Aromatic Baby Care
Your baby deserves the best. Would you prefer to use commercial, chemically-laden baby care products, or nature’s own pure and natural essential oils and pure carrier oils, powders, etc? Much of the information on this page is based on the writings of Colleen K. Dodt, Maggie Tisserand, and Valerie Worwood, all experienced professional aromatherapists.
Baby’s Aromatic Bath
First of all, newborn babies seldom get dirty. (This will definitely change in the future, but for now, how much mud and dirt do they come in contact with?) For most “wash downs” I believe the best thing you can do to keep your precious baby clean and fresh is to use pure hydrosols, the steam-distilled water-soluble extracts of healing and aromatic plants.
If mom decides that a “soap and water” bath is appropriate, we suggest our liquid Happy Baby Soap or a pure handmade castile soap. There are many hand-crafted soap makers online who take pride in their pure, natural products. Please take care to buy only a pure castile soap. If it is scented, specify that only pure lavender essential oil be used in it.
The alternative to buying a special bar of soap for baby is to buy some of our Organic Liquid Castile Soap. Dilute it with an equal amount of either Lavender Hydrosol or Rose Hydrosol. Voilá! A gentle, pure liquid baby soap.
For tiny bottoms, wipe clean with a hydrosol, followed by a soothing dab of Baby Bottom Balm. Or make your own all-natural, non-petroleum soothing balm: Fractionated Coconut Oil or Jojoba, infused with healing Calendula petals, with about 3 drops of Lavender and one drop of German Chamomile to help guard against inflammation. Gently heat together one cup of the Calendula infused oil and one scant ounce of grated Beeswax. When the Beeswax is totally melted, remove from heat and beat until cool. You may add an ounce of Shea Butter for extra emollience. (A spoonful of vitamin E is a healing addition, and will help preserve the balm.) As the balm cools, add the essential oils and beat until creamy.
One option to commercial, chemical-laden baby wipes is easily made at home. Take a roll of paper towels and cut the roll in half to yield two half-sized rolls. Remove the center cardboard tube, and place the dry paper towel roll in an empty plastic container. (The most convenient are empty commercial wipes containers.) Saturate the roll of dry paper towels with a blend of four parts hydrosol of your choice, and one part witch hazel extract. These are wonderfully convenient for cleaning up after a messy diaper.
Another alternative is the large, round cotton pads available in beauty supply stores. Moisten with your favorite hydrosol and use to freshen any part of baby’s skin. The hydrosol will leave baby clean, refreshed and relaxed, and can help calm a mom’s sometimes frazzled nerves as well.
Aromatic Baby Oil
Most commercial baby oils are petroleum by-products. When our babies need massage or need baby oil for any reason, we use Fractionated Coconut Oil, with 4 drops of Bulgarian Lavender essential oil and one drop of English Chamomile per ounce of carrier. This is a wonderfully soothing blend for the days that baby just can’t settle down. Babies love massages! Start from the toes, massaging the tiny feet, then gently up the legs, next clockwise around the tummy. Then, laying baby on their tummy (preferably across your lap), use gentle strokes up the back. The soothing oils and the touch of your gentle hands should have baby sleeping peacefully in no time.
Aromatic Baby Powder
For baby powder, you can easily make your own out of a blend of cornstarch, arrowroot powder, and white cosmetic clay. You may either add a few drops of Lavender essential oil or some finely pulverized dried lavender buds or dried rose petals. If you choose to use the essential oils, sprinkle the few drops it will take over the mixture of “powders” and blend in with your fingertips, then sift well. If baby has a red, angry diaper rash, it could very well be a yeast rash. If so, please don’t use cornstarch or arrowroot, they can feed the yeast. A powder made of white cosmetic clay, with a few drops of lavender essential oil blended in should soothe the sore bottom and help heal the rash.
Sniffles and Sneezes
The only essential oils that I will use (highly diluted) on a baby’s skin are Bulgarian Lavender, German Chamomile, and Roman Chamomile. However, when baby has a stuffy nose, the gentle conifer oils can be diffused in his or her room or added to the humidifier. The needle oils (conifers), pine, spruce, fir, etc. are safe for diffusing, can have respiratory benefits, and are known to be baby-friendly when diffused for brief periods. We especially recommend our Siberian Fir since it is the most relaxing of our conifers and may help baby fall asleep. Please don’t expose the baby to any neat essential oils, ever, and please don’t massage your baby with any eucalyptus blend. Eucalyptus, too close to the nose, can possibly interfere with breathing. Keep it diluted, and diffuse it in other rooms, during the baby’s absence.
When there are colds or viruses in the family, adding some Eucalyptus Smithii to water that you clean with, or diffusing it throughout the whole house can help prevent the spread of germs.
Occasionally, babies get earaches. To ease the pain, massage the area around her jaw and beneath her ear with a blend of 2 drops of Bulgarian Lavender and 2 drops of Roman Chamomile added to two teaspoons of carrier oil.
Herbalist/aromatherapist Jeanne Rose suggests spritzing Roman Chamomile Hydrosol into the mouth when the baby is feeling pain from teething. Alternatively, you can rub the hydrosol on the outside of baby’s jaw.
To read about oils recommended during childbirth, please see our Aromatic Child Birth page.