Here are some of the best essential oils for babies to soothe cough and cold symptoms. Once you know the essential oils, then you can use them in many natural and homemade recipes to calm baby colds. These five recipes include making a chest rub, diffusing, bath salts, steam inhalation, and an essential oil roller bottle.
10 Best Essential Oils for a Cough
- Peppermint Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Frankincense Oil
- Cinnamon Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Oregano Oil
- Thyme Oil
- Bergamot Oil
- Ravintsara Oil
Of course, there are other essential oils like lavender oil, lemon oil, and basil oil that can also be helpful if your baby isn’t feeling well. There are also essential oil blends that can be used for multiple symptoms. My family’s favorite blends are RC, Breathe Again, and Thieves essential oil. I also love grabbing SniffleEase or Sleepyize essential oils, since they are already prediluted with a carrier oil and perfect for your littlest ones.
5 Essential Oils Recipes to Soothe a Cough
1. Chest Rub
Making a chest rub is both simple and a great way to provide some relief to your baby. Once the chest rub is made, rub a small amount on your child’s chest every hour or two as needed. I like using the following essential oils for this recipe: 5 drops of peppermint, 5 drops of eucalyptus, and 5 drops of rosemary essential oil.
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 15-30 drops of essential oils (depending on age*)
- 1 tsp beeswax (optional)
- glass mason jar
Add coconut oil to a small glass bowl and add in your drops of essential oil. Mix well. Store in a glass mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.
If using beeswax, then melt the beeswax with the coconut oil in a glass measuring cup and place in the microwave heating on 30-second increments until melted. Add in your essential oil drops and mix. Pour into a glass mason jar and let cool before using.
* Use 15 drops of essential oil for children 4 years old and under, and use 30 drops of essential oils for children ages 5 – 10.
2. Essential Oil Diffuser
Diffusing is a natural way to breathe in small amounts of essentials over long or short amounts of time. In our home, we tend to run the diffuser often when the kiddos have a stuffy nose, bad cough, or other symptoms of the common cold. Plus, it’s a good way to start the day, calm down at night, and relax in the afternoon!
As a general rule of thumb, we set up the diffusers around 30 minutes before bed in the child’s bedroom so they can relax and start to ease their cough. I find this the best way to transition to bedtime especially when they aren’t feeling well. Depending on your child, you can continue to diffuse for another 30 minutes up to 2 hours if needed. The same can be done before naptime and continuing to diffuse throughout the nap.
My favorites for diffusing when under the weather are peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, bergamot, lavender, peace and calming, and lemon as well as the Thieves, Raven, and RC blends.This aria diffuser bundle comes with a premium diffuser (see image above) and 12 essential oil bottles, the perfect way to get set up with lots of essential oils to use for diffusing and more! The white macaron diffuser bundle is another great choice and comes with essential oils for diffusing and lemon hand soap.
3. Bath Salts
To use these bath salts, start by making this bath salt recipe. Then add the mixture to a warm bath. It’s best to have your young child stay in the bath for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes for all the benefits of bath salts. Plus, just breathing in the warm, humid air is great for a dry cough, respiratory problems, scratchy throat, and other cough symptoms.
Mix bath salts in a glass bowl and add essential oils. Add the mixture directly to warm to hot-warm water. Mix to dissolve the bath salts before having your child enter the bath.
For children under 3, use 1/4 cup of the bath salts in their bath. For children over 3, use 1/2 cup of the bath salts.
I like using peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, orange, lemon, and grapefruit essential oils for baths. You can find more blends in my Homemade Bath Salts Using Essential Oils blog post.
4. Steam Inhalation
This method is amazing for anyone with a common cold, especially those with difficulty breathing due to a stuffy nose or a bad cough. The steam and essential oils work help to make breathing easier and soothe a cough and sinus congestion.
- Bowl of hot water
- 1-5 drops of essential oils
Heat water in a glass measuring cup in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop. Pour into a glass or metal bowl and add in your drops of pure essential oils. If using on younger children, then add in 1 drop of essential oil to start (or none at all). For children over 5, you could add in 2-5 drops of essential oils depending on your child. Popular choices for steam inhalation include peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender.
Please be careful with using peppermint, especially for children under 5, as it does an amazing job of clearing breathing paths and loosening congestion. Still, it can also be intense and cause irritation or stinging.
To use, drape a towel over the head and breathe in the steamed water for 1-5 minutes at a time. Ensure you have at least 8-12 inches between the bowl and your face to prevent any irritation. This can be used throughout the day as needed to soothe your children’s cough.
5. Essential Oil Roller
An essential oil roller is such an easy way to have all the essential oils you want together in a custom blend. In other words, the perfect way to grab the bottle and apply it to your child right away when they need it with the exact measurements they need. Or if you have older children like me, then they can even use the roller on themselves once they know what to do! There are many ways to use essential oils for natural remedies to things like common colds, a runny nose, cough, and respiratory congestion. Rollers are also a great way to boost the immune system throughout the day.
To make a roller bottle you only need a few ingredients, the glass roller bottle, carrier oil, and essential oils. I like using fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or avocado oil as a carrier oil when making roller bottles for my family. For younger children, start with 10 drops of essential oils in your roller bottle and then top with your carrier oil of choice. For older children, you can use 20-30 drops of essential oils and then fill the bottle with a carrier oil.
To use a roller bottle, you can roll it over your child’s chest, neck, along their spine, or bottom of their feet. This can be done throughout the day, before nap and bedtime.
immune boosting blend
- 15 drops of thieves essential oil
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of frankincense essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil
cold & sniffles
- 15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of oregano essential oil
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Essential Oils Safety
When using essential oils with babies and young children, avoid using undiluted oils directly on their skin. Instead, always mix the essential oils with carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, or avocado oil. If it’s the first time using an essential oil on your child, start by applying a carrier oil to the bottoms of their feet.
If you are concerned about using any recipes or essential oils on your toddler or your child, then you can always do a small patch test to check for any adverse reaction or skin irritation before continuing to use them. I like using frankincense and lavender essential oils for children with sensitive skin as they are gentle essential oils, in addition to the Kidscent blends of Sleepyize and SniffleEase.
More Natural DIY Recipes
Hi, I’m Kristin.
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