Smell is the most advanced sense that babies have at birth.
The olfactory receptors within the nose contain cells that allow for smell and send chemical messages to the brain. This capability develops so rapidly that fetuses can smell prior to birth.
A newborn is attracted to the smell of breast milk immediately from birth, illustrating the natural desire for a mother’s milk. Just like adults, newborns turn toward enjoyable smells and away from unpleasant ones. Familiar smells can sooth an infant, and a favorite blanket that smells of breast milk or baby lotion, can be a welcome stress-reliever during stressful times such as a vaccination.
Parents can help their children learn through their senses of smell.
Differentiating and naming roses, clean laundry, baby shampoo, and crayons is a fun way to help children categorize different smells while simultaneously stimulating hearing, cognitive, and olfactory development.
Children are naturally curious about their world and enjoy exploring their surroundings.
Because of their inquiring minds, children are eager to know why things are the way they are and will ask many questions about their immediate environment.
On nature walk children can be heard asking, "I wonder what is under the rocks?" "What is that bird eating?" "Does that flower smell?" and "Why are the ants fighting?" .
Childhood is the time to encourage and nurture early interests in nature.
Smells don’t just have to come from blooming flowers.
Consider planting a non-slip creeper or herb on or near a path so that, when you walk on the plant, it will release a beautiful aroma – for example, thyme or mint.
Aromatherapy is safe for children, although there are safety recommendations to follow (for both children and adults), and of course the amounts of essential oil used for a child will be less than for an adult.
Not all the oils available are suitable for children. For example children with epilepsy should not come into contact with stimulating oils. Always research the oil you are considering using thoroughly before using and if still unsure, always ask advice.
Aromatherapy oils are used externally (on the outside of the body) in a bath or massage (carrier) oil, or through inhalation in a diffuser.
The effects of aromatherapy on your child will generally fall into one of three main categories: helping in healing from minor illnesses and accidents; supporting your child's overall sense of well-being; or assisting your child in getting quality rest.
A simple and safe way of introducing your child to aromatherapy is through traditional play-dough that have been enriched with the correct amount of essential oils (aroma play-dough). The dough's come in a bucket type tub together with shape cutters, in 5 different varieties; brainy (focus), sleepy (relaxing), happy (uplifting), harmony (mood balancing) and sneezy (helps relieve cold symptoms).
These are perfect for children three years of age and over, giving you and your child all the benefits of a creative activity together with the natural enhancements of aromatherapy.
However you choose to introduce your child to aromatherapy, you will help your child to get closer to nature.
Aromatherapy can be of great benefit as it is a wonderful way of supporting your child's health, happiness and well-being as essential oils can be very therapeutic and nurturing to both your child and you.
If you and a group of friends are interested in a class on how to introduce Aromatherapy to your children in a safe and fun way, just click on CLASSES