Essential Oils that are Safe for Babies and Children

Essential oils are wonderful to use for babies and children – they help support their delicate, developing immune systems and are safe to use as they work synergistically with the body to promote wellness. Here is a guide on which oils are effective and safe for sweet little ones!

Essential Oils that are Safe for Babies and Children

Even though I attempted natural birth with my first son (read the crazy story of how it went down here!), I wasn’t living a natural life at home. The pantry was full of food that was definitely not real, I had toxic cleaning products galore, and thought Febreeze was safe and healthy. I’ve come a long way… So, naturally, I had never once heard of using essential oils for my new son and resorted to using very unnatural things whenever Gabriel wasn’t feeling well (read why I steer clear of those things here). Now my kids all know what I’m gonna do when I pull out my oils – give me your feet, kids! At first, I didn’t use them correctly and my kids got some small rashes because I wasn’t diluting it properly. Now I know better and using high quality oils like Young Living has helped a lot. They are now a staple in my household and we use them daily, which has worked very well to keep us healthy and well!

This guide refers to children from newborns to five years old. Are you brand-new to essential oils? Then I suggest starting here, with my Essential Oils 101 article.

Most Common Oils Used for Babies

  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia (aka Tea Tree Oil)
  • Roman Chamomile
  • German Chamomile
  • Sandalwood
  • Marjoram
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon
  • Citrus Fresh (a blended oil)
  • Purification

Click here to buy high quality essential oils!

Proper Essential Oil Dilution for Babies and Children

Proper Dilution

Dilution is important when it comes to babies as they are so small and the oils are strong – a little goes a long way. Not that they are something to be feared, but just have a healthy respect for them.

This is where I recommend starting: 1-3 drops essential oil to 1 tablespoon carrier oil. If you’re finding this dilution ratio isn’t effective for your baby, then increase the amount of essential oils you’re using by a few drops and continue from there.


For general immune support, just 1-2 times a day or less is good. I’ve even found that when I use oils right after we’ve been somewhere where I think they’ve picked up germs, they stay well with just 1-2 applications afterwards.

When their immune systems need more support, I apply the oils 2-4 times a day. Essential oils metabolize in the body in 2 1/2 to 3 hours, so you can technically apply that often.

My Favorite Carrier Oils

Carrier oils are fatty oils that are totally different than essential oils. They help to “carry” the oil over the skin. This helps to reduce irritation (as essential oils are drying and some can irritate if they are not diluted) and makes your oils go further!

Common Oil Uses for Babies

Note: Roman Chamomile is gentler than German, so it is best suited for newborns and infants.

Immune Support

  • Recommended Oils: Lavender, Frankincense, Lemon
  • Use topically by diluting 1-3 drops in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil of choice and massage on the Vita Flex points on the bottoms of the feet, 2 to 4 times a day when needed.

Digestion Support

  • Recommended Oils: Fennel, German Chamomile, Melissa, or Marjoram
  • Use topically by diluting 1-3 drops in 1 tablespoon carrier oil of choice, and massage a small amount gently on stomach and back

Respiratory Support

  • Recommended Oils: Thyme or Lemon
  • Diffuse with an aromatherapy diffuser
  • Dilute 1-3 drops in 1 tablespoon carrier oil and massage a little on neck and chest


  • Recommended Oils: Ylang ylang, Lavender, or Roman Chamomile
  • Diffuse with an aromatherapy diffuser
  • Dilute 1-3 drops in 1 tablespoon carrier oil and massage a little on neck and chest

Diaper Area

  • Recommended Oils: Lavender (This really works for us! I get a tablespoon or so of my homemade diaper rash cream and add 1 drop of lavender to it, then rub on.)
  • Dilute 1-3 drops in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil of choice or buy KidScents Tender Tush from Young Living

For Happy Ears

  • Recommended Oils: Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree Oil), Cedarwood, or Frankincense
  • Put a dilute drop of oil on a cotton ball and place in the ear (but do NOT put the oil itself directly in the ear), rub diluted oil behind ear (1-3 drops in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil)

For Healthy Skin

  • Recommended Oils: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Rose, or Sandalwood
  • Dilute 1-3 drops in 1 tablespoon carrier oil and apply where needed


  • Recommended Oils: Lavender, German Chamomile, Ginger, Marjoram, Melaleuca
  • Dilute and apply a small amount to feet

To actually rub on the teeth, see my post here for a homemade teething oil and other homeopathic relief for teething.

Essential Oils to Use for Kids When They Need Immune Support


Interested in more posts on essential oils? Click here to see all of them!

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


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