If you’re a new mom, dealing with your baby’s unexpected illnesses can be nerve-wracking. After all, you’re already busy because of the holidays, the last thing you need to deal with is your sweet baby’s raspy coughs and fever.
So, you go to the pharmacy and purchase a some baby motrin or cough syrup. But, instead of providing relief, these pharmaceuticals only usher in fresh new worries. We’ve all heard the stories of babies reacting badly to medicine. You yourself hate putting harsh chemicals and medicines into your body. There has to be a natural alternative you can give your baby!
If this is you, believe me, I’ve been there.
In this post, I’m sharing everything I know about using essential oils for baby cold symptoms. We’ll talk about how to use them, best safe practices, and which oils are best for your baby’s illness. And, if you’re on the fence about using essential oils for your baby, don’t worry. This post contains plenty of resources to back up the efficacy of these oils.
Before we get started: I am not anti-medicine or against sound medical advice. This post is simply meant as an informational, helpful article to explore natural alternatives for non-emergency situations. Please trust your pediatrician’s advice over mine!
- What to Do When Your Baby Has the Flu
- How to Treat the Flu in Toddlers
- Simply Earth Essential Oils Review
- 10 Best Essential Oils to Use To Help Baby Sleep
Using Essential Oils for Baby Cold and Flu Relief
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. I only recommend what I trust. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical conditions.
Before we dive in, can I just make a statement here?
I am a freak for essential oils. I use essential oils for pretty much every aspect of my life now, from my skincare routine to my family’s physical ailments.
Five months ago, I totally wasn’t though. I used essential oils sparingly (during pregnancy and the occasional stuffy nose relief) but I had no clue how potent they could actually be. Then I was introduced to my fave essential oils brand, Simply Earth, and an addict was born…
Experiencing the effects of quality essential oils made me realize their actual potential. I started researching studies behind the use of essential oils (because I am a skeptic at heart) and how to apply them practically in my own life.
Whether you’re new to essential oils or you’re a seasoned user, you should know that essential oils are the real deal. There have been significant studies citing essential oils as effective treatment for tons of medical ailments, including insomnia, stress, colic, pain, congestion, staph infections, and more.
BUT. The effectiveness of your essential oils largely depends on what you use and how you use it. So, before we dive into the baby safe essential oils for cold and congestion, we’re going to talk a little bit about how you can use them safely.
Are Essential Oils Safe for Your Baby?
If you use the right essential oils in the right way, absolutely.
If your baby is under 3 months, I would highly recommend speaking to your doctor before letting a single drop touch your baby’s skin. Most essential oils are not intended for baby’s under 3 months. Even lavender, which is commonly used for newborns, is not recommended until after 3 months.
In addition, you’ll want to avoid using hot oils on your baby. When an oil is “hot”, it may cause reactions to your baby’s skin. These oils are only safe for diffusers. The video above sums it up pretty nicely.
Here’s a few more safety guidelines to keep in mind:
- Always do a patch test before use
- Do not give any essential oils orally
- Try one at a time
- Always talk to your doctor first, especially with newborns
Essential Oils for Infant Cold Relief: What to Consider Before Your Buy
If you take anything from this article, I hope you’ll remember this:
You can NOT purchase some random essential oil on Amazon or at Walmart and expect them to effectively relieve your baby’s cold symptoms.
The key to using essential oils for baby cold and congestion relief is purchasing quality products. Purchasing the right essential oils can be overwhelming since everyone and their grandma sells them.
So, when you’re out looking for essential oils, here’s a few things to consider:
- Price – If you’re about to spend $26 on a 15ml bottle of eucalyptus oil STOP. You can find it so, so much cheaper. Simply Earth Essential Oils (the only brand I use), sells 100% pure, undiluted essential oils for a ridiculously low price.
- Quality – For maximum effectiveness, you should purchase only essential oils that are undiluted and contained in an amber glass bottle. Your oils should be GC/MS tested, list the English and Latin name, as well as the country of origin. These are all markers of a good essential oil brand.
- Authenticity – Beware that some “essential” oils are actually fragrance oils. These oils may smell good, but they actually don’t contain any of the medicinal benefits that true oils will.
RELATED POST: Simply Earth Essential Oils Review and Coupon
Ways to Use Essential Oils for Baby Cold and Congestion Symptoms
Let’s briefly take a look at how you can treat your baby’s cold. This is pretty important information, because your method of using essential oils is entirely dependent on your baby’s age, skin sensitivities, and the actual oil you’re using.
When you’re dealing with baby’s skin sensitivities, the safest way to reap the benefits of essential oils is a diffuser. And, as we discussed earlier, diffusion is the only safe method for delivering hot oils. Diffusing gently disperses your oils into the air, where your baby gradually breathes them in. For maximum efficiency, your diffuser should be a cold air diffuser (heat can degrade essential oils) and should run for about 15-20 minutes in a small or mid-sized room.
Depending on your baby’s age and the essential oil, you can apply the oils topically. Like diffusion, the oil’s compounds are absorbed into your baby’s body, either aromatically or through his skin. Topical treatment is usually best when some kind of pain is involved (muscle cramps from a fever, for example).
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can dilute the essential oil with distilled water and put it in a spray bottle. Spritzing the room can help you absorb the aromatic properties as well. Some parents swear by spritzing their baby’s sheets. I do not recommend this, because this can put your baby at risk for ingesting the oils.
Last concept before we talk about the specific baby safe essential oils for cold and congestion, I promise.
Earlier, I mentioned dilution. Dilution is ALWAYS necessary if you plan on applying an essential oil topically.
Your dilution ratio completely depends on your baby’s specific skin sensitivities, but a good minimum rule is this: for children younger than six months, follow a .2% dilution rate(that is, 1 drop per 2 tsp carrier oil). For children older than six months, .5%-1%, or 1-2 drops per 2tsp of carrier oil.
The Best Essential Oils Baby Cold Symptoms
Alright, are you ready to learn about some baby safe essential oils to knock out your baby’s cold?
Your baby will react a little differently to each essential oil on this list, which is why I recommend quite a few. Don’t feel like you need to buy them all. Many of these oils have the same medicinal properties, but will interact with your baby a little differently.
Hands-down the safest essential oil to use with your baby, lavender essential oil treats a host of winter ailments. Studies have found that lavender assists with pain management (such as muscle pain and discomfort from fevers), insomnia, stress, and even colic. It also contains healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Many moms like to add a couple drops to their baby’s bath, apply topically via massages, or diffuse a small amount in baby’s room.
When you search for a good lavender essential oil, you might see Bulgarian Lavender (this is the most commonly used type of lavender) and Lavender Hydrosol. If you’re really concerned about your little one’s reaction to essential oils, you might consider using lavender hydrosol.
Lavender hydrosol is water-based, already diluted, and more gentle.
2 Tea Tree
(6 months and older)
Tea tree is a very popular essential oil for baby’s stuffy nose. When used as a chest rub, it can help open up your baby’s airways and relieve congestion. Tea tree oil has also been found to help fight off infections, thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal, AND antiviral properties.
RELATED POST: Simply Earth Essential Oils: Too Good to Be True?
(6 months or older: diffusion. 2 years or older: topical okay)
This is one of my favorite essential oils ever. Not only does the scent make you think of Sunday School and Baby Jesus’ wise men, but it’s a powerhouse essential oil you don’t want to forget about.
Frankincense essential oil breaks up congestion, promotes upper respiratory health, reduces inflammation, and is actually an expectorant. Basically, it helps increase secretion in your baby’s airways.
4 Cinnamon Bark or Leaf
(6 months or older)
Cinnamon is a powerful essential oil, but it’s absolutely important that you use the right species with the right method. Cinnamon oils fights against viruses, boosts our immunity, and reduces inflammation (so, definitely a good essential oil for baby’s sore throat).
Cinnamon bark, is considered a “hot oil” and should only be diffused. Cinnamon leaf essential oil could be okay for topical use, but only if your baby is 6 months or older. Even then, remember to use a patch test first. Some babies are reactive to this oil.
Cloves aren’t recommended for babies, but if you are looking for a powerful adult diffuser blend, try cloves and cinnamon. It smells good and bacteria doesn’t stand a chance against it.
5 Sweet Orange Oil
(6 months and older)
When us adults get sick, we know that drinking some Sunny D can bring us back to health. Just like oranges, sweet orange oil is packed with antioxidants and vitamin c. Not only that, but sweet orange oil contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties; the perfect cocktail to get over a seasonal cold! Thanks to its mild sedative effects, your baby can also enjoy a good night’s sleep.
(6 months and older)
If you’re insane and can’t stand the scent of lavender (I’m kidding, my husband hates it too), tangerine essential oil is an excellent alternative. Just like lavender, it can give your baby the rest he needs when he’s fighting off a fever. Evidence has also shown that mandarin essential oil contains antiseptic properties, which if combined with diffusion, can help clear the air in your baby’s nursery.
Note: You can get tangerine essential oil for a fantastic price with the Simply Earth Kid’s Roll-On Box. I love this box because it includes 3 other kid-safe essential oils, coconut carrier oil, and 6 roll-on bottles.
(Some say 6 months, others say 2 years)
Like cinnamon essential oil, lemon is very powerful, but you must use the right type.
Do not use lemon verbena on your baby. It’s considered a hot oil and not suitable for babies at all. However, plain old lemon essential oil can be diffused or applied topically with care. Lemon essential oil is a powerful astringent, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, and it smells awesome.
Note: Lemon essential oil is a photosensitizer, which can be damaging to your baby’s skin if he’s exposed to the sun after use. Just keep that in mind!
(Some say 6 months, others say 2 years)
Get ready to fall in love with geranium essential oil, Mama. Not only does geranium’s anti-inflammatory properties make it one of the best essential oils for infant colds, but it’s also an effective treatment against bacterial infections. In fact, one study actually found extremely promising results for fighting against staph infection, thanks to its chemical component, β-citronellol.
(6 months, diffuser. 2 years, topical)
I love cypress essential oil. It smells woodsy and it has a long list of benefits that make it well-worth it.
Cypress is one of the best essential oils for baby cough episodes, thanks to its antispasmodic (also good for fevers) and expectorant properties. It also contains Antiseptic properties, which can help remove bacteria from your baby’ nursery or treat wounds in the future.
(6 months and older, diffuser. 2 years, topical)
I think most of us are at least familiar with the relaxing scent of sandalwood. It’s a popular aroma for waxes, candles, and bath salts. Sandalwood is actually a great anti-inflammatory and antiseptic as well. Give it a try if your baby has a sore throat!
Best Essential Oils for Toddler Cold Relief(2 and Over)
Once your baby gets a little older, you can expand his exposure to more powerful essential oils. In the meantime, if you’re suffering from cold symptoms, definitely give these oils a try!
This is one of the most effective antiseptic essential oils you can buy. In fact, “back in the day”, hospitals used eucalyptus oil to disinfect catheters. Today, EOers use it to break up congestion, cleanse the air of bacteria, and create DIY, all-natural home cleaning products.
The downside? Eucalyptus essential oil can run pretty steep (around $20 a bottle). Having said that, I found it just over $10 at Simply Earth!
I received this oil from my Simply Earth April 2022 recipe box and I love it!
Much like geranium essential oil, Thyme has been found to be an excellent treatment against staph infections. It’s also antispasmodic, so it can reduce your toddler’s coughing and fight against upper respiratory infections.
Okay, oregano is another good one. Not only does it have antibacterial, antifungal, and possibly anti-inflammatory properties, but the amount of antioxidants it contains are off the charts. One study estimated that oregano oil has 42 times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries or apples,( gram per gram).
The downside is, it can be a little harsh for toddlers. Some experts recommend waiting until your child is at least 2 years old, others recommend 10. Whatever you decide, use caution.
Conclusion: The Best Essential Oils for Baby Cold Symptoms
Okay, my fellow oily mama! I hope this post gave you some great ideas for baby safe essential oils for your baby’s cold. And, if you were on the fence about this essential oil use thing, I hope I’ve reassured you that these oils are effective and reputable treatments!
My final advice: you never know what scents your baby will like or how his skin will react. So, try just a few (slowly, one at a time) and follow the recommended dilution and dispensing guidelines.
And remember, you can get many of these oils for a heckuva-good-deal at Simply Earth, either ala carte or bundled in their Kid Starter Box! It’s up to you, but the benefit of signing up for their monthly recipe box is the free bonus box (which contains two carrier oils, solid coconut oil, beeswax, and 12 amber bottles), plus a $40 eGiftcard that basically pays for the next month’s box too ;).
Just use the code BABYLANDFREE to get all the bonus goodies.
And that’s everything I know about using essential oils for infant colds. What about you? I’m sure you’ve been doing lots of research. Do YOU have any recommendations for baby safe essential oils for colds? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below.
I know dealing with a baby’s cold is beyond stressful, so hang in there, Mama, and good luck!