing and already struggling to keep up with my milk supply and had to breath it in all day, I was a little taken back as everything I have read has said not to use peppermint on kids under 6. The company that she buys oils for do not tell them that at all, and she says to me peppermint is a totally safe oil for kids i put it right on (my cf babies) when they have a cold or a fever. AHH anyways long post but what my question is is this. I am NOT comfortable putting peppermint on my now 6 month old. What else would you suggest for reducing fever. or can I diffuse peppermint for the same results as topical use. thanks!

    • I am currently working on a post about fevers! You must be reading my mind! In my household, we don’t necessarily get rid of the fever, since its specific purpose is to help your body get rid of a virus/bacteria. We do like to control the fever though, and when it gets too high temps or is causing discomfort, I like to add apple cider vinegar (I know this sounds crazy but it works soooo well!) in either a bath or in a tub of water that you will use a cloth to apply to the forehead and the feet. It helps to draw the heat out really well. As far as essential oils go, I would avoid the use of peppermint and try lavender, fir needle, and frankincense. fir needle/cypress are what I use in my vapor rub blends for kiddos. They work really well at opening the airways and have a bit of a cooling effect as well.

  • Lena Diene

    Hello! I love your blog, such great information!
    I am searching if spearmint essential oil is safe to use for babies. Do you have this information? I cannot find it listed on your blog. Thanks a lot!

  • Maria Holmes

    I diffused theives and purification and lavender before reading this with my 3 week old. Do I need to wash everything of my sons in my room? His bassinet, blankets, and rock n play are in my room where I diffused the oils.

    • it should be fine! Simply avoid use in the future when he is in the room! You can even diffuse it in the room when he is not there! Simply wait 15 minutes after diffusion and it should be find for him to be there!

  • KayPea

    Would a dog paw balm made of beeswax, candela oil, coconut oil, and avacado oil be safe for use in a home with a 9m old who crawls and plays with said dog?

  • readingmom28

    Following, too!

  • Maria

    What can I diffuse for my 3 weeks old baby that has a very bad cold. I did eucalyptus for half a day until I came across your page and then I stopped. Please help!

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  • Edwena Niehaus

    Is Peppermint ok to use in homemade cleaning products around a child age 2? Obviously she isn’t using the products or coming in contact with them. Thanks for any info.

    • yep! Like you said, she won’t be using them or coming in contact, they should evaporate enough to not be an issue in cleaning!

  • lorelee

    What would be a great remedy for anxious kids 6yrs of age

  • this is exactly the problem in America right now with essential oils! There is a lot of marketing and unsafe information floating around for the sake of sales! It is very frustrating for certified aromatherapists because they have made it where many people are blinded by marketing and will not accept the science of the issue! I have created my own blend that I call medicine woman jr, that is a child-safe version of these companies germ killing/immune boosting essential oils! My recipe can be found here:

  • It should be fine being worn on him! As long as you aren’t spraying it onto your little, it shouldn’t be enough to cause any issues!

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  • Beth

    So am I understanding correctly…I should NOT diffuse doTerra Onguard or Breathe in my house if I have young children? Even in my bedroom with doors closed?

    • You can diffuse it in your house, just not in the room that the young children are currently in! You can clean with it after they go to bed, diffuse it in all the other rooms they aren’t in. I even diffuse when we are all out of the house running errands!

      • Beth

        Great! Thanks for the response! I got nervous after reading everything and thought I shouldn’t use it at all!

  • You can use them in toothpaste as long as they are being diluted in an oil (i’m assuming coconut oil, since that is the usual base). For young children, I normally suggest using flavor oils instead, since they are more likely to swallow the toothpaste than spit it out! My recipe for toothpaste has my favorite flavor blends for kids too!

  • I have a child safe thieves type blend that I like to call Medicine Woman Jr! I love using it all throughout the year and it smells great too!

  • You can try my Cool Vibes Vapor Rub Jr! It contains safe essential oils for use around young children! Peppermint is far too strong for a 3 month old baby! I would not use it on a baby so young!

  • In young children, there has been some slowing of breathing

    • Michelle

      Slowing of breathing with the use of Onguard and Breathe? When diffused or when used topically (bottoms of feet)? I have used both on my 5 year old twins but will stop if there is this risk. Thank you

      • yes the essential oil content in both those blends contains eucalyptus and rosemary both of which should be avoided before the age of 10 because of their cineol content! You can use them on yourself, and even in cleaning and diffusion when the kiddos are not in the room or not home and they can come back in the room within 15 minutes after you are done diffusing, so you can kill germs while you are gone grocery shopping or running errands! If you want to use a kid friendly germ blend or vapor blend, I have crafted these two blends to use in place of the adult blends:

        • Mary Wilson

          I would like to try diffusing the Purify blend of essential oils from RMO, but it includes Rosemary in the ingredients and I have an 8-year-old. In the post is says avoid for children under 6 but your comments says age 10. I’m still fairly new to EOs. Should I avoid this blend for now?

          • it should be fine for an 8-year-old! I have been modifying my recommendations as I learn more and I believe that 6 years old is safe, it’s more likely to be a problem in babies and really young children!

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  • Bo Gilkey

    I don’t know if you can answer this but I’m trying to find out if the orange oil in Blue ice fermented cod liver oil(Orange flavor) is safe for consumption by a 7 month old?

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  • I diffuse lavender pretty much every day in the evening with my (under) 2 year old running around.

  • Matresa Towner

    I just got these to use as a wipe solution on my cloth wipes. Are they safe for my almost 5 month old?

  • Amanda

    which brand of essential oil do you recommend for use in a diffuser for baby?



  • 1 fluid oz carrier oil + 20 drops eo

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  • I would not dab any oils behind the ear without first diluting them! Both those oils will be great for use if diluted thought! I also wrote a post over on The Herbal Academy of New England on my remedies for Lice:

  • that blend should be safe for use! I love their kid synergies 🙂

  • yes! but I have a kid friendly version of Thieves/OnGuard you can make:

  • A lot of companies don’t know much about the essential oils they are using in their products, and with a lot of the science coming out only in the last few years, they don’t usually know! I like to make my own kid friendly bugs-b-gone spray (or even use it in candles and what not!):

  • My favorite kid safe essential oils for congestion, are in my Cool Vibes Vapor Rub JR blend:

  • I have a great dilution chart on this post!

  • a different type of cinnamon from a different region than Ceylon cinnamon! Cinnamon cassia is much harsher than ceylon cinnamon, so i tend to use it for diffusion over topical! I always use cinnamon leaf for topical applications!

  • I usually situate the diffuser on the opposite side of the room, that way it’s not too insense for baby!

  • that is honey that you are thinking of! While raw honey has the risk of botulism, maple syrup is cooked down when being processed!

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  • that is honey that you are thinking of! While raw honey has the risk of botulism, maple syrup is cooked down when being processed!

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  • kristelr

    I stumbled upon your blog while searching for safe, natural ways of helping my 6 month old with some acid reflux/constipation/teething issues, and I’m so glad I did! I’m noticing fennel and catnip are not on the safe list. I have just started giving him the herbs catnip and fennel. Is that safe? And if so, do you have any idea how much is safe? Im nervous going forward with it now! Thanks so much for sharing all of this info! I will definitely be referring to this in the future.

    • while fennel essential oil is not safe for use on young children (it can mess with hormones!), the herb itself is safe for use! The difference is that the herb is not so concentrated like the essential oil is! This goes for many of the herbs on the essential oil list! catnip is safe for use herbally with children too! You might make a tea with those herbs and sweeten it with maple syrup to help with digestion issues! I also have a great post on natural teething remedies you can read!

      • kristelr

        Thanks for your reply! Loved the teething post!

  • My Don’t worry Be Happy blend works really well for that! I use it around my 6 year old son as well!

  • cat

    do you have any info on catnip EO?

  • when using essential oils in the dryer, you really don’t have to worry about which is safe since most of the eo will evaporate with the heat. The most important factor, if you want any smells when the clothing comes out, is to add the drops to the dryer balls for the last 15 minutes of the cycle! If you do it in the beginning, they will evaporate all together and leave no residual scents! I love to use 5-10 drops depending on which ones I am using (citrus takes more drops because top notes tend to evaporate first over the base notes like cedarwood or vetiver)

  • Sommer

    Hi. I found your page looking for remedies for my 6 month old that has terrible eczema. I have lemon oil on hand but would you recommend lavender instead? The dr gave us a corticosteroid but now that I have talked to many moms who know of kids with Red Skin Syndrome I would like to avoid using it.

  • Hi Lorena! I am so happy you are taking the essential oil journey and trying to take your own health in your hands! It can be a bit confusing if you don’t actually know what you are doing! Here’s my answers to your questions:
    1) with adhd, my son needs to use essential oils nightly before bed, to help calm him down and get his mind to “quit talking”. So yes, I use them every single night before bed. I put the diffuser in his room and diffuse them throughout (which i find works best for this purpose, over using them topically)
    2) You only need a carrier oil (a fatty type oil, most common ones that you will know are coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, sesame oil, etc.) if you are using the essential oil somewhere on the skin/body! If you are using a diffuser, it is much simpler! Following the instructions of the diffuser, fill it with water to right below the max fill line, add your essential oil drops straight to the water, put the lid on and plug in and turn on!
    3) I would use fir needle, roman chamomile, lavender, and sweet orange. In an empty essential oil bottle combine 20 drops lavender, 20 drops fir needle, 10 drops roman chamomile, 15 drops sweet orange . Swirl around to mix well, and use that blend in your diffuser every night at bedtime! You will add however many drops your diffuser says to put in it! Turn it on when she goes to bed and let it run in her room at night while she sleeps!

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  • I have a blend you can make to replace each of those, and they are made with child-safe essential oils! I actually have 3 blends you would be interested in!
    Cool Vibes Vapor Rub Jr. (this vapor rub blend can also be added to a diffuser minus the coconut oil/beeswax!) -
    Allergy Annihilator (this is my allergy blend!!!!) -
    Medicine Woman Jr (this is my thieves/onguard kid safe antigerm/immune boosting blend!) -

  • While that’s not a sensitization type of reaction, that definitely could be an allergic reaction! I would definitely see if the trees such as pine, fir, and cypress are an issue with an allergy test! You never know with allergies, there are so many weird allergies out there! I would leave it out of the Medicine Woman Jr blend until you know for sure from a test whether or not he is allergic!

  • If your kiddo is 12 years old thieves is a great option! Dilute it with a carrier oil (a fatty oil like coconut, olive, hemp, etc.) You can rub it on his feet, chest, back. And you can diffuse the essential oils throughout your home and his room! I like to also use it in a homemade spray to kill germs on door handles and what not, as well!

  • these recommendations didn’t come out until about 2 or 3 years ago, so it’s relatively new in the aromatherapy world. The reason for this is that there were no recorded tests and studies done but in the last 20-30 years a whole lot more studies have been done on essential oils, so we’re just now finding out some of the safety concerns with each oil. This information hasn’t been trickled down to businesses yet, so you will find a lot of unsafe essential oil products on the market, especially since they do not have to follow any sort of regulation on their products. Anything not actually labeled under the medical category and labeled under cosmetics, pretty much has no regulation as to what they put in their products. This makes it frustrating to the consumer who expects the company to be experts for them. I totally feel your pain! This is why I make all of my essential oil products for my family!

  • oregano oil is a very hot oil! Some people confuse oregano infused carrier oil with the essential oil! Def. avoid using that! You can try my medicine woman Jr. blend (a kid safe anti germ/immune booster) and cool vibes vapor rub jr (a kid safe vapor rub!) Those work wonders with my sick kiddo!

  • Danielle

    I feel terrible and I’m never going to sleep tonight. I’ve been diffusing thieves and RC in our room because my husband and 8 week old have colds. I just read on your site about the breathing. I immediately removed it and opened Windows. Won’t do that again. Praying she’s ok. Thank you for this information!

    • no worries! sensitization can take several uses before it actually happens! Stopping now is the right thing to do and everything should be fine!

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  • I literally JUST posted a post on teething baby remedies!!! lol how appropriate! You can read it here:

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  • My mother in law runs the Etsy shoppe where she sells my vapor rub! You can buy it there!
    for the cough, I actually have a great reciipe for an easy cough medicine! There is also an herbal version that you can tailor with herbs for the specific type of cough too. The simple version though is very effective cough syrup!!!

  • though wash off stuff tends to wash off instead of sink in, it is always good to stick with ones that contain essential oils safe for use around small children! If it contains one that you don’t feel comfortable using, i would switch to the scent that is safer! lavender, grapefruit, orange are all scents that are totally great with babies and small children!

  • Hi there Latia! The good news is that you are learning and no one got hurt! No worries! It happens to us all!!! You can use my Cool Vibes Vapor Rub jr instead, i also like to add this blend to a diffuser to help with breathing at night as well!

  • i make garlic mullien oil! You don’t have to do the mullien for this to work either, garlic and olive oil is all that you need!

  • the small amount in the soap shouldn’t be an issue. Especially since it’s lavender, one of the safest for little ones! As long as there are no lavender allergies, I think you should be totally fine!

  • my favorite blend that i use for my own and my son’s adhd is my Calm your squirrel blend!

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  • Chelsea Clark

    Hi! I have a 5 month old who has a lingering cough and congestion in her nose. Any suggestions? Also, can you recommend a brand that’s safest for babies that won’t break the bank. I’m new to this! Thank you!

  • hi there! my Medicine Woman Jr is the equivalent of a child safe thieves oil that you could diffuse and use on yourself topically as well!

  • If the sheets were washed with soap and dried in the drier, the essential oils have likely been both washed away and evaporated enough to not cause any issues. Is her skin ok? Did it cause any irritation?

  • Both my Cool Vibes Vapor Rub jr ( and my Medicine Woman Jr ( and my go-to’s when my kiddo is sick!

  • love ginger when they have tummy issues! I use it for my 6 year old all the time, both diffusion and a diluted rub on the belly (and i like to rub it on the chest too so that it diffuses up to their nose!) can help a ton!

  • My Cool Vibes Vapor Rub jr recipe is perfect for cough, congestion, and stuffy noses! A little known secret, rub it on the bottoms of your kiddo’s feet and cover with socks, before bed! This will help keep them sleeping soundly all night long! I do like to of course rub it on their chest and back as well!

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  • I like to use my Cool Vibes Vapor Rub jr ( for cough/congestion/stuffy noses in place of eucalyptus and I use my Medicine Woman Jr ( in place of thieves oil! I like to diffuse it throughout my whole home because it smells so good too!

  • I would discontinue using thieves and eucalyptus for your little ones humidifier! You can use my Medicine woman jr ( in place of Thieves oil (i diffuse it and use it throughout my home! ) and for congestion/coughs/stuffy noses I like to use my Cool Vibes Vapor Rub Jr. in place of eucalyptus (

  • I love to use my Take a Chill Pill blend, you can just use it from my Monsters B Gone recipe and mix it up in an empty essential oil blend to use in a diffuser in your kiddos room or use it as is as a spray to spray the room and pillows! I also like to add it to a carrier and apply to the chest, back, and feet with a massage! worked wonders on my kiddo when he was that age 🙂

  • this is the balm that I like to make for my kiddo’s eczema (and my own as well)! You can use the essential oil blend in a lotion!

  • I will write up a teething post this week! Keep your eyes peeled!

  • I like to use my cool vibes vapor rub jr! It contains essential oils safe for use with small children and works wonders for cough, congestion, and stuffy noses!

  • Melanie Jeffrey

    Hi there, I’m not sure if you’re still replying to comments on this post, but I thought I’d give it a try since I’ve been searching online and haven’t found a clear solution! I refer to this page often when I have questions! My 2.5 year old daughter has been crying when she pees for the last couple of days and today has developed a fever. My kids get fevers once in a while with no other symptoms, but I’m a little more concerned if she has a UTI and that’s what’s causing it. Is there an oil or blend of oils I can apply to help her possible UTI? If so, what ratios and where do I apply? Thank you so much if you read this and respond!!

    • one of the best natural solutions for a uti, that I have used myself everytime i get them, is raw apple cider vinegar…now i usually take 1-2 tbsp in 8-10 oz water 3x a day for up to 4 days (usually gone overnight but just like with antibiotics, it’s important to continue use to make sure it doesn’t return!) but for her you might need to hide it in juice. The idea behind it is it changes the ph of your pee, making the infection unable to live there! I get uti’s all the time because of my lack of feeling there from neuralogical issues, so it’s something i have experimented heavily with. To help soothe the pain in the meantime, i find that epsom baths with some ACV poured into the bath also to be very helpful!

  • I would not do that! You can make your own child safe version, this is my recipe! I call it Medicine Woman Jr:

  • AllynB82


  • Angela

    I was diffusing Lavender and it was giving me panic attacks. Not sure why. I don’t like th esmell of it anyway!

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  • yes copaiba basalm is safe for a 2 year old! You are doing just fine mama! Discontinuing use of the ones that need more caution is the best thing you can do and if you haven’t seen any reactions thus far, then you haven’t done any damage!

    • l wedlund

      Thanks! I found the majoram is spanish so i cant use his night time blend anyways 🙁 thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  • Fir needle, cypress, and rosalina are great for use on the chest to help with a cough! You can also make a really easy and super effective cough syrup with 3 ingredients you already have in your pantry (olive oil, raw honey, and lemon juice)

  • Laura DiSalvo

    Why is theives type should be avoided? There is no explanation on why? I asked a few essential oil people and they say it’s safe just dilution is key.

    • AllynB82

      The explanation why was stated in the article, “All of the anti-germ type Thieves blends of essential oils contain eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, cinnamon bark, and lemon. The eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils should be avoided in children under ten years of age. The clove essential oil shouldn’t be used topically on children under 2 years of age. Cinnamon bark essential oil should be avoided for dermal use in all ages, as it is too irritating to the skin, instead cinnamon leaf is recommended.”

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  • Sarah McCartan

    My friend has a 15-month old that is having some sleep issues. I know the general rule of thumb for Vetiver is 2+ years, but I’m wondering if you (or any readers) have tried it diluted on a child younger than 2 years and had success with no problems. Thanks!

  • Christine Barun

    Hi, my son is 11 months old. I waa told to blend eucalyptus, lavender & tea tree for when he is sick. Add to water and burn it on a diffuser. But now I’m reading your list. Is it safe given he does not come in contact with them? If yes, in what ratio pls? Thanks

  • Amber Trujillo Van Horn

    Hi, my family spends alot of time camping in the desert and I’ve been searching for a recipe to spray on my childrens bedding to keep spiders or any other creepy crawlies out. Ages 3 and 5. Id love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    • I have a great post of my favorite kid-friendly bugs b gone jr blend:

      • Amber Trujillo Van Horn

        Thank you! Another question I have. I like to spray peppermint oil with water about 15 drops to 10oz ratio around my doors and windows. Do you think that if I sprayed inside my home or in my childrens rooms that would be a bad idea? Ive tried to look up information but Im still not sure the amounts of peppermint oil that are dangerous for children. Thank you for your help!

        • you can use all these oils in the diffuser or around the home, just do it when the kiddos aren’t in that room (when the essential oil will be strongest), once you’re done diffusing or cleaning with it, they can come back in! I diffuse my adult theives blend when we’re not at home to kill those germs, and also after the kiddo goes to bed at night!

  • .5% is the dilution most often used for infants and babies, that would be 1-2 drops per 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil!

  • Melanie Taylor

    At what age is it recommended to use thieves? Also I have heard that eucalyptus radiata is ok for children, is this incorrect?

    • Jessica Grimes-Matheis

      I’m confused by this I must say. My girls are 8…I’ve been using theives on them for a year. I also used oregano and cinnamon bark on their spine (broken by oil of course) when one of them had bacterial pneumonia.

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  • that is a myth, there are a couple estrogenic essential oils out there (i.e. fennel) but lavender is not actually estrogenic. The study that people refer to for this was a REALLY small scale study that turned out they were using plastic dishes that was leaching BPA into the samples. Essential oils can break plastic down and that was the resulting problem for this small study. Robert Tisserand (the author of Essential Oil Safety) has talked about this previously, and all subsequent studies on lavender after that one, showed no estrogenic signs whatsoever!

  • it depends on the oil, there are a few that are safe to diffuse but are too rough on skin, while others are unsafe via all routes before a certain age.

  • keke

    my daughter is 10m and has a runny cold leaving her with dried snot on her face. I refuse to give her meds to treat it temporarily. all I have is coconut oil that I have been putting around her nose. it has been almost 3weeks since she has have this cold. her daycare is cold and so is my apartment but now leaving air off. I breastfeed but supplement. I really need your advice cause I want to help heal my baby.

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  • Alexandria

    I used Theives oil in a defuser and had a severe reaction to it. It made me feel like I had PMS on steroids. After researching the oils I found that many of the oils in Theives are actually toxic. Please do NOT put this oil on your child or defuse it anywhere near your children. Research reactions to this and other oils. I cannot stress this enough. The side effects can be fatal if not permanent.

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  • some essential oils are safe to diffuse (like lemongrass) but isn’t great for topical because it’s a much harsher oil to the skin, but this is not the case with eucalyptus/rosemary/peppermint. With them it’s about breathing them in. No matter the application, they should be avoided because breathing them in, has shown slowing of breath in small children. If you have used them already, no worries, if you avoid use of them when the kiddos are around, they should be totally fine. If you look through my aromatherapy section i make a lot of child-safe versions of blends you might find! My child safe version of thieves is called Medicine Woman Jr. !

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  • lavender and lemon is perfectly safe to diffuse for small children, it’s thieves that should be avoided because of the eucalyptus and rosemary in them!

  • I like to use orange oil or lavender oil in my household cleaners that I know my kid might end up mouthing later. The upside is that essential oils evaporate like alcohol so by the time the kiddo has a chance to get to my freshly cleaned stuff, it’s already dried! You can still use those essential oils that aren’t kid friendly, for cleaning when the kiddos not directly in that room during the cleaning!

  • Kfol

    Hi…may be dealing with a pin worm issue…washing clothes with 3 drops of thieves (to kill the eggs) in the washing machine (already mixed in with water when I pour it in. Doing an extra rinse cycle…will this still irritate my 3.5 year old’s skin??

  • Kristi

    I messaged you a while back about my son’s eczema and impetigo on his face. My son is 5 1/2 months old and unfortunately, the spots have not completely cleared up yet. I’m still avoiding the antibiotic cream the doc gave me. I’ve been using the Doterra Correct-X Ointment and coconut oil. It has helped a lot with the impetigo but the eczema is relentless (although much better than before). I’ve now been treating it for 2 weeks. Should I give the correct-x more time to work or would it be okay for me to move on using actual essential oil drops mixed in with coconut oil? I have lavender, melaleuca, and helichrysum. Would diffusing help the eczema? Or rubbing it on his feet? Is it safe to use topically on his face? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    • eczema is usually a sign of a food allergy of some sort! If you are breastfeeding, it could be something you are eating, anything from mild gluten allergies to mild dairy allergies can cause eczema to stick around. My son and I get eczema from dairy and I also get eczema when i eat things that have MSG hidden in it! While you can clear up the patch of eczema, it’s good to find out what food sensitivities he might have, that way you don’t have to worry about it returning!

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  • I would use fir needl, pine needle, rosalina, spearmint, cedarwood, or cypress for cough/congestion instead! It’s best not to diffuse peppermint in the same room as children under the age of 6! You can however diffuse it in the room when the baby is not in there!

    • kenya

      Hi, I love your site. I have a 10m old and she has runny cold. Idk what type of EO to use on her for this. all I have is coconut oil and been putting it around her nostrils. I am also looking for was to boost her immunity other than supplementing breastmilk and formula.

  • Kristi

    Your website is so helpful! I have a question. My son is 5 months old. He broke out with an eczema spot on his face. At one point the skin cracked and he got a little case of impetigo. The pediatrician immediately prescribed a topical antibiotic. I am very resistant to antibiotics. I’ve been using coconut oil on the dry patches of his skin and have almost completely gotten rid of the eczema patches except the one where he got the impetigo (which does look much better since I started using coconut oil). My doctor says it wont go away without antibiotics which I’ve done enough research to know is not completely true. I’ve been using correct-x by doTERRA which contains frankincense, helichrysum, cedarwood, malaleuca, and lavender. Note, I’ve been applying the coconut oil first and then the correct-x over the coconut oil because I am afraid it will be too strong for use on the side of his face. Is the correct-x safe for him? Will it eventually get rid of the impetigo or is there another essential oil that is more appropriate?

    • those are fantastic oils to use and should be perfectly safe. I would however. mix the essential oil drops into the coconut oil first (you can then just keep this mixture in a bottle and squirt out what you need to apply), before applying! For something acute like impetigo, it’s totally ok to spot treat on the face of babies, but otherwise, i keep essential oils off the face! You’re doing a good job mama!

      • Kristi

        I wanted to let you know that this is working wonderfully! I was so worried that I would need to start using the antibiotic cream, but so far, we’ve gotten all the impetigo spots healed except one, and it looks like the infection is gone and we just have to give the skin time to recuperate. Your post made me feel so much better! I was terribly worried as a first time mom! Now that I’m getting comfortable with essentials oils, next I’m making some homemade bug repellent! Thanks again!!!!

  • lemongrass eo tends to be one of the more irritating essential oils and is recommended only in very small amounts even on adult skin (it has a very high recommended dilution so as not to irritate the skin!). Because of this, it’s one of the essential oils i don’t recommend for use topically until 2 years of age (it’s fine for diffusion though). A combination of tea tree, lavender, and chamomile should work great in the coconut oil instead!

  • Janice

    is there a brand that you recommend? I just started using EO and I started with Young Living but now I’m interested in Tisserand. Any experience and/or opinions on either brand or a recommendation for a really good brand?

  • depending on what i have on hand I have used coconut oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil and more! Any of those will work fabulously! I love to keep a big jar of coconut oil around just for application for owies and salves!

  • I usually diffuse when we go out so that it kills the germs while we’re gone! 20 minutes after diffusion is done, the room should be totally fine to be in.

  • If you are not breastfeeding, then applying to yourself should be just fine! No matter who you are applying essential oils to, you should dilute them to prevent sensitization (the development of an allergy to that specific oil and plant). Enough of the essential oil shouldn’t diffuse off you to the kiddo, so it should be fine!

  • Regan

    Hi, I bought my 7 year old daughter a diffuser necklace. Are these items safe to use?

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  • Hi there ! For a 6 month old child, I wouldn’t suggest trying my cool vibes vapor rub jr! It’s a fantastic decongestant and contains essential oils that are safe for use on babies that age! I would avoid using the eucalyptus and peppermint, but if you have fir/cypress/pine, all of those are great eucalyptus alternative that help clear up congestion and cough!

    • Daniela Diaz

      I haven’t been applying directly to skin except a alternative vapor rub that contains eucalyptus etc and a drop to bottom of the feet. Is this something you made for oral use or skin?

  • Jamie

    Hi there, I saw your post and have had a very similar experience with my 20 month old. No tubes but was on the way. I have just gotten her in with a chiropractor who specializes in child friendly care (non bone cracking) Van Every Chiropractic in Royal Oak, MI and she is set to see an osteopathic doctor as well. If you go to their website it will explain more. They were all amazing!

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  • lavender is certainly fine, though for my kiddo when he has congestion, phlegm, etc. I usually make my Cool Vibes Vapor Rub Jr! You can safely use fir needle as a eucalyptus alternative for children (it’s the basis in my salve). Cypress and cedarwood are also great chest decongestant and expectorant!

  • Mario Konto

    I have found the dilution table from the book by Tisserand (“Essential
    oils safety”, I guess the second edition). It says that between 3-24
    months the recommended dilution of essential oils is 0,25% and the maximum
    dilution is 0,5%. You mention that the 0,5% is the maximum dilution in children
    over 6 months. I have already used this information (with all the restrictions
    what oils are allowed or not), but I cannot use the mentioned book as the
    reference because the ranges do not match. Is there any source you could
    suggest? Thank, M.

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  • Kristen

    Can I use this chart for hydrosol safety for children also, or are all hydrosols safe for kids? Also, you don’t dilute hydrosols, right?

    • Hydrosols are far safer for children than essential oils and do not need to be diluted. I would still take caution with certain hydrosols, such as citrus on skin that will go out in the sun! Hydrosols are made during the essential oil distillation process, so there is usually a tiny bit leftover in the hydrosol, so it can still cause mild phototoxic reactions, other than that they are super gentle and safe!

  • Jennifer H

    We just moved outside of Boston and the ticks are insane. We are pulling 2-3 a day off the dog and finding them on ourselves. We are using sentry Natural Defense on him because we have a one year old. The house smells terrible of this spice mixture. Is it safe around her? We aren’t diffusing it, it’s just dried on the dog. Thoughts?

  • Thanks so much for all this important info.I’m a new essential oil fanatic but children’s safety comes first. I love to research and I appreciate the fact that you read before you suggest. Thanks so much. I’m a new fan:)

  • I wrote a post on essential oil safety during pregnancy and nursing that will be quite helpful for you during this awesome time!

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  • Becky

    Amanda, I would stay FAR away from that blend. According to Dr. Pappas, Rue oil is a known toxin. Respected aromatherapy companies won’t even sell it. Look for a different brand of essential oils- one that cares about safety.

    • J Shea

      I have also read that Dr. Pappas says that Rue is a known toxin. I have not found anyone else who says this. Do you know? That is what I’m searching for at this very moment, actually!

      • while you can’t add the crystals to the essential oil blend, you can still use them! I like to add neat essential oils onto them and put them in the type of diffusers that require a tea light underneath! For your first blend, you can omit the frankincense eo, while it’s helpful to the blend, it’s not the most important oil in it!

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  • I would avoid using peppermint on your kiddo until he is 6 years old. I wrote a post on my kid-safe allergy essential oil blend here:

  • no, i would avoid it because valarian is too strong for babies! I like to make my Take a Chill Pill blend for babies, with lavender, chamomile, tangerine, and vanilla absolute! It works really well and smells delicious!

    • J Shea

      I have just read to add Valerian to the diffuser to help with pain for children… I was looking for assistance for my son waking up yelling about his ear hurting. I applied a blend around his ear but did add Valerian to the diffuser as advised in my reading. Maybe it is an age thing - at what age do you feel it is safe?

  • if you search through my site for the issues you are looking for there are individual posts for issues. There are way too many issues to list for each essential oil, so it’s better to search for specific conditions instead! I am working on many kid friendly essential oil blends throughout this season, so there is a lot of helpful posts to answer a lot of questions you might have!

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  • sorry hon! Just getting over illness that started last Friday! I got behind all week because of it, but I am finishing that post right now 🙂

    • Treana Wunsch

      No worries! Feel better!

  • yes! You can totally diffuse them in rooms in your house that the baby is not currently in! I’d say a 30 minute window would be a generous amount of time, so after the baby is in bed is a perfect time to disinfect the rest of the house with the oils that you can’t use around the lil one!

  • If you don’t see a slowness of breath or a physical rash reaction, you should be fine since he didn’t show a reaction this time! You can make a kid-friendly version that I call Medicine Woman Jr!

  • Treana Wunsch

    I’ve read in several locations that the blend of lemon, lavender and peppermint is good for treating allergy symptoms in young children. Although, I see that peppermint shouldn’t be used in children under 6. Is there an allergy blend that would be appropriate for children under 6?

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  • It’s ok! Just use it for yourself and make a child-safe Thieves blend I call Medicine Woman Jr (

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  • I fixed it, they are all under the 6+ years heading (because of the thujone content) I must have forgotten to add in officinalis! Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Angela Vullo

      Thanks so much! I come back to this page very often as a reference. 🙂

  • yes lemon and lavender would be a great combo for a cold! I like to make my medicine woman jr. (my kid’s friendly anti-germ/immune boosting) essential oil blend. You can find the recipe here:

  • Don’t worry! If your kiddo didn’t have a reaction, then everything is fine! Just discontinue use until the appropriate age and all will be well! I totally understand the feeling!

  • lavender and chamomile are definitely great options for diffusion! You would follow the instructions for your diffuser as far as how much water to fill, but most diffusers call for 6-10 drops essential oil (depending on the size/type of diffuser), I would say 1-3 drops would be totally find for an infant in the diffuser. Fennel is actually an essential oil that should be avoided by babies and children (and in turn breastfeeding mothers) until 6 years of age! Studies are finding that it’s estrogenic also, so that is even more reason to stay away from it during the developmental younger years!

  • Elizabeth

    For the 2 and older dilutions is it 20 drops total or each oil per ounce? So if you want to bland two oils would you need to use 2 ounces of carrier?

    • it would be 20 TOTAL drops of essential oil per ounce of oil. I find that blending your blend together first and then using 20 drops of that, to be the most effective method. I make my Medicine woman jr. (combination of several kid-safe, germ-killing/immune boosting essential oils) in it’s own separate labeled bottle and then I use that blend to mix with my carrier.

  • Happy Mama

    Okay, I’m typically such a thorough researcher, but I’m kicking myself because it appears that I’ve acted on faulty information and now I’m worried! I have diffused doTerra’s Breath blend (which includes eucalyptus) in my 13 month old’s room and used OnGuard (diluted) on all of my children 1, 3, 5, & 10. This oil includes clove, rosemary, and eucalyptus. I certainly won’t be doing it again and my children did not experience any adverse reactions, but should I be looking for delayed reactions or will they be okay if I just discontinue use? Grrr…I’m so frustrated that “trusted sources” claim that these oils are safe for children!

    • I can totally understand your frustration! Right now in America there is just so much misinformation being passed around by people looking to profit. Don’t worry, if your kiddos didn’t experience any adverse reactions, you should have no issues going forward if you are careful in using them. You can make a breathe blend that is kid-friendly, if you go to my Cool Vibes Vapor Rub Jr. post! (

  • I like to combine lavender, chamomile, tangerine, and vanilla for the kiddos (and babies!). I call it “Take a Chill Pill”! You can combine, in a glass essential oil bottle, 40 drops lavender, 24 drops roman chamomile, 30 drops tangerine, and 16 drops vanilla absolute
    The vanilla absolute is a very thick oil, so be sure to blend the blend together well, it may take longer because of the vanilla. You can add 6 drops (1% dilution) to 2 Tbsp. carrier oil and massage this on your babe’s feet at night. You can also add this to the diffuser or make a room spray with it as well! I designed that blend for my, now 5 year old, son when he was a baby. It’s helped us combat sleep, monsters in the closet, and even calm during tantrums. What i like to do is utilize both a diluted blend for massage and a spray in the room. Every night I will spritz his room as part of our bedtime routine, but on nights that he needs more calming, I will also massage his feet and chest with the diluted blend! We have had no issues with getting used to the same oils when I utilize it in this manner!

  • Mindy

    Hi there, I have this book, Essential Oil Safety, and I was wondering where it gives this list and the age recommendations. I’m not coming up with anything other than lists for ingesting and incidences where they put oils in the nose.

    • I went through the information for each essential oil within that book, and read the contraindications. It’s not on a table anywhere, it’s spread out throughout the book! I also utilized a few of my other textbooks as well. Essential Oil Safety was my main resource, but I scoured through the many essential oil books I own as well!

      • Mindy

        Thanks for getting back to me! I went back through Rosemary and its says do not apply to or near the face of infants or children but that is it, nothing about 10 years of age. But Saffron a couple more pages back has a caution for children under 2 years of age. So I guess I’m looking in the wrong spot or it wasn’t from this book. Frustrating I was hoping this book would give me guidelines to reference.

  • yes, i would avoid them as they shouldn’t be used until 6. There are great alternatives for breathing, chest congestion, and cough though! I use fir needle and sometimes cypress for that purpose! You can see my own recipe for my kid friendly vapor rub, cool vibes vapor rub jr (

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  • It’s best to avoid use altogether but you can make your own child-friendly Thieves blend that I use for both the adults and kiddo in my house! I call it Medicine Woman Jr.

  • Another fantastic article Christina! As I get ready to receive my first child into the world I want to make sure that I am as prepared as I can to keep her safe, even from my entire medicine cabinet that pretty much consists only of essential oils. My intuition was telling me that even diluted, no EO is safe for newborns. Thank you for such a complete article on this subject!

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  • Kali


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  • EG

    Is it safe or unsafe to wear diluted cinnamon leaf while nursing my 4mo old? I read about putting it topically on the pancreas area, but am afraid to nurse with the baby that close, even when my clothes are over it, since she can inhale it.

    • cinnamon leaf is safe for her to inhale, I would only avoid topical application with that one on her, but on you it should be totally fine!

  • sarah

    My pediatrician warned me to use lavender very sparingly around my kids. She warned that it has been linked to early puberty. It’s not something that should be used daily around children.

    • This is incorrect information that has been passed around, lavender in fact is not estrogenic. Fennel on the other hand is and should be avoided before the age of 6+. Robert Tisserand writes about lavender not being estrogenic here:

      • Courtney

        Since fennel is in Mother’s Milk tea, is this a concern for babies of nursing moms?

        • not at all! It’s totally safe in herb form and has been used for many centuries by midwives for this purpose! The essential oil is estrogenic, but not the herb!

          • Courtney

            Thank you so much! I’m so new to all of this, I appreciate all your research and sharing the information!

  • Katie Sutherland

    Should Thieves blend not even be diffused around littles? Thanks!

    • It’s best not to diffuse it when they are in the room, but you can make a my child-friendly blend called Medicine Woman Jr!

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  • 3-5 drops of essential oil in the diffuser (depending on the size of the room) should be totally fine! I always recommend diffusion first, before topical application, with babies, though when applying topically the feet is a great place to safely apply essential oils without them being too overwhelming to their senses!

  • I am presenting the maximum dilution ratios, you can totally use her recipes if you like, but she is being more on the cautious side with her dilutions whereas I am giving the dilution ratios that are suggested! Either is fine, you can even start out with less, more towards her end, and if needed up the amount as long as staying within the maximum guidelines for that age! less is more, so if that dilution works, then definitely go for it!

    • Daisy Grau

      Awesome. Thank you for the clarification. I don’t know enough about the oils to be sure for myself so your response helps me immensely to ease my mind. Thanks again!

  • Kristin

    Hi. I have a 4 month old who has a cough that sometimes seems a little productive. What oils do you suggest that I can diffuse and apply to her? Thanks!

    • yes! I would diffuse the essential oils from my cool vibes vapor rub jr! You could use one or two drops each in the diffuser ( You could also make the salve for the 6+ months age and rub it on her feet and then cover with socks. This is an age old remedy to use a vapor rub and cover with socks! Even my pediatrician once suggested that to me when my Syfy was around the same age! It works well on adults and children alike, so if you are dealing with a nasty cough yourself, apply your vapor rub to your feet and cover with socks before bed, for a good nights rest!

      • Kristin

        Thanks! I also found your store on etsy! 🙂

      • Rachel Marshall

        I noticed the Cool Vibes Vapor rub has eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary. Are these safe to use on an infant?

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  • Diffusion is one of the main methods of administering essential oils so I would avoid diffusing it while the little on is in the room, but you can get fir needle for a great kid-friendly eucalyptus substitution! The thieves is ok to clean with, as you said, as long as the kiddo isn’t coming into physical contact with the spray, it should be fine!

  • Kristyne

    Hi Christina,
    I was just wondering, you mention that the off limit oils and blends should be used when not at home or the children are not in the same room. Is there a time limit AFTER the diffuser has been turned off that the children can safely re-enter the house/rooms? I had heard once before at the EOs can linger in the air for some time after the diffuser was turned off? Sorry if the question has been answered already!

    • Christina

      Hi there Kristyne! Some oils evaporate faster than others, but generally it should be safe to enter the room within 5 minutes after the diffuser was turned off. Depending on how long you diffuse, and the quality of the diffuser, particles can linger in the air for several hours but as the oils break down they emit natural ozone, which in turn improves air quality in the room. As long as your child is not directly inhaling the diffusion, entering the room after diffusion is finished, is not usually problematic. During diffusion, the concentration is much stronger!

  • Kat

    Wonderful information! I did not know I couldn’t use Eucalyptus on children under 10-I just bought some today on recommendation from another mom to use for my 7 month old to help with colds (through a dehumidifier).

    What is the best way to use Lavender oil on a 7 month old? Do you have a recipe that uses Coconut oil?

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  • Marisa

    Hi Christina,
    I’m wondering what you think about this combination of oils in a 3 year old. I don’t see many of these on any of your lists. Thanks!

    Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia) lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida), and myrtle (Myrtus communis).

    • Christina

      citronella and tea tree are safe for 6+ months, lemongrass is safe for 2+ years (because it can be irritating to the skin so it’s suggested to use very little of the lemongrass in topical applications), rosemary should wait until 6 like peppermint, and myrtle should also wait until 6 yrs because of it’s cineol 1,8 content (roughly the same as rosemary)

  • Morgan

    Also what about lavandin grosso for kids?

  • Morgan

    Thank you for this awesome info. I am already very cautious about essential oils with my kids, but I had been diffusing On Guard and will not do that when they are around. I have two questions. What about eucalyptus citriadora and lemon eucalyptus when used in natural bug sprays as an alternative to deet with children? Are those also to be avoided with children? And if I had an allergic skin reaction to the topical use of diluted lemon oil is it safe for me to diffuse it?

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  • Michelle

    What is the best way to apply Lavender to a toddler’s (2.5 years old) feet? And what is the appropriate amount of oil? This is to aid in calming before bed and sleep. How soon before bed should it be applied? Is it more beneficial to diffuse it instead?

  • Malorye

    Our favorite family shampoo and conditioner has Rosemary and Peppermint essential oils as the last 2 ingredients. Should I stop using these on my 3 1/2 year old? Thank you 🙂

  • Jenna G

    Thank you!!! I just started using EOs & was going by what the YL rep & the facebook YL group members were recommending - almost everything they told me was misinformation! It is amazing how wrong their recommendations were. Are you familiar with YL peace & calming? I was told it’s safe for my 2 month old to help her sleep but now I know nothing is safe for her yet. I was also told Thieves is safe. Now I know not to listen to their recommendations. I think YL also misrepresents their products so I will not be buying anymore oils from them. I ordered the book you referenced by Tisserand. I want to help, not hurt my children! So, if I’m doing the conversions correctly, about 3 drops for 1 tsp. for 3-6 month olds?

  • This article was super helpful to me as I am a total newbie when it comes to EO. My new diffuser is on its way in the mail so I am reading up on safety for my 10 month old baby. And just making sure, there is no need to dilute the oils with a diffuser, correct? Thanks for the awesome info, Christina!!

    • Christina

      no you don’t need to dilute in the diffuser because the water does that for you!

  • Jessica Galle

    I know brand is irrelevant, but a YL rep is telling me that Eucalyptus radiata is perfectly safe for kids and that YL even makes a “kids line” of EOs? I realize independent research is necessary, so can I put any stock in what they say to me?

    • Christina

      The studies show that even Eucalyptus radiata is included as not safe for use under 10 years of age, according to Robert Tisserand’s book (2nd edition, Essential Oil Safety) Eucalyptus radiata’s cineol 1,8 content is 60%- 65% and that is WAY too high. It is listed as one of the cineol-rich essential oils to avoid. Many of their blends contain essential oils that shouldn’t be used on children and their children’s blends also contain essential oils that shouldn’t be used on children of certain ages

      These are some of the oils in the kid kit that shouldn’t be used for children:
      TummyGize contains peppermint (shouldn’t be used on children under 6)
      SniffleEase contains Eucalyptus radiata (not for under 10) ravintsara (also a cineol 1,8 rich essential oil and shouldn’t be use before 10) and peppermint (not for under 6)
      SleepyIze contains Rue which is a highly suspect oil to begin with, it’s a photocarcinogenic as well as phototoxic so any sunlight where it was applied can cause a reaction, the herb is highly known for it’s abortificient properties so all pregnant/breastfeeding women should stay away from it, and it’s suggested not to be used around children in general.

  • Jessica Galle

    Are the ages still relevant if I’m purely diffusing EOs (according to the directions) within my home vs applying topically? I have no plans to use EOs on my newborn until he’s older, but I like to diffuse certain YL blends (like Stress Away) in my home - is that a no, no during my homebirth and until my new son is over 3 months old? Really appreciate your article!!

    • Christina

      yes diffusion enters the blood stream through smelling! You can however diffuse in the room before your birth or when you are not home or when baby is not in that room. After you are done diffusing in that room baby can be in that room again! I don’t think that stress away will be an issue, for diffusion during your homebirth, just remember to diffuse only 30 minutes at a time, you don’t want to over diffuse!

      • Jessica Galle

        Thank you so much for your candid feedback and quick responses, I really appreciate it! I realize now anyone can be a YL rep so their knowledge base isn’t that vast. I currently have the EO Desk Reference 2nd edition, but I think I should purchase Tisserand’s book because there is no mention of the risks you mention in the safety data under the individual oils. Last question: I am also looking at the Peace & Calming YL EO for diffusion during my home birth (30 min at a time per your note above and not with baby in the room) - - I looked up the individual oils in the blend and they all say “if pregnant consult a physician” (which is not helpful b/c a physician will just look at me and go huh?) - do you believe this EO blend is safe for diffusion like the stress away? Thank you so much! Love your site!

        • Christina

          the oils in Peace & Calming should also be totally fine to use during your birth!

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  • Emily

    Thank you for all the helpful information. EOs can be so overwhelming as a beginner. I have a blend that contains mrytle (lemon) and was noticing that it isn’t on any of the lists. I have a 2 year old and 5 year old; would it be considered safe to diffuse?

  • Jac

    I see this post is a bit old but I was doing some reattach and I am concerned and hoping you see this! I have been using thieves on my 2.5 year old for 3 weeks (diluted of course) in the evening and mornings bc of all of the bugs going around. I have connected w several people who use it on their littles - but what you are saying makes sense! I am very concerned now - and I have been rubbing it into his feet myself and I am pregnant…

    • Christina

      The great thing is that you haven’t seen a reaction yet and you are learning this stuff now while it matters! No worries, just make a point from now on to use the thieves oil in your home in a diffuser when you guys are out of the house. That way you can disinfect your home safely without you or the kiddo ingesting it unneededly I actually have a kid friendly version of thieves oil that you can mix that is antigerm and also great for congestion and stuffy noses, It’s called Medicine Woman Jr.. It’s just as effective for adults so I tend to use it instead since my kiddo is only 5!

  • Shala

    Hi, you list cinnamon oil with the scientific name cinnamomum verum but the site you recommended purchasing from only has cinnamomum zeylanicum, and that is not listed at all in your safety list. At what age is cinnamomum zeylanicum safe for children?



    • Christina

      I need to add that in there, they are literally synonyms of one another, so they are the same thing! Sorry about the confusion!

  • Alison

    Hi- thanks for all the information it is very helpful. When diffusing blends that have eucalyptus and Rosemary in them is it safe for a child under 2?


    • Christina

      It is best to diffuse those essential oils in the rooms that your kiddo isn’t in! Which I do all the time with my cat as well! You can either diffuse them around your home while you guys are out of the house (most all of the diffusers sold out there have timers and turn off either on a timer or when the water runs out) or just diffuse in the rooms your kiddo isn’t occupying.

  • meganbrownlee

    So mountain rose herbs essential oils are ok for babies and children as long as they are dilute? Also how do you go about diluting just mix together in a small bowl??

    • Christina

      though purity and brand do matter to an extent, it’s not the brand that makes it safe for use on/around children. It is most definitly HOW you use them that dictates the safety! Diluting them is super easy! Whatever oil (you can also use honey, especially if adding them to a bath) you use, just add your essential oil drops and stir well, then you can use them on your skin! For ease of use, I like to mix them together in a mason jar so that I can just keep that jar on hand wherever I go! There is no need for dilution if using a diffuser, you just add them to water for that purpose.

  • Jessica

    I was unaware of these rules and applied RC very diluted on my newborn’s chest because of her older sibling being really sick as a form of prevention that was recommended she is now 2 months old but I am stricken with fear. What should I be concerned about? Does it just affect at the moment or Is there cause for concern of permanent damage?

    • Christina

      There is no cause to be concerned! If there were to be any issues, it would be like any other drug interaction and happen withing 30-45 minutes. You’re baby should be just fine! It is great to be wary of future use until the proper age though because even though she did not show a reaction after one time, she is still susceptible to have a reaction in the younger years, so I would just avoid future use directly on her or when she is in the area you are in, otherwise cleaning and using it for yourself is not a problem!

      • Jessica

        Thank you very much! It’s not easy being a mommy!!

        • Christina

          I totally agree lol

  • Susan

    Is it safe to diffuse Young Living thieves around children who are 5-9 years old? What if they get close to the stream?

    • Christina

      it’s not about the brand, it’s about the eucalyptus content. All eucalyptus contains too much of the chemical constituent (what it’s made up of) cineol and menthol. These two constituents are found in several essential oils including all forms of eucalyptus (radiata, lemon, etc.), rosemary, and peppermint. So, any essential oil blend from any company, containing these essential oils, should be avoided! YL’s Thieves blend is great for children and adults 10+ years because of the eucalyptus and rosemary content, but not for babies and children under the age of 10, I would use my child friendly version of Thieves for diffusion! It’s called Medicine Woman Jr.

  • roszella

    Hi …can I add drops of calendula extract to coconut oil for use on a ten month old baby? And is beeswax safe for him too?

    • Christina

      calendula extract is a tincture/herbal extract made usually with alcohol (sometimes glycerine for an alcohol free version), but is not an essential oil. Though you could use it in a lotion, it is a water rather than an oil, so it would not effectively blend in the coconut oil and beeswax. and yes beeswax is totally safe on babies! I would steep the calendula in the coconut oil to get the healing benefits of the calendula, much like my owie cream post (In fact minus the essential oils, my butt balm is this recipe but with chamomile essential oil instead).

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  • Rachel

    I need something I can use on my 3 month old and 2 year old for allergies. Help please.

  • Anonymous

    I have been using essentials on my son since he was 5 weeks olds when he got his his cold (RC and thieves). He has had several congestions since. I have used melrose, Rosemary, raven, blue eucalyptus, oregano, peppermint, lemon, lavender, copaiba, frankincense, etc. for the past two months my has had reactive airway disease and has been on the nebulize. I had asked several essential oils users if the essential oils could be contributing to his RAD. After reading your article I am stopping using all EO immediately. During your research did you find anything suggestion that EO can trigger the RAD?

  • A Nonymous

    Scrolling through this article I see you state for use ON your child. What about in useful DIY sprays like disinfecting air spray? Many call for one to a few drops of eucalyptus and/or rosemary. I’m looking for an alternative to Lysol to use in our small apt. during cold/flu season.

    • Christina

      on or around, I should change that, thank you! The reaction can still happen no matter if you have used it before safely or not. They can build up a sensitivity the more they are around an oil as well, so it is best to utilize them for the appropriate age to be sure that a reaction doesn’t happen! I hope that helps! For a great germ fighting spray that replaces the eucalyptus/rosemary of the thieves oil blend, I created my Medicine Woman Jr. blend and in that post I do share the amount to use if using in a spray, diffuser, etc.!

  • Lisa

    I am considering introducing Lavender topically to my little boy (17 months) for cradle cap. He developed cradle cap immediately after a round of antibiotics that I started, but felt strongly that I was giving him poison, literally, and stopped after a few days. (He was very sick and I was in the middle of a health crisis myself). I am being treated for candida and I worry that he developed it as well since the antibiotics at 6 months. Do you think it could help and would you recommend applying it directly to the cradle cap or to the bottoms of his feet?

    Thanks for posting this information. I, too, am very interested in learning to treat my family naturally and keep us healthy but I do not feel comfortable administering essential oils without knowing the quality (that they are free of synthetics) and how they interact with the body.

    • Christina

      Hi there Lisa! Yes lavender for cradle cap is a fabulous choice! You can rub it on his head diluted! I would most definitely use coconut oil as your carrier oil, in this case since it is very well known in the hippy mommy world, for cradle cap! I never had to deal with cradle cap with Syfy but all of the hippy mommy’s I know, swear by it! I am so glad to hear about your learning to keep your family healthy! I can understand the overwhelm that comes from trying to learn about essential oils, I too have been there! I am here to help as much as I can! 🙂

      • Lisa

        Thank you! I’m going to go ahead and purchase some! Have some coconut oil on hand:) Thanks again!

    • I know you wrote this a long time ago, but I’ll throw in my two cents as I have a personal connection. Many people in the oils community will tell you that Lavender oil will not cause estrogen production in males in opposition of some studies that shows it does including Dr. Tisserand, but as a male who’s mother always had lavender everything around the house oil, soap, dry flower, etc. and had gynecomastia when I was younger (still has not completely gone away to this day) as well as signs of of hormonal imbalances when in adolescence I can’t help but wonder if the studies hold some truth. I admit that things like phytoestrogens in inorganic lotions and other products may be worse and the actual culprit, but as a male who knows how much its sucks to have gynecomastia I would say be really careful. I assure you your son doesn’t want man boobs. Don’t get me wrong lavender is awesome and I love it, I just think there needs to be more research on both sides before mothers are completely confident about using it with their young boys. Like I mentioned having gynecomastia is a very unpleasant experience as a boy/young male and can really hurt their confidence. So, I think it’s very worth mothers avoiding/minimize the use of anything that might cause it. Trust me you’ll be doing you son a huge favor in life (not that mothers aren’t constantly doing those anyways).

      • Christina

        Thank you so much for your input and story! Robert Tisserand actually discusses this exact topic on his own blog in 2013! It’s actually NOT estrogenic and new tests using a uterotrophic’ assay, have shown no estrogenic activities even when exaggeratedly higher amounts of oil than would typically be found in cosmetic applications, were used. I myself am very confident in the research that has been done, to date, on this topic!

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  • JR

    I have been using a Thieves blend in my homemade hand soap. Since it appears I should not if children would be using it, do you have a recommendation for making an anti-bacterial, child-safe soap? Thanks!

    • Christina

      Yes! I actually recently wrote a post making a child-safe theives blend I call Medicine Woman Jr! I use this blend in my foaming hand soap containers all around my house and keep a small foaming hand soap bottle in my purse too because i hate to use the tricosan filled antibacterial soaps when we are out of the house!

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