Posts in Baby
gentle baby | how to safely use essential oils around your children
brianacarrion_0212.jpg

The younger the child, the more sensitive and delicate they are. A baby’s skin absorbs products more easily, their immune, respiratory and central nervous system isn’t yet fully developed and their sense of smell is different than ours. Although I’d recommend you to get your hands on good literature to support healthy essential oil usage (Essential Oil Safety, The Complete Book of Essential Oils for Mama and Baby and Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child are good ones) and talk to a professional, here’s a post on how you and your children can safely enjoy the amazing benefits of essential oils!


WHERE TO START:

  • DO YOUR RESEARCH: Whether it’s for you or your child - research first, use later. Essential oils are very strong and potent and affect us differently at different stages of life (childhood, pregnancy, breastfeeding, illness etc). Always ask: what age is this appropriate for? Are there any hazards or contradictions?

  • ALWAYS DILUTE THE OILS: A single drop of essential oil withholds and incredible amount of strength & respective medical properties. This is amazing! Just make sure to dilute properly, even when adding essential oils to the bathwater of children.

  • AVOID INGESTING: You will probably find a whole lot opinions about this but as long as you’re not a doctor treating a patient this is something you should really avoid. As Robert Tisserand puts it: “a patient should not ingest essential oils unless advised to do so by a practitioner who is qualified/licensed to prescribe essential oils in this way.”

  • PAY CLOSE ATTENTION: When you add a new element to your child’s environment, remember to make sure fresh air is available and monitor the reactions very closely to understand whether or not it affects your babe in a negative way.


WHAT OILS TO SAVE FOR LATER IN LIFE

There are many amazing oils that we (the adults) can use but not our little ones, for many reasons. This might be because the essential oil has hormonal properties, or it may be too powerful for the weaker constitution of children. Since we don’t want to play with their health, it’s important that we respect the potency and strength of essential oils and simply choose to not use some oils until later in life.

Wintergreen and Sweet Birch should absolutely not be used on or given to children in any amount due to the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome, and Peppermint Oil should be avoided until the child is older than 6 years due to triggering a reflex in young children which slows breathing significantly, sometimes even dangerously.

Instead of giving you a complete list of what to avoid, I’ve chosen to focus on what oils your children can actually benefit from instead. When used correctly, essential oils can be used as wonderful tools of healing! These are only general guidelines and remember that great care should be taken to research each essential oil's maximum dermal use individually before use.


OILS SAFE FOR NEWBORNS TO 3 MONTHS

The first three months of a baby’s life you should really just enjoy the scent of your newborn. Your newborn is better off without essential oils!

3-6 MONTHS

camomile roman, camomile german, dill, lavender, mandarin, geranium, rose otto

7 MONTHS–1 YEAR

bergamot, calendula (infusion), carrot seed, cedarwood atlas/virginia, cinnamon bark (only in diffuser), cinnamon leaf, citronella, coriander, cypress, fir needle, grapefruit, helichrysum, lemon (avoid topical use on children under 2), mandarin, neroli, palma rosa, petitgrain, pine (pinus divaricata, pinus resinosa, pinus strobus, pinus sylvestris), ravensara, rosalina, rose otto, sandalwood, spruce, sweet orange, tangerine, tea tree

2-6 YEARS

basil lemon, basil sweet, benzoin, black pepper, cassia (only safe for diffusion), clove bud/clove leaf, copaiba balsam, frankincense, garlic, ginger, hyssop, juniper berry, lemongrass (Andropogon citratus, Andropogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon flexuosus), lime, melissa/lemon balm, myrrh, oregano (Origanum onites, Origanum smyrnaeum, Origanum vulgare, Origanum compactum, Origanum hirtum, Thymbra capitata, Thymus capitatus, Coridothymus capitatus, Satureeja capitata), sweet marjoram, patchouli, red carrot, spearmint, tea tree lemon, thyme, turmeric, verbena lemon, vetiver, valerian, ylang ylang (can be diffused for children under 2)

6-8 YEARS

anise/aniseed, anise star, apricot, cajeput, camellia, cardamom, cornmint, fennel sweet and bitter, laurel leaf/bay laurel, marjoram spanish, myrtle, niaouli, nutmeg, peppermint, sage greek/white, sunflower

9-11 YEARS

eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus maidenii, Eucalyptus plenissima, Eucalyptus kochii, Eucalyptus polybractea, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus autraliana, Eucalyptus phellandra, Eucalyptus smithii), rosemary

NOTE!
The Thieves essential oil blend is a wonderful anti-germ blend, but not very kids friendly and should not be used for kids under the age of 10 since it contains eucalyptus, rosemary, clove and cinnamon bark. You can use it in your home for cleaning but just make sure that you ventilate properly, that you clean without the kids in the room and that they do not come in contact with the blend.


HOW TO DILUTE:

Choose an appropriate carrier oil for your child, for example almond oil, jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil.

These are the age-related recommended and maximum concentrations of essential oils for topical use*:

Premature-infant:
Recommended (%): 0
Maximum (%): 0

Up to 3 months
Recommended (%): 0.1
Maximum (%): 0.2

3–24 months
Recommended (%): 0.25
Maximum (%): 0.5

2–6 years
Recommended (%): 1.0
Maximum (%): 2.0

6–15 years
Recommended (%): 1.5
Maximum (%): 3.0

15 years
Recommended (%): 2.5
Maximum (%): 5.0

* These are recommendations from Essential Oils Safety. These concentrations are not research-based, and should be taken as helpful suggestions rather than absolute rules. The particular oils used and the health status of the individual are also important factors.


What does a 1% dilution look like? 

  • 1 drop of EO to 5 ml of carrier oil.

  • 2 drops of EO to 10 ml of carrier oil

  • 3 drops of EO to 15 ml of carrier oil

  • 5 drops of EO to 30 ml (1 oz) of carrier oil

  • 10 drops of EO to 60 ml (2 0z) of carrier oil


Sources:

Tisserand, Robert - Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals 2nd Edition - 2014

Anthis, Christina - The Complete Book of Essential Oils for Mama and Baby: Safe and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth, and Children Paperback – 2017

Worwood, Valerie Ann - Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends (More Than 300 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Essential Oil) - 2012




raising multilingual bebé
To have another language is to possess a second soul.
- Charlemagne

I’m a Boricua de Suecia. I talk Swedish, write + partially think in English and wish I was better at Spanish. My native language is Swedish in which I am fluent, but my mother tongue are English and Boricua Spanish and as a kid I was (actively) taught neither of the latter.

I think, the gift of language is one of the greatest and most precious gifts we can give our children. I have to admit not being passed on my mother tongue makes me frustrated to this day, however, since ethnicity & culture are such important parts of my life and identity (in the making) I have taken it upon myself to become fluent in both so I one day can pass on these languages to my own babies.

I want my kids to be brought up in a multicultural home where they will be part of both their parents' cultural identities. I want them to be able to understand me when I read them bedtime stories in all three languages; to ask for abuela or titi; to sing Barney’s “I love you” as good as “Det lilla ljus jag har”; to see their tiny little bodies joyfully move to the rhythms and beats of latino music, to say “Mira, mama!” when they proudly come to show me the fish they've caught and most importantly: I want them to grow up with enough multicultural goodness for them to apply & develop a cultural identity of their own.

I've shamelessly discussed this matter with a lot of wise human beings and been reading articles upon articles to see what thoughts and different perspectives there are on raising multilingual kids. What I've realized is that it's pretty much like raising kids in general - everybody have different opinions on what to do and you have to find, follow & create your own methods & ways that are good fit for your situation, family & little ones. Also, we all know there are situations that potentially could make it extra hard passing on language and culture to our kids, like being ill or not being the primary custodial parent making it hard or sometimes even imporrible to raise multilingual bebés full time. There's really no "one size fits all" and we can only do what we can do! 

The following is a little collection of a few of my favorite #multilingualbebe links; stuff that make me ponder + I find useful already and things I want to try out when the time comes. I hope you find them interesting and helpful!

How about this for a calm, loving and precious preparation for the soon arriving little one: exposing the baby with the language while it’s still unborn. (Spanglish Baby) LOVE THIS!

"In other words, as a direct result of my bilingual quest, I think I've ended up giving more of myself to them during their childhood. And this has no doubt deepened our bond." 
The very best thing about raising bilingual kids (Bilingual Monkeys)

The best (and longest!) list I've found so far with tips on raising multilingual children (Bilingual Monkeys)

Okay, this list might be my favorite too (Lazy Mom's Blog)

"How raising multilingual children made me a better person" (European Mama)

Making it a team effort if you have a partner (go team mom and dad!), playing and singing songs and setting up play dates are a few goodies from this article. (wikiHow)

An interesting article about how babies sort our language. (New York Times)

Bilingual mom Jeannette Kaplun shares her thoughts on raising bilingual kids (YouTube)


So, what does it really take to raise multilingual children? I guess that will remain an exciting mystery of theories & thoughts until I experience it myself.  However, what I think I can say now already without sounding completely ignorant is that I believe the most important thing you need to have when it comes to all this is the will (and ability!) to share your language with your bebecitos. Raising multilingual kids can be out of this world amazing and rewarding, but requires a lot of hard work and it would be a lie to say it doesn't come with lots of trials and tribulations too. The will to share the language and culture with your kids definitely has to be matter of the heart (or plain stubbornness, haha). 

I might not have been actively taught my mother tongue as a kid, but I most certainly inherited the love for these languages. Enough to have become fluent in English (at least when it comes to writing, my accent is a whole other story...), enough to have gone from only knowing how to say "caca", "mira, mira" "vamos" and "caramba" to know how to say "pass me the donuts" and "I'm on my period, can you please buy me some chocolate?" in Spanish (among other incredibly important phrases and words), and enough to have the determination to learn more so I one day can gift my own babies these idiomas de mi corazón. So...pase lo que pase, come what may! Whatever, I'm all in for this whole raising multilingual bebé thing! 

Are you raising, or planning to raise multilingual bebés? Are you a multilingual kid yourself? What problems are you facing and what advantages & victories have you experienced? 
I'd love to hear your thoughts!