Homemade Insect Repellent for Babies

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The universal characteristics attributable to babies are cute and simply adorable. All the little ones are the apples of their parents' eyes. Insects are gross, irritating and harmful. They cause disease, such as Lyme disease, dengue fever and malaria. A range of insect repellents is available on the market, but not all are safe to use on babies. Try some homemade formulas.

Remember

  • Some locally manufactured brands focus on getting rid of the insects by using powerful chemicals that are unhealthy for babies with a weaker resistance system. When making an insect repellent at home for toddlers, to keep two things in mind: its effectiveness in keeping the bugs away and the amount of toxins in the product. Babies are far more sensitive and their bodies absorb toxins faster than adults.

Pennyroyal

  • Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) plant is a natural bug and mosquito repellent. Apply a few drops of pennyroyal oil mixed with a bit of almond oil and distilled water on the baby's ankles, neck, hair and wrists. Reapplying the mixture every two to three hours keeps the insects away. This relative of the mint family is strong component, so use it with care.

Essential Oils

  • Essential oils are effective insect repellents. They are safe and have pleasant odors that do not irritate the little ones. Cedar, clove, lavender and eucalyptus oils keep insects away. Mix any of these oils in same amount of water and spray the mixture around and over the baby. In "Herbal Treatment of Children: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives," author Anne McIntyre says diluted essential oils, such as chamomile, geranium, neroli and rose, in bath water for babies soothes their skin. Hanging turmeric around kids' areas dispels bugs.

Citronella and Olive Oil

  • Two oz. of distilled water added in 2 oz. of olive oil mixed with 120 drops of citronella oil makes an effective insect repelling lotion. Apply it over the exposed parts of the baby's body. Citronella has a pleasant smell and makes it impossible for the mosquitoes to bite. It is a natural repellent safe for use on little ones.

Warning

  • While all these insect repellents are useful for children, prevention is better than the cure. Avoid dressing babies in dark colors. Socks and long-sleeved shirts keep them covered. Avoid all kinds of repellents for babies younger than 2 months old. Never apply repellants near their eyes, nose or lip area.

References

  • "Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies, Volume 10"; Frances Sizer Webb et al; 2008
  • "Gentle Healing for Baby and Child: A Parent's Guide to Child-Friendly Herbs and Other Natural Remedies for Common Ailments and Injuries"; Andrea Candee, David Andrusia; 2003
  • "Herbal Treatment of Children: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives"; Anne McIntyre; 2005
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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