Can essential oils provide relief to your baby during teething? Are they even safe to use?
While essential oils have a long medicinal history, they have regained popularity in recent years due to their reported healing and soothing properties. Many moms wonder if this natural remedy can also benefit their babies as their teeth grow in.
Teething can be a harrowing experience for all involved and if anything can help, you definitely want to know about it. Here is everything you need to know about using essential oils to help your baby through the teething process.
- What are Essential Oils?
- Can Essential Oils Help with Teething?
- Tips for Using Essential Oils Safely
- Three Essential Oils Best For Teething
- Negative Essential Oil Reactions
- Recommended Essential Oil Companies
- Which Carrier Oils Should You Use?
- A Note on Natural Remedies
- Your Experience With Teething Essential Oils
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated liquid compounds extracted from various plants. They express both the flavor and scent of the plant, and are believed to have beneficial health properties (source).
Many different essential oils exist and may also be combined into special blends to magnify their benefits. Essential oils are most often used for aromatherapy, which is the practice of inhaling scents to bring about a desired therapeutic effect.
Your essential oil of choice is usually delivered via another agent, such as other oils, lotions, creams, candle waxes, or incense. Diffusing oils into the air is another popular option.
Can Essential Oils Help with Teething?
People use essential oils for various reasons. Essential oils can help you relax or stay awake. They can promote mental clarity, aid digestion, clear up the skin, and even add unique flavors to your food.
With so many purported benefits, it is no surprise moms with teething babies wonder if essential oils can help. The good news? Essential oils can relieve your baby’s discomfort and pain during teething!
However, there are a few things you should know before you stock up your cabinet with bergamot, lemongrass, or ylang-ylang.
Tips for Using Essential Oils Safely
Here are five tips to keep in mind before including essential oils in your teething care regimen:
- Purchase high-quality oils: Because no quality standards have been set by law for essential oils, it is important to make sure you purchase high-quality oils — the packaging should confirm it is 100 percent pure. You should also research how a company processes their oils and where they get their plants (source).
- Never let your baby ingest essential oils: While some essential oils have been labeled as safe as a flavoring for food and water, your baby’s body works differently. Do not put essential oils directly on your baby’s gums until they are at least two years old and your doctor has given you the go-ahead (source).
- Remove diffusers and other objects after use: If you decide to use essential oils in the air through a diffuser or a candle, make sure to store it away whenever your baby is mobile.
- Test essential oils first: Before using essential oils on the sensitive skin of your baby’s face, rub a small bit on the bottoms of their feet first to ensure they won’t have an adverse reaction.
- Follow the directions: All of your essential oils should come with specific instructions on appropriate use. You will want to pay extra close attention to dilution instructions; do not put full-strength oils onto your baby’s skin. Most guidelines recommend mixing the essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil.
Three Essential Oils Best For Teething
Out of all of the essential oils available, which ones are best for soothing your baby’s discomfort and pain during the teething process?
Here are three essential oils and the best ways to use them to help your little one:
Chamomile is the best essential oil to use if you want to apply one directly to your baby’s skin. With its mild properties, chamomile has a very low risk of irritating the skin and has been scientifically proven to reduce inflammation while calming and soothing (source).
Use chamomile combined with a carrier oil to give your baby a jaw massage. Jaw massages can comfort your baby and relieve tension in the gums.
Lavender is another essential oil popular for its calming effects. While your baby is teething, they can often become agitated and exhausted. Use lavender in a diffuser such as this one to promote sleep and rest.
You can also add a drop or two to your baby’s bath water to help them wind down before bedtime. Some baby bathtime products claim to contain lavender, but make sure to read the labels to ensure the ingredients are safe.
Clove oil is the one most likely to cause your baby trouble if misused, so use with caution. This essential oil has great pain relieving properties and is also useful as an antiseptic.
Clove can be applied topically if properly diluted, but should only be used for children past the age of two (source).
Negative Essential Oil Reactions
Essential oils can be dangerous if not used correctly. Here are some common solutions to negative essential oil reactions (source).
If your baby has accidentally ingested essential oils, have them drink some milk or eat a dairy-based substance like yogurt. These can help dilute the oil in your baby’s digestive system. Then, call poison control.
If your baby’s skin is having a bad reaction to an essential oil or if oil has gotten into your baby’s eye, use your carrier oil to wipe it away. Do not use water, as water will only cause the essential oil to spread more.
Do not use stimulating oils such as peppermint, spearmint, or eucalyptus for your baby. These can cause infants to have difficulty breathing.
Recommended Essential Oil Companies
Once you’ve decided which essential oil you would like to try, it’s time to purchase some! We have compiled a list of some essential oil companies recommended by moms. It is important for you to make an educated decision when buying essential oils, so make sure you study each one before making a purchase.
Which Carrier Oils Should You Use?
If you would like to use essentials oil topically for your baby, you will need to find a carrier oil. They are the key to using essential oils safely. Carrier oils are so named because they carry the essential oil to the skin.
Consider these three carrier oils when using essential oils during teething.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is easily accessible and high in antioxidants, which can soothe hurting skin. However, compared to other oils, it is on the heavier side and may be too greasy for your liking.
Make sure you get high-quality olive oil. Because it is so frequently used, many different formulations may include other ingredients you don’t want on your baby’s skin.
Here is an olive oil you can try.
2. Coconut Oil
Unrefined coconut oil comes as a solid but quickly melts into a liquid when warmed in your hands. It has excellent antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties (source). Coconut oil will also last a long time and is good for all skin types.
However, coconut oil often has a strong aroma. You want to make sure you do not overpower your baby with too many scents if using coconut oil.
Here is a coconut oil you can try.
3. Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is rich in vitamin E, which has a host of skin-nourishing properties. It is also a very lightweight oil, so your baby won’t feel too greasy after it is applied.
Here is a sweet almond oil you can try.
A Note on Natural Remedies
Before using essential oils to soothe your baby during the teething process, consult with your pediatrician. Healthcare professionals do not always recommend natural remedies as they often do not have a lot of scientific backing.
Regardless of how your doctor feels about using essential oils, discuss your thoughts and plans. Make sure to test all of the essential oils before using them and watch diligently for any adverse reactions.
Your Experience With Teething Essential Oils
If you have used essential oils for teething, we want to know about your experiences! What worked and what didn’t?
Please consider sharing this information with other moms if you found it useful. We hope you found some ideas to comfort your baby during this trying time.