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Essential oils to help your child sleep

A friend of mine recently asked me what essential oils I would recommend to help her child sleep and this isn’t the first time I’ve been asked this question so I thought I would share two essential oils to help your child sleep and how you can use them safely.


Essential oils to help your child sleep


This oil is very well know for it’s wonderful sedative properties and is recommended to help you sleep. It has a calming and soothing scent and a study in Turkey revealed that Lavender essential oil increased quality of sleep and reduced level of anxiety in patients.[1]  When buying lavender oil to help with sleep always purchase Lavandula Augustifolia.  Other types of lavender can be more stimulating due to their slightly different chemical constituency.

 Sweet OrangeEssential oils to help your child sleep

Many children tend to love the smell of orange, it’s wonderfully sweet aroma brings joy and comfort.  Sweet orange essential is also a sedative and is therefore an excellent choice to help children sleep.


How to safely use these essential oils with your child

There are two main ways that essential oils work and they are through inhalation and absorption via the skin.  A great way to help your child have a good night’s sleep would be to give them a gentle massage about 20 minutes or half an hour before bedtime.  For babies, young children and those who have cognitive impairment it may be a good idea to massage their feet and lower legs to avoid oils getting into their mouths from their hands.

As a rule essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin and especially when using them with young children.  You will need to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil first.  This also applies to using essential oils in the bath.  They will need to be diluted and then added to the bath.

Jojoba Oil


A carrier oil that is is excellent for use with children is Jojoba oil.   This is because it is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skins and it mimics sebum and so is a good moisturising oil.  Other examples of carrier oils are Sweet Almond oil, Sunflower oil, Olive oil, & Apricot Kernel Oil. There are many to choose from.  I personally like Jojoba oil because it’s not too heavy and sticky and it has a longer shelf life than some of the other carrier oils available due to it’s natural constituents.  It sinks in fairly quickly and allows enough glide to give a good massage.

Safe Blending for Massage / Use in a Bath

To keep it simple here is a guide for blending for your child aged 2 or above.  For children under 2 you would use a 0.5% dilution or less.  It is not recommend to use essential oils with babies aged 0-3 months old.

Carrier Oil Essential Oil

1% dilution

5mls 1 drop
10mls 2 drops
15mls 3 drops
25mls 5 drops
50mls 10 drops

A relaxing pre-bedtime bath.  You may choose to blend a drop of lavender oil into 5mls of Jojoba oil and then add it to warm running bath water.

Safe Diffusion

All you need is 2-3 drops of essential oil in an oil burner or diffuser in any 24 hour period.

You could add up to 3 drops of essential oil to an oil burner or diffuser in your child’s bedroom one hour before bedtime.

A Little Goes a Long Way

So you now have three ways you can safely use essential oils to help improve your child’s sleep:

  • an aromatherapy massage
  • an aromatherapy bath
  • an oil diffusion.

Now that does not mean use all three methods at the same time!  Start with one and see how your child responds.  If you did want to try two methods you may wish to change the oil for example have an aromatherapy bath with one drop of Sweet Orange oil diluted in 5ml of Jojoba oil and have 1-2 drops of lavender oil diffusing in the bedroom.

Aromatherapy oils contain naturally occurring chemical constituents and are powerful gifts from nature always to be respected just as you would respect medication prescribed by your doctor.

I hope you have found this useful.  Feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment below. Let me know how you get on.  If you would like to purchase any of the organic products mentioned here please use the links below….

Buy Lavender Oil

Buy Sweet Orange Oil

Buy Jojoba Oil

Buy Oil Burner



  1. Amanda Price on 9 February 2018 at 7:35 am

    This is a great, clear and easy to follow guide for those just starting out on their essential oil experience. I have had amazing results using essential oils at bedtime. I would urge anyone to give it a go x

    • Louisa on 9 February 2018 at 8:32 am

      Thank you Amanda, great to hear you have had amazing results using essential oils! 🙂

  2. Sarah on 15 November 2018 at 8:36 am

    Please could you tell me if it is safe to diffuse essential oils that have pets e.g. dogs. Many thanks.

    • Louisa on 15 November 2018 at 2:10 pm

      Dear Sarah,

      Great question. Diffusing is always something that should be done in moderation and with regard to dogs; a dog’s sense of smell is hugely more intense than ours so low amounts for short bursts is all you should use. It’s also worth taking into account the size of your dog as well, the smaller the dog the more powerful impact the essential oils will have.

      Tea Tree is a definite no no for cats but is okay to use with dogs in moderation.

      As always before diffusing essential oils when a dog is present, it is recommended to only diffuse a small amount initially to see if your dog has any kind of reaction. Always let them be able to leave the room if they find they don’t like the aroma or it disagrees with them.

      After doing a little research essential oils not recommended to be used with dogs are Cinnamon Bark, Sweet Birch, Pine, and Wintergreen as these are quite intense and my irritate them.

      Dogs can benefit from relaxing properties of essential oils but just as you would with humans it’s sensible to try a small amount and monitor the reaction. 1 or 2 drops in a diffuser or oil burner would be a good start.

      Another option is to consult a holistic vet.

      I hope you find this useful.

  3. Sharon Pegg on 18 September 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Please could someone recommend a safe oil to use every night ongoing for my 10 year old which can help him sleep.Also how would I use it

    • Louisa on 21 September 2022 at 8:05 am

      Sharon, lavender and or sweet orange oil may be helpful. All the information you need is in this blog – how to blend and how to use the oils.

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