My Favorite Essential Oils

Katey McFarlan Essential Oils

Today, let’s do something a little different. I’m normally here to share self tanner or a pair of denim, but let’s go out on a limb and chat essential oils.

First things first, I tried essential oils 4 or 5 years ago. I was still in college and I was on a family vacation we take with our best family friends. My mom and her best friend had gotten into essential oils [and you know how mamas can be with their oils]. They both had cases of them and spread them out all over the hotel bedspread and they put oils all over us for any little ailment we thought we had.

“I’m tired!” “Dad was snoring all night!” “I got a bug bite.” “My head hurts from that mojito.”

You get the idea.

But I’ll be honest, I just thought this was an expensive hobby and the oils smelled pleasant, but that was just about it. I think I tried one and didn’t think of it again.

Fast forward to my pregnancy and Black Friday and I caved. During Black Friday I was on the couch with contractions and just scrolling through Instagram trying to take my mind off of them. I saw a special for essential oils and my hormonal mind went crazy.

“I’m going to order! I’m going to blend my own oils for her bug bites and cuts and scrapes and I’ll have an oil for everything.” 

Paul thought I was nuts. I told him it was a “realllllly” good deal with Black Friday and I ordered. The box came in and then I never touched it. Paul had allergies during Christmas, and we made an “allergy bomb” drink for him, he said it didn’t work and I moved on.

Favorite Essential Oils for Baby

Then breastfeeding happened. I was sick with allergies and exhausted and started to read up on what oils you could diffuse/not diffuse around a baby and thought I’d try. I’d heard you had to be intentional with your oils to see a difference [i.e. not on vacation just trying them once on a whim]. It’s like clean eating, just because you eat a salad for lunch does not mean you’ll feel great as if you always eat clean.

During late night feedings I started researching everything about oils and I got really interested. I ordered a few more [and yes they are really expensive!] and started to test them.

Here’s my overall thoughts:

I really enjoy using them. I associate them a lot with eating well. I feel my absolute best when I eat a paleo diet. Sure, I’m a little cranky because I can’t have a beloved margarita at a restaurant or a cookie, but I feel great. Continual habits give me consistent results. When I use my oils daily, I can see a huge difference in my mood and my energy levels. I also try to incorporate my oils into one new mindful action a week. For example, I don’t use dryer sheets and use oils on these dryer balls instead. Is my goal to be 100% chemical free? Probably not. I mean there are times I personally think a girl needs to use bleach when doing the laundry. And I do feel comfortable with the products we use in our home. But I really enjoy swapping products out and finding more natural options in our home with oils. I believe that the most important part of wellness is you understanding what works for you and your family with your specific needs. If your child has strong allergies and asthma issues, then of course you wouldn’t want to use fragranced lotion. An essential oil mix with coconut oil is probably right up your alley. You may have a completely different opinion for your family and I think that’s great. For me, I’ve really enjoyed the slow process of learning which oils I like and which oils really help us. I think I also use them more intentionally because I’m slowly swapping things out and using them in my daily routine.

Essential Oils for Stress

Which oils do I like?

First off, I use YL! [No, I don’t sell them.] I used YL because this is what my mom always used and HONESTLY because it was the brand I saw the special with on Black Friday. I have heard doTERRA is great as well. And you can also buy essential oils from health food stores and other markets. Would I recommend ordering off of Amazon? No, but you do whatever you prefer girlfriend! YL/doTERRA is more expensive because the oils are more pure/concentrated than say store bought oils. It’s like skincare. You can buy $10 sunscreen and it works. $20 sunscreen might be more concentrated with better protection, but at the end of the day you do what you are most comfortable with.

Gentle Baby: This is the oil I use the most often because it is made for babies. I don’t apply any topically to Maxi [however, some mamas do and that’s fine!] as I just don’t want to test them on her skin yet. If you do, be sure to use a carrier oil and research which ones are recommended for your baby’s age [here is a great article]. Their lungs are not as developed as ours and they are much more sensitive to scents. I use Gentle Baby for nearly everything! I do 2 drops on dryer balls as opposed to using dryer sheets. I use coconut oil and apply it to my collarbone before nursing so she can relax at night and smell it. I diffuse it in her room during naps. I sniff it before bed to go to sleep. Will this oil have your baby sleeping 8 hours a night? I’m not 100% sure, but I think it provides a wonderful bedtime routine that relaxes them. When I do make sure to use my oils I find that Maxi’s naps are longer and she isn’t startled. Maxi is a great sleeper, but her naps aren’t consistent [something common for 4 months] and she can wake up when her REM cycle breaks. However, she typically will cry for a few seconds, I go in and pat her and she falls back asleep. But I do notice when I diffuse she may just move a little bit and fall back asleep when her REM cycle breaks, as opposed to fully waking up.

Peace & Calming: This is my favorite oil to diffuse in our room at night. If Paul and I are exhausted we also put a drop on the bottoms of our feet and we sleep great. My issue with sleep is going back to sleep if Maxi gets up after 3 a.m. I’ll feed her and then start thinking about an e-mail or work and almost talk myself into just finishing a task right then and there. I know, I’m nuts. However, when I use the peace & calming oil I find that I can fall right back asleep once she is down again. The thing that I like about this is that it isn’t like a melatonin where you get really vivid dreams and you feel knocked out. I can’t pass out because I have to hear a baby. I also never feel groggy in the morning, and melatonin always makes me feel the worst.

Stress Away: I use this roller while I work around 2 p.m. on my wrists. This is during Maxi’s second nap of the day and it’s my last little “leg” to get work done before Paul is home. I always feel a little flustered because: A. I work far better in the mornings B. I get tired C. I’m toying with what task I should finish vs. what I should do around the house. When I use the stress away oil I feel less nervous about what to do and more intentional about how to do it.

Lavender: This stuff is great for everything. Cuts. Burns. Acne. Sleep.

Frankincense: This is also a great oil for skin. I combine it with lavender when I have blisters on my feet! This is also a spiritual oil and many people diffuse it while doing devotionals.

Purification: This oil removes odors. It’s great to diffuse after you cook dinner and I also put a drop of it on a cotton pad and toss it in the bottom of her diaper pail when I put in a new trash can. I never notice a “diaper” scent in her nursery and love it.

Thieves: Thieves is great to have on hand for sickness. People put it in their tea a lot when they feel they are coming down with something. I don’t ingest oils with breastfeeding but many of my friends do and their doctors say it is 100% fine, so ask yours! 🙂

Lemon: I really like lemon for diffusing. I diffuse it with grapefruit in the kitchen in the morning or with lavender for the afternoon. It makes my entire home smell clean which is my favorite thing.

Fennel: Fennel is another one lots of mamas use for breastfeeding. They apply a drop or two on their chest and it helps with production. However, I was told to not do this more than 10 days in a row. Use this more so to help boost supply. [But I’m not a lactation consultant, so ask yours! I don’t want to give you incorrect information in regards to something so important.]

Cedarwood: Postpartum hair loss generally starts around 4 months PP [but can be different for everyone]. To help combat that I do a drop on my fingertips and massage into my hairline at night. I’ll be honest, this isn’t the most pleasant scent 😉 but I put on dry shampoo at night before bed and then I don’t smell it!

Essential Oil Tricks

What do I want to purchase next?

Bergamont is on my wish list because I hear it smells amazing! I’ve also heard to diffuse it with Geranium and Idaho Blue Spruce, so I may try that! I really want to try the Thieves cleaner. I did tried to make a DIY essential oil cleaner I found online. I wasn’t impressed with the results and the house didn’t feel “clean.” But I know there is always trial and error when trying new things! I generally really like to use the Honest Company spray because I know I’m getting things clean in a safe manner for Maxi.

Best Essential Oils for Young Moms

So there is my honest little review! Like working out, you’ve got to be diligent with oils to see results and they can be pricier. However, I really enjoy this new process in our home and finding which oils work for us.

Do you have any essential oils you like?!

Photography by: Angie Garcia

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47 Comments

  1. Thank you for the reviews! I recently got into essential oils and am using one from Khiel’s at the moment, but I’m always open to new products!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  2. Tara wrote:

    What diffuser do you like? We have been looking at them and cannot decide. Thanks!

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Tara! I use the YL one that comes in the starter kit I ordered! xo

      Published 06 Jun 17Reply
      • Tara wrote:

        Thank you!!

        Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  3. Essential oils are so my favorite! We use them every single day in our home! My favorites are, stress away for any day I feel stressed.. Lavender, well for everything! Sleepyize for my 1 year old at night time.. we diffuse it every night and she sleeps so much better than on the days I forget to turn it on. Thieves for our wellness roller. Lemon for our water! It works so well to keep my hydrated during the hottest part of the summer. Purification for any stinky smells.. gentle baby for mama and baby. Valor 2 for emotional support. And progessence plus for hormone support.. I use progessence plus to help with my monthly time and I’ve noticed a huge difference since starting.. we also love the Thieves household cleaner for all of our cleaning products! To my bottles of cleaner I like to add a couple drops of citrus fresh to help it really cut through any grease! Works amazingly!

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Ah! Now I want to order the Sleepyize!! Thank you! xo

      Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  4. Carolyn wrote:

    Hi Katey! I’ve been anxiously awaiting this post ☺️ Which diffusers do you have for different rooms? I can’t wait to try the ones you suggested!

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Carolyn! Yay! I use the YL diffuser that comes with the starter kit! 🙂 xo

      Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  5. Kelly wrote:

    We love the Copiaba oil for teething as well. You can apply it to the gums, neat(without a carrier oil) and it truly helps with teething pain. My husband used it as well when he had a crown. He tried it first before we used it with our son. Our son is almost 3 now and he would actually reach for the oil when he was cutting his molars. I’m not a consultant for YL, but that worked for us. You’re doing a wonderful job mama. Breathe in all of the baby snuggles, I do miss those!

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      That is so good to know!! Thank you so much!! xoxo

      Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  6. Tiffany wrote:

    Thanks for this! I’ve been wanting to try essential oils but wasn’t sure which to purchase! When you do research, where do you find the most helpful and accurate information?

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
    • Lauren Baptista wrote:

      Hi Tiffany!! I’d love to help you with any questions you may have in regards to oils! ???? Please feel free to reach out at any time! ????????

      Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  7. Jenna wrote:

    Definitely buy Valor. It wasn’t available for like 2 years and it’s one of my favorite oils. I’ve gone through almost an entire bottle in less than a month!

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Jenna! I have Valor! How do you use it? I’m not a huge fan of the scent so I feel like I need to use it in a way other than diffusing!

      Published 06 Jun 17Reply
      • Kerri H. wrote:

        Katey – I don’t LOVE the aroma of Valor either, but for me it helps me so much when I have to do a presentation. (I get super nervous and it gives me confidence). The trick is to put it “neat” on the bottom of your big toe(s) (it works and you don’t have to smell it!) I also sometimes use it combined with PanAway if my head hurts.

        Published 06 Jun 17Reply
      • Jenna wrote:

        I diffuse it usually but I add lavender or other oils to it, but I love the smell. But it also helps with back pain and stuff so you could apply it on the bottom of your feet and spine so you smell it less strongly!

        Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  8. Kerri H. wrote:

    Hello Katey – If anyone needs assistance with learning to use oils, I have been using for 3 years. I started using the Gentle Baby oil blend first when I had postpartum insomnia. They helped so much I now use them in everyday life. Thanks for letting me share this info here!

    To try Young Living essential oils, you can go to the following link. The starter kit is the best!
    https://www.youngliving.com/vo/#/signup/start?site=US&sponsorid=2780712&enrollerid=2780712

    Kerri H.
    Balanced Blends, LLC
    kerri0720@yahoo.com
    YL Member ID# 2780712

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  9. Brianna wrote:

    I’ve been looking forward to this post, thank you so much for your honest review! I’m expecting my first in August and just ordered my starter kit from YL one week ago. Glad to hear you are seeing results with Maxi. I can’t wait to try these out!

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  10. Erin wrote:

    I just started using the Thieves cleaner and LOVE it! I’m currently pregnant and I love that I can use that multipurpose cleaner on anything and I don’t have to worry about our dogs getting into or sick or when the baby comes!

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  11. Ashley wrote:

    I’ve been looking forward to this post! As a fellow migraine sufferer, you HAVE to try M-Grain! I keep it close by at all times along with Peppermint and swear by the two. Digize is pretty stinkin’ awesome too (although it smells awful) – anytime you have a stomach bug you can apply it topically to your abdomen and it helps SO much. I get super nauseous whenever I get my migraines and I put a little of it under my tongue along with Peppermint on the roof of my mouth and it’s a lifesaver.

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  12. Kim wrote:

    I’m a clean freak and the Thieves Household Cleaner is AMAZING!! I’m so impressed with it! We also love Sleepyize as someone else stated on here. So happy you posted about this. Gives crunchy moms a cool vibe! Lol

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  13. Great post Katey! I had started using essential oils a few years back here and there but have gotten into it a bit more as I get older. When I attended the Create & Cultivate conference in NYC last month, I got a little set of 5 oils from Saje Natural Wellness and I am loving them so far. It includes Fortify (cough suppressant), Pain Release (apply to muscles for aches & pains), Peppermint Halo (for headaches), Stress Release (for everything!), and Gutzy (for stomach pain). That one is my fave! It really does work! I really like the ones you mentioned, especially ones that have to do with cleaning. I don’t like toxic cleaners for obvious reasons but they are very strong in scent and bother my allergies. My boyfriend is obsessed with cleaning with bleach so he is only allowed to use it when I’m not around. Ha! I’ve been using other alternatives. I picked up an all purpose Tea Tree Oil cleaner and really loving that and I enjoy the scent. I need to try the ones you have!

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  14. Olivia wrote:

    Hey Girl!! Loved reading your article and finding about what you like and why. I actually work for Natures Truth. And our oils are 100% pure, steam distilled oils! They are not good grade but they are amazing and THEY are ranked #1 in the whole country. Let me know if you would ever like to try them and I’d be happy to get you some 🙂 what’s nice is that unlike some other brands, they are 100% PURE and retail for $5.99. The reason they aren’t more expensive is because they’re not food grade. Let me know if you’re ever interested!

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  15. Pam Kelso wrote:

    Hi Katey!
    I love to diffuse and wear patchouli oil. I don’t use it for medicinal purposes, I just love the scent. Check it out! Xoxo

    Published 06 Jun 17Reply
  16. These look amazing! Would love to try these out!

    BlondieInTheCity.com

    Published 07 Jun 17Reply
  17. Meredith wrote:

    I’m super interested in using essential oils on dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. My concern: shedding. Do they leave lint on your clothes? Or have you noticed any shedding?

    Published 07 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Meredith!

      No shedding at all! 🙂

      Xo,

      Katey

      Published 08 Jun 17Reply
  18. Caitlin wrote:

    I also use YL oils! I started using them as a last effort to help my allergies and digestive issues and I also find that with intentional use I see a positive difference in how I feel. I use a frankincense blend for headaches, which I get a lot this time of year. It weirds me out a little to ingest them lol, but the peppermint vitality really helps when I have an acid reflux issue. It seriously takes the burning sensation away! I’m not so good at using them topically but I love diffusing. There are several others I want to try, I will definitely try some of your suggestions as well. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Published 07 Jun 17Reply
  19. Amber wrote:

    Hi Katey,

    Curious about what scent you use for your dryer balls for laundry :)?

    Absolutely LOVE your blog!

    Thank you!
    Amber

    Published 07 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Amber!

      Thank you so much for reading you are so sweet! It is the Gentle Baby oil! Under the “which oils do I like” in the post I share how many drops! I hope that helps!
      Xoxo,

      Katey

      Published 08 Jun 17Reply
  20. Cristin McCurley wrote:

    Hey Katey! Love your versitility as a blogger!! I mix hydrogen peroxide with my favorite oils in a spray bottle to clean with. It works great, kills bacteria, and is so cheap! Also, if you are interested in trying more natural makeup, skincare, bath, or baby products you should try 100percentpure. I’ve switched out so many chemical filled products and never been disappointed. Have a great day!

    Published 08 Jun 17Reply
  21. Lindsey wrote:

    Hi Katey!
    I remember on snap you mentioned something along the lines of using an oil to help with baby hairs post-pregnancy. A friend of mine had her son last August, and seems to have nothing but baby hairs! Is the Cedarwood the one you used for that? Or did I dream this? Hehe

    Published 08 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Lindsey!

      Yes ma’am it is Cedarwood! Under the “which oils do I like” in the post I list the oils I use and the uses. I hope this helps her!

      Xoxo,

      Katey

      Published 08 Jun 17Reply
  22. Meaghan wrote:

    I saw your snap about your dryer balls and the essential oil so I went a head and researched it on my own. I found that you should not use essential oils in the dryer because they are flammable!! I’m sure you researched on your own and since you’ve been doing it for a while with success maybe it’s working for you but just thought I would share.

    Published 08 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Morgan!

      Yes, that is true! That’s why I purchased YLiving oils because they can be in the dryer. Some essential oils even can put chemical burns on your skin! So scary! But that’s why I spend a little bit more!

      Xo,

      Katey

      Published 08 Jun 17Reply
      • Meaghan wrote:

        Oh good to know! Clearly your research was better than mine!! lol I see that you clarified on Snapchat which is extremely useful and I just want to clarify that I in no way meant to criticize or doubt your methods. It was coming from a good place. I feel like people on the internet are relentless these days and I never want to be one of those. I’m pretty sure you didn’t take offense to it at all and you were more so sharing with others who may not know ( at least that’s what I hope haha). You just never know these days and I didn’t mean for it to come off as anything other than a “in case you didn’t know” …if any of that makes sense ????

        Published 08 Jun 17Reply
        • Katey wrote:

          Oh no girl! Not at all! I was so thankful you posted because I SHOULD have gone more in depth and explained that, so I was thankful you brought it up! Xo

          Published 08 Jun 17Reply
  23. Kenzie wrote:

    I love essential oils after using them for allergies which let me stop taking 4 medications for them. I truly believe in them and I think its God’s gift to us to be able to use something that he gave us to heal us instead of chemicals etc. which I love that you brought that up! I try my best to make an effort to be “organic” or “natural” as well and agree sometimes it is hard! lol, I have two dogs, no babies yet and I spend so much just making sure they are getting everything they need in their diet and meds etc without going overboard with too many by-products etc. I would love to see a post sometime about Peaches and the things you like/don’t like for her (food, toys, treats). You are my favorite blogger hands-down and I just die when I see Maxi and you together, you’re doing such a great job being a mom and this article is just part of what proves that! Keep doing what you’re doing. I cannot wait to try my oils in the dryer ball!

    PS
    If you haven’t used Castile soap for anything you should give it a try! There is multiple ways to use it to clean your home and very safe. They sell it at most organic food stores. My favorite is Dr. Bronner’s, Citrus for cleaning, almond for dogs & myself, and there is a baby unscented one as well. I also LOVE Nellie’s laundry soda, it is all natural, lasts a long time and makes my clothes very soft and clean!

    Thanks for being great!
    xoxo

    Published 13 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Kenzie! Oh my goodness, you are the sweetest ever!! Thank you so much! And your compliments about motherhood mean so much to me. I have not, but now I need to get my hands on it!! I just got my thieves cleaner in the mail today and so I’m so excited to try to clean with that! Absolutely! I need to do an updated post on Peaches! 🙂

      Thank you!! xo

      Published 13 Jun 17Reply
  24. Courtney Nguyen wrote:

    Hi Katey,

    I loved reading this post! I bought the dryer balls you use and can’t wait to get the gentle baby oil one to add to them. When you talked about how good your laundry smelt, I knew I had to get it! I have a couple questions for you. I read through the comments and didn’t see it asked/ answered. 🙂

    To add the oil to the dryer balls do you just simply drop the oil on it? Or do you drop it on there and rub it in? Do you add more oil each month/ couple months?

    Second, I don’t have any of the oils yet, but I am curious how many diffusers you have? Sounds like you use a lot of different oils. So I am not sure if I need to get a couple? One for living room, bedroom, etc.

    Thank you so much and love your blog!!

    Courtney

    Published 13 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Courtney!

      Thank you so much for reading! Yes! I just drop the oil directly on the ball and it stays. I refresh with more oil each month! Sometimes more often if we are doing lots of laundry with Maxi. We have 3 diffusers! One in the kitchen, one in my office and one in our bedroom. 🙂

      I hope this helps!!

      xoxo,

      Katey

      Published 14 Jun 17Reply
  25. Lauren wrote:

    Love this post! Which starter kit do you recommend purchasing?

    Published 20 Jun 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      I got the one with Young Living! I think it is the premium starter kit! 🙂

      Published 20 Jun 17Reply
  26. Lauren wrote:

    Love this post! Which YL starter kit did you purchase? Thank you!

    Published 20 Jun 17Reply
  27. Christine Thompson wrote:

    YL is great! I use them regularly and have had such amazing results. If you don’t have it yet, you can download the app on your phone “Ref Guid 4 EO,” its not associated with YL, but you can search individual oils, or oil blends and learn more about them. Most people don’t know this, but some of the oils are not to be worn in the sun (so make sure you’re checking – a lot of citrus oils are photosensitive). Bergamont is so good – my favorite night time combination is bergamont, thieves and lavendar 🙂

    Published 19 Sep 17Reply
  28. Melissa Campbell wrote:

    Hi Katey,
    Do you use any oils with Maxi other than gentle baby. I have heard some use them to help with helping babies stay healthy and not get sick. I do not know anything about it though.
    Melissa

    Published 25 Oct 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Melissa! Now that she is past 6 months I use peace and calming to diffuse and diffuse thieves! I still haven’t directly applied any to her. I hope this helps! xo

      Published 25 Oct 17Reply