Excerpt from Natural Baby and Childcare
Scent is a profoundly memory-based sense. Beginning from birth, the sense of smell triggers bonding between a mother and child, and for the rest of one’s life, a familiar smell can trigger memories and emotional states that are astonishingly vivid. Aromatherapy makes use of our strong scent memory, utilizing fragrant essential oils extracted and concentrated from aromatic plants and flowers to promote restoration and healing. The chemistry of each essential oil distinguishes its color, potency, and fragrance.
Aromatherapy can be employed externally for children through liquid drops (used in the bath and in creams), sprays, vaporizers, radiators, and in healing applications such as compresses, and is recommended for its calming, antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties and ability to treat aches, pains, fevers, and diaper rash. Our children’s skin, mucous membranes, and sense of smell are more sensitive than adults’, so when using essential oils, administer fewer drops rather than more.
If you are not familiar with essential oils, it is best to use commercial and natural aromatherapy preparations designed for children and specified for the bath, diaper care, or for calming purposes. Essential oils can be irritating to your child’s sensitive skin and most are not appropriate for babies or children. Straight essential oils should not be used for babies six months and younger, since from birth to six months their skin and mucous membranes of the nose are especially delicate. Best to keep it simple!
If you are buying individual bottles of essential oils, they should be packaged in a dark glass bottle and stored in a cool, dry place. Check our resource section for reputable companies that guarantee pesticide-free blends and avoid oils not specifically prepared for children and babies.