If you live in an area that experiences cold and dry winters or generally has dry air, you might ask whether you can use essential oils in a humidifier for your baby.
When the humidity in your home drops, it can be hard to stay comfortable inside the house. You may experience certain discomforts as a result of the dry air.
The signs of sleeping in a dry room include dry skin, chapped lips, oversecretion of mucus, and sleep disturbance.
The results of not having the required humidity in the air, 40 to 50 percent, are not too pleasant. You can imagine what kind of suffering your baby could be going through.
Are essential oils safe to diffuse around babies?
As you look for information about humidifiers, you will also find accompanying information about essential oils.
You will see how they help with colds, congestion, irritability, and anxiety. However, as a parent, you cannot help wondering whether these oils are safe for a baby.
Essential oil therapy is also called aromatherapy. This practice has been used for centuries. Essential oil therapy is simply the use of natural extracts from medicinal plants to enhance a person’s emotional and physical well-being.
So, as to the question of putting essential oils in a nursery humidifier, well, the jury is still out there.
Essential oils are for aromatherapy. There is no doubt that they can help your baby. However, it is also important to say that a humidifier is not made for diffusing essential oils.
Some humidifier makers attach a warning not to use essential oils in their appliances. To be safe, find out whether you can add these oils to the tank of your humidifier.
What to know before using essential oil in baby humidifiers
Not every essential oil on the market is good for your baby. The first thing to know is what to avoid. You should give wintergreen, anise, fennel, rosemary, and eucalyptus a wide berth.
You should only add a maximum of 3 drops of essential oils to your humidifier. To reiterate, the humidifier can break water into small particles and disperse it as mist. It cannot do the same for the oils.
Do not add essential oils to your humidifier every day. Because of the alcohol content in most essential oils, it can damage the plastic chamber.
Clean the humidifier tank more often than you would when you don’t use essential oils. Since they contain alcohol, you want to ensure the tank is not damaged.
If the manufacturer of the humidifier has expressly said not to use these oils in it, avoid doing it. Alternatively, you could buy a humidifier with a scent pad, such as a Vicks humidifier with VapoPads.
Can you put essential oils in nursery humidifiers?
The answer is yes, you can.
But that alone is not satisfactory. Questions like how much you should add and how often you should do it arise in your mind.
Well, the truth is that this appliance is not a diffuser. It won’t break the essential oils into finer particles. However, a couple of drops will not do your baby any harm.
The thing that you should be worrying about here is how not to affect your humidifying unit. Too much essential oil can cause your humidifier harm. It will not work correctly.
It is also important to get high-quality and genuine essential oils. Because of their popularity, there are many counterfeits on the market.
However, even if you find the best, purest, and most genuine essential oil, you are advised not to use it on a baby who is younger than three months.
You aren’t allowed to use essential oils on the skin of babies that are younger than two years old. Their skin is too thin.
So how can your baby enjoy the benefits of essential oil? By inhalation. If the kid has respiratory infections, they can benefit from inhaling sweet orange, cypress, spruce, fir, and geranium.
Add these essential oils to a diffuser. It can break them into small particles and disperse them for inhalation.
If you want to add these oils to your nursery humidifying unit for babies, just add a few drops.
Essential oils to put in a humidifier for baby
Of course, a dash of essential oils in a humidifier for a baby is not going to do any harm. But do you know the best essential oils that you should use for your baby?
You can use the following humidifier oil for your baby, but it is also important to talk to your pediatrician first.
This essential oil is known for its calming effect. Therefore, you can use it in your baby’s room if he or she is having trouble sleeping. You can also use it to calm your anxiety and help you sleep
2. Eucalyptus radiata essential oil
This is one of the most popular essential oils on the market for unclogging congested airways. Therefore, the question you should be asking is not whether it is good for babies.
You should be asking how much eucalyptus oil to use in a diffuser. Essentially, this should be just a drop or two for the baby.
While adults can take this essential oil orally, it is poisonous if taken in large quantities. Therefore, your baby should not ingest it.
3. Lavender Oil
If your baby inhales lavender oil, it can have a calming effect on him or her. However, remember to add the right amount to the diffuser.
For a baby who is one year old or younger, you should add 1 drop of essential oil to 8 drops of carrier (water) in the appliance.
Benefits of using essential oils in humidifiers
While the use of essential oils has been proven to have therapeutic benefits for adults, there has been a lot of contradictory information on whether they are safe for babies.
The concern about whether it is safe to use essential oils on babies is very genuine. Babies are highly vulnerable and sensitive to, well, almost everything.
However, essential oils can be as beneficial to babies as they are to adults, as long as they are used appropriately and in the right proportions.
Health experts advise against excessive use of essential oils on babies, as it might put their health at risk.
If your baby has a known sensitivity, is allergic to something, or has a medical issue, you should seek a doctor’s advice first before introducing them to essential oils.
According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, never use essential oils on babies who are younger than four months.
1. Reduces colic symptoms
Studies have shown that lavender oil’s therapeutic properties can reduce or ease colic symptoms in infants. Colic in babies is mainly characterized by continuous crying that goes on for more than three hours.
Several things can cause colic. Indigestion is one of them because of developing digestive systems, food allergies, and acid reflux.
Lavender oil properties can relieve colic symptoms easing colic pain and discomfort.
2. It enhances baby’s sleep
Diffusing essential oil in baby’s room humidifiers can promote better sleep and relaxation. The best essential oils for sleep enhancement include chamomile, lavender, and mandarin.
When diffused before bedtime, these essential oils have natural properties that make your baby relax and fall asleep easily.
Adding just two drops of chamomile oil to your humidifier can have a sedative or calming effect on your baby.
Chamomile oil has been used for years to treat sleeplessness in grownups. It can have the same effects on infants.
3. It helps with congestion
When the cold seasons kick in, the risk of babies suffering from colds, chest tightness, and flu becomes high. As a parent, you know how the cold can take a toll on your baby’s comfort and joy.
Infants become easily irritable and restless especially because of the discomfort brought by congested nasal passages. Breathing naturally through the nose becomes hard, which affects their sleep and eating routine.
A warm mist or cool mist humidifier can provide relief for people suffering from colds and flu. This is actually one of the reasons why people buy humidifiers. Humid air is friendlier to the nasal passages than dry air.
It moisturizes the respiratory path, allowing the mucus to flow, hence de-congesting stuffed air passages. Adding essential oils to a baby unit can make colds and flu more bearable for your infant.
Eucalyptus oil is the best essential oil for treating nasal congestion. It has some healing properties that provide fast relief from cold symptoms and congestion.
It is the best essential oil recommended for use in a humidifier to provide relief when your baby is suffering from a cold.
4. Improves the baby’s mood
Using essential oils in humidifiers for babies can improve your baby’s moods by reducing irritability.
Lavender oil, in particular, has been proven to provide a soothing effect. It relieves stress, which can enhance the overall mood of your infant.
If your baby is easily irritable for no apparent reason, aromatherapy properties in essential oils can help them relax and calm down.
Diffusing essential oils around your baby will promote calmness and happiness, leaving you with a happier baby.
5. Good for the skin
Naturally, all babies have tender, very sensitive skin.
This puts them at a higher risk of developing various skin conditions such as eczema especially when exposed to low humidity conditions.
Keeping your baby’s skin properly hydrated can put them at a lower risk of contracting such skin conditions. Studies show that adding some essential oils to baby humidifiers can enhance skin hydration.
The best essential oil to use in your humidifier for baby’s skin is sunflower oil. This essential oil is rich in linoleic acid, which improves skin hydration.
It is great for toddlers who have sensitive skin. The other essential oil that can be used for skin purposes is olive oil.
However, if your baby has an existing skin condition, consult a pediatrician first before using any essential oil on them.
How to use essential oils safely in humidifiers
While there are good essential oils for babies, it is vital to know the right dosage. Babies’ respiratory systems are delicate and might not be able to handle high dosages of essential oils. Here are a few things to help you:
While most essential oils have therapeutic benefits for both adults and children, some can have serious health implications for babies.
When not used properly, some essential oils can have seriously negative health impacts on toddlers. It can put them at a higher risk of contracting illnesses.
Therefore, ask around. Check websites such as webMD and healthline.com. They contain loads of information about using essential oils for babies.
Dilute the essential oil
Remember that a baby’s systems and airways are still developing. Introducing them to foreign substances can make them highly susceptible to infections.
Mostly, they just need oxygen. Since essential oils are natural extracts from plants, they are highly concentrated.
When you use them in the wrong proportions, they can have toxic effects on your baby. Dilute the oil before adding it to your humidifier, or just add two drops.
Know what essential oils to avoid
We did mention a few of them such as anise and eucalyptus. There are others, such as peppermint oil that you should never use on babies.
Is peppermint safe for babies to smell? Well, actually, no! Peppermint has some chemical compositions that can affect breathing in young children.
Seeking advice from a health expert before using any essential oil on your baby is highly recommended.
Ask your pediatrician before using essential oils for baby
Health professionals will offer proper advice on whether it is okay to introduce your baby to essential oils.
They can advise you on which essential oils you can or cannot use on your baby. They will determine if your baby has any health conditions that can get worse if you use essential oils.
It is okay to add a tiny amount of essential oils to a humidifier for a baby.
However, you should be very careful before using essential oils on your baby because too much can have adverse effects.
Keep it simple and to the minimum, and follow the usage instructions for safety.