We are huge lovers of essential oils in our home. Not only have they had an impact on me personally, but have given me an arsenal of “tools” in my mom toolkit” that I tap into on the daily as well to support and love on my little one. The following are some of my favorite ways I use oils with my toddler.
1.To promote rest. One of the first things I did when we began our journey with oils as a family was put diffusers in each of the bedrooms, including Asher’s. A few drops of oil at nap or bed time can create a supportive space for rest. Some of our go-to’s for Asher’s room include Lavender, Cedarwood, Gentle Baby, and our personal favorite, Sleepyize, from Young Living’s KidScents line. To ensure you are not running the diffuser too long while your little one sleeps, I recommend one of the following: run it for 30 minutes prior to bedtime and shut off before leaving the room – or – put in only a small amount of water (you will need a drop or two less of oil then), and let it run it’s course. If your diffuser has a timer, you can certainly set that too!
2. To provide support. Oils can be a great way to support our growing little ones’ bodies and emotions. Does your child have a case of the sniffles? Provide some respiratory support with a drop or two of Sniffleease. Tummy need a little love? Rub in some Tummygize. Or what about all those scratches, scapes and “boo boos” that come alongside childhood? Owie oil is our favorite go to for skin support for our little guy. In addition to their positive physical effects, using oils can support kids emotionally too. Not only can both rolling them on and diffusing them promote everything from calm to focus to energy, but Asher asks for oils when he feels he needs them, and just knowing they are available to him, automatically brings him a sense of peace.
3. To clean all the messes. We all know little ones love to make messes. From sticky fingers on the mirrors, to spills on the carpet to crayon on the table, it’s just the nature of the gig. While there are a multitude of products out there to clean all the messes, it is important to me that I use something that not only cleans but that promotes the health of my family in the process. We use our Young Living’s plant-based Thieves cleaner for nearly everything from windows and mirrors, to carpet and floors, to dirty toys and countertops. Because it isn’t loaded with toxic chemicals, I feel comfortable using it around my little one and even him letting him help with the cleaning process. In addition to my Thieves Cleaner, I love Lemon essential oil for removing crayon and sticky goo, Citrus Fresh for sticking on cotton balls to spruce up diaper pails and Purification in the diffuser to leave my home feeling fresh!
4. To enhance play. Sensory play is so important for kids, and essential oils can be a really great way to encourage it! We love adding a few drops of oil to DIY playdough or a sensory bin filled with beans, rice or whatever you have on hand. You also can add it to art supplies like paints or DIY crayons to enhance the creative process. Or try adding a few drops to your child’s favorite wooden blocks, for that matter. Even simply running the diffuser to match the mood can create a richer play experience for your child!
5. To encourage teachable moments. I can’t begin to tell you how many opportunities for learning have presented themselves in our home through simply using our oils on a daily basis. Asher loves helping me to decide which oils to put in the diffuser, counting the drops with me and sometimes even helping me pour and measure the water. With supervision, sometimes he just enjoys exploring the bottles, and he will work to line them up and sort them by color and size. He also loves to help me unbox our monthly order and build his literacy skills by helping me hunt for a name sticker to place on top of each bottle and hone his fine motor skills by focusing as he so carefully works to put each one on.
Beyond these small moments, I wholeheartedly believe through the conversations we have and the ways in which we use our oils daily, it is setting Asher up for a lifestyle where he not only understands how powerful these little plant powered juices can be, but seeks to reach for them and other items found in our natural world first to support his health and well being.
On a closing note, I just want to mention that whenever you are using oils with kids, it is important to put their safety first. There are a variety of articles, books and blog posts out there on this topic, but I really love this “Guide to Diluting Essential Oils for Kids & Babies” as a starting place. I would be happy to direct you to other resources I use and appreciate as well, if there is something specific you are looking for.
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