When most people think of humidifiers, they also usually think of oil diffusers. That’s because most people don’t know what a humidifier or a diffuser is — just that both appliances do something involving the air. Let’s clarify what these two devices do before anything else:

A humidifier keeps a room’s atmosphere moist.

A diffuser freshens the air with tiny essential oil droplets.

As you can see, the major difference is that humidifiers regulate the amount of moisture in the air, while oil diffusers improve the aromatic quality of the air. Both can be beneficial within a home, but for anyone with newborns or children, a humidifier is the right choice. Think of essential oil diffusers as a therapeutic small appliance for grown-ups, and of humidifiers as a home appliance that has proven health benefits for the whole family. Here’s why.


Here at the Snotty Noses office, we get multiple inquiries each week from parents with congested newborns, asking about the safety of our Ultrasonic Cool Mist Vaporiser Range and Essential Oils.

We also get questions from parents of older babies, toddlers and children asking about the safety of various oils.

We hope the following information helps you make an informed and safe choice for the health and wellbeing of your little one….

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the distilled volatile aromatic constituents of the plant that are highly concentrated.

They can support and enhance well-being however any child or adult can have different sensitivities to different oils at any time of life, so please use with caution and in the recommended doses and applications.

Remember that one drop of essential oil is equivalent to 15-40 cups of medicinal tea! Vaporized essential oils can be safe and very effective in children when used correctly!

To that end, it is important you are choosing 100% pure essential oils, not a synthetic blend from the $2 shop that smells like the plant, but has no health benefit when breathed or absorbed. Cheap, fragrant oils are a synthetic, chemical formulation that mirrors the smell of the pure oil – you don’t want your family breathing in this artificial fragrance.

Our 100% pure Organic Essential Oils are made by Lively Living in Melbourne.  They are “Certified Organic” (Cert Number 310).

They are recommended for use in the Lively Living Range of Cool Mist Ultrasonic Vaporisers, including the Aroma Bloom and Aroma Breeze, and new Aroma Snooze.

The general dose for diffusion in 200ml of water is

– plain tap water only for newborns,

– 1-3 drops of oil for babies over 3 months and children.

– 3-5 drops for adults.


Our manufacturer has given the general guideline to avoid diffusing essential oils with babies under 3 months. This is not meant to alarm parents in any way, it is just a general precaution.

It’s because a newborn’s skin and respiratory system is so new, and any sensitivities or allergies may not have been detected yet.  Therefore, it is recommended to minimise the use of all lotions, soaps, creams and topical balms until 3 months of age.

Plain tap water can be safety diffused in the Ultrasonic Vaporisers from birth, as this will create a humidified, ionised environment, perfect for sleeping. Newborns are obligate nasal breathers, but often sleep with their mouth open too so both the mouth and nasal passages can dry out very quickly.

This is particularly important if the room is airconditioned during Summer and heated in Winter. A humidified environment using a cool mist diffuser will put safe, clean moisture back into the air for them to absorb through the mouth, nose and skin.

If bub is younger than 3 months, many customers take our essential oil to their next GP visit to discuss the safety and health benefits and are very comforted if the GP approves the use of these calming oils prior to the general 3 month guideline.

From around 3 months, our essential oils manufacturer has recommended our oils are generally safe for diffusing in the correct dosage.

Of course, if there are any ongoing medical or respiratory issues or known allergies or sensitivities, then parents would need to seek advice from their health professional.

We always recommend starting with just 1 drop of the oil in 200ml of water for the first week, then building up to 2 and 3 drops in the following weeks.

The most popular essential oil blend for infants with congestion is “Winter Rescue Remedy” – a simple blend of eucalyptus (radiata), lavender and tea tree – great for busting air borne bacteria and busing congestion, with a calming influence for sleep.

A popular blend for relaxed naps and night sleep is “Child Calming Remedy” – a fresh blend of Orange, lavender, mandarin and Roman chamomile oils.

Our new Aroma Snooze 6 in 1 Sleep Aid combines a cool mist vaporiser, red light therapy, sound therapy and voice recorder, and comes with an Aroma Snooze essential oil, for the most optimised sleep environment.


We also get questions specifically about the safe diffusion of eucalyptus. There are many varieties of Eucalyptus essential oil, with different levels of 1,8 cineole. Some of our oils contain Eucalyptus Radiata which has a low 1,8 cineole level, and is considered safe by the aromatherapists at our oil manufacturer in Melbourne for diffusion around young children, in the appropriate dosage.

Brands like Vicks and Eukybear use eucalyptus oil in their products, some of which are advertised as safe from birth.

There are many differing opinions on the Internet regarding the safe use of essential oils (including eucalyptus), and ultimately parents must make an informed choice about what is appropriate for their family.

For details, click here.



There is some evidence for the benefits of essential oils, but very little research on how these oils may affect babies.

It is crucial to note that the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians does not recommend using essential oils at all on babies younger than 3 months.

People can use diluted essential oils or undiluted sunflower or grapeseed oil during a baby massage. Studies show that baby massage can improve weight gain in pre-term infants, encourage development, and decrease irritability and sleep disturbances.

While it is not necessary to use oil or cream to massage a baby, it will make the process easier by helping the parent or caregiver’s hand glide more smoothly over the skin.


When it comes to the youngest members of our community, we want to make sure their wellness is taken care of from the moment they arrive in this world. It takes a while for a baby’s immune, respiratory and central nervous systems to fully develop; they absorb products through the skin more easily; and even their sense of smell is different.

Generally speaking, the younger the child, the more delicate and sensitive they will be. With so many different opinions floating around about whether essential oils are safe to use with babies and children, how can you be sure you’re making the best choice for your family?



No matter what you’re introducing into your baby’s new home, you want to make sure it’s not doing any harm. Since their little bodies are much different (and much more sensitive) than our adult ones, we always recommend checking with your pediatrician when considering how to keep your little one well.



We looked at research from aromatherapy experts like Tisserand and Young, and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy to find the safest way to enjoy essential oils while you nurture your family the natural way. Ultimately, however, you’re going to be the best person to decide what’s best for your family.

Use the information below as a guide for how to use our products when you have babies and children in your life.


Most of the research on essential oil use is related to topical use by adults, which isn’t much help when it comes to adding essential oils to your family’s life. Before adding any essential oil product of any kind to your home, we recommend taking these steps:

Read everything. Look closely at what is listed on product labels, especially the safety precautions. The information on the labels is mandated by the federal government, and is there to keep you and your family as safe as possible. In Canada, many of our essential oil blends are licensed as Natural Health Products, and are recommended for use by adults (age 18 and over). This recommendation may be different from what you would receive from a certified aromatherapist. Choosing what advice to follow for your growing family is best left to the expert: you.

Avoid ingesting to their reaction. It’s unanimous: neither the FDA in the US nor Health Canada recommend ingesting essential oils, and neither do we. None of our essential oils or essential oil blends are intended for internal use by anyone. As a rule, unless a product is specifically designed to be food, it’s best no one eats it.

Pay close attention. If you decide to add a new element to your child’s environment, monitor their reactions very closely and make sure there is fresh air available at all times. When it comes to understanding whether or not a new product is affecting your child in a negative way, you’ll know best.

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At the Gift of Scent we celebrate our most cherished sense and delight in the majestic ambiance and tranquility that fragrance inspires.