Gentle diffuser blends that are safe to use for children

By Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

There is much controversy and discussion over the use of essential oils for children. I am a qualified aromatherapist with knowledge and experience, however my guidelines here, are just that, guidelines. Please read the safety precautions and recommendations at the end of this article.

The best essential oils to use in diffuser blends for children are;

  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Mandarin
  • Frankincense
  • Petitgrain
  • Tea Tree
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Geranium

Used in moderation and for short periods of time, these oils are gentle, effective, and smell great! My suggestion is to stick to these oils. There are many other essential oils with great benefits, but children can be sensitive to aromas and some of the stronger oils.

  A diffuser and some oils sitting on a table. diffuser blends that are safe to use for children

Gentle diffuser blends that are safe to use for children

Get up & go!

An ideal blend to give your little one a boost in the morning. Ideal to diffuse in the kitchen over breakfast, so that the whole family can get the day off to a good, fresh start!

Lemon & Bergamot

Focus & attention!

Homework not being done? Lack of motivation? No focus? This uplifting and refreshing blend helps to refresh the mind and focus the attention, so that your children can get down to their studies more effectively!

Lavender & Grapefruit


Rainy day refresh

To wet to go outside? Bring the outdoors, inside, with this uplifting, fresh scent.

Tea tree, Petitgrain & Lemon

Bedtime blend – Diffuser blend to help children sleep

Diffuse this in your little ones bedroom, about an hour before bedtime, so they can inhale the gentle aromas and drift off easily. Ensure you switch off, before your child comes into the room.

Lavender & Chamomile

Happy child, happy mum!

This refreshing citrus blend, promotes a sense of well-being and an happy mood. Perfect for when you have a grumpy, sad or dare I say – whiny child!

Mandarin, Lemon & Grapefruit

Under the weather blend

If your child is feeling unwell, or grizzly, or is starting to show the symptoms of colds or flu, this blend is ideal. It is soothing, antiseptic and has some anti-viral properties too.

Lavender, Frankincense & Tea Tree

Tummy ache – diffuser blend for sick children

A soothing blend that can help to relieve feelings of nausea and sickness. You can also choose just one of these oils if all 3 aromas are too much.

Chamomile, Mandarin & Petitgrain

Calm & soothediffuser blend to relax children

If you have a fractious, over-active, angry or irritated child, this blend is ideal to calm and soothe both body and mind, and smells divine!

Lavender & Orange

Diffuser blends that are safe to use for children. An essential oil burner with a bottle of Petitgrain oil
A burner is a great alternative to a diffuser


The best essential oil for diffuser blends for children


Lavender is a good all round oil that is considered non toxic and non irritating. It is effective at relieving stress related conditions, so could be useful to calm a highly strung child down. It helps to balance emotions and can be used to promote sleep at bedtime. It also relaxes breathing and can have an anti-viral effect on colds & flu. Lavender is an ideal oil to use to introduce your child to essential oil diffusing.


Another gentle oil that can be used to calm anxiety and tension in an over emotional child. It is a mild stimulant for the immune system and can help to relieve nausea.


Probably one of the gentlest and mildest essential oils, Mandarin helps to promote sleep, and reduce anxiety, and can help with relieving nausea.


A stronger aroma, Frankincense is considered non toxic and non irritating. It is a comforting and warming oil, so can help calm an anxious child as well as calm breathing and promote relaxation and balance in the body and mind. It also is effective at treating respiratory issues and helps to clear mucus. Use in very small amounts to begin with as the fragrance is stronger than other oils.


A lovely citrus, woody smell Petitgrain calms hyper-activity and can sedate the nervous system, so good for an over-active child, or to encourage relaxation of body and mind. It can also help to stimulate the immune system.

Tea Tree

Another stronger smelling oil that should be used in moderation to begin with, Tea Tree helps to boost the immune system and relieves the symptoms of colds and flu.


A light citrus fragrance that can help refresh the mind and allow focus, while also helping to protect against infections such as colds and flu. Lemon also stimulates the immune system.


Grapefruit is a safe oil to use and is uplifting and refreshing, so good to use for a grumpy child to promote more positive feelings. It also helps to give the immune system a boost.


A floral scent that is safe to use, and is effective at uplifting the mood and relieving anxiety.


How to use gentle diffuser blends for children

To begin with start of slowly – as in use 1 essential oil at a time, so that you can gauge how your child reacts to the scent. Ensure you monitor them over the days that you diffusing the oils, and check for anything like respiratory changes, breathing difficulties, changes in behaviour etc……these are highly unlikely but I like to be thorough in my information!

Bear in mind the size of your room and adjust the amount of oil accordingly.

As a rough guide, use these measurements;

Large RoomSmall room
Age 4 – 6100ml water/5 drops essential oil100ml water/2 drops essential oil
Age 6- 9 100ml water/6 drops essential oil100ml water/ 3 drops essential oil
Age 9 – 12100ml water/7 drops essential oil100ml water/4 drops essential oil

To make diffusing even more fun and appealing, check these cute diffusers out! Perfect for your little ones bedroom!

precautions for diffuser blends for children

Never use essential oils on or near babies under 3 months old.

Even though many do, I do not advocate applying oils – even diluted – on young children’s skin. They can be potentially harmful or toxic on some children. And as the skin is still developing and growing, many changes can occur, so I feel it is best left alone.

Essential oils should NEVER be ingested – by children or adults.

If your child takes medication, please consult your doctor as to the safety of using essential oils alongside medication.

Keep the oils out of reach of children at all times.

In this article ‘children’ is from approximately the age of 4 – 12. For older children see ESSENTIAL OILS FOR TEENAGERS

When introducing diffusing essential oils for children, begin with one oil at a time, to gauge reaction. After a short period of using one oil, another can be introduced to the blend.

When diffusing or warming oils for children, use only for a short time, and depending on age, diffuse in the room, before the child enters the room an switch off before they come in.

If your child suffers from any respiratory condition, please seek advice from your doctor before diffusing.

Do not diffuse the oils in public places or around other children than your own – I only state this, as you are responsible for your child, and may not know the specific issues or illness’s of other children.

Don’t overuse the oils. Use in moderation to begin with and build up slowly. See the guide above for measurements.

Again, there is lots of mixed discussion about the usage of peppermint oil, and it is best avoided as it can cause seizures in young children. More info here

About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist, and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years of experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, which has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.