Is It Ok to Wear Perfume Around a Newborn?

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It is generally not recommended to wear perfume around a newborn. Most perfumes colognes and body sprays contain chemicals that can have a negative impact on a baby’s health.

1Highly perfumed or fragranced skin products should be avoided in the early days of a baby’s life3. Some studies show that wearing perfumes around babies can cause dizziness headaches and other negative health effects5. It is best to play it safe and avoid wearing perfume around a newborn especially in the early days of their life when their sense of smell is very sensitive6.

What specific chemicals or ingredients in perfumes should parents be particularly cautious about when considering whether to wear perfume around a newborn?

Parents should be particularly cautious about the following chemicals or ingredients in perfumes when considering whether to wear perfume around a newborn:

  • Phthalates: These are endocrine disruptors that can cause harm to a human’s health[1][4][5].
  • Alkylphenols: These are chemicals that can cause skin allergies headaches and irritation in the eyes nose or throat[1].
  • Ethanol: This is a type of alcohol that can cause nausea and behavioral symptoms[1].
  • Acetone: This is a solvent that can cause skin allergies and irritation[1].
  • Synthetic fragrances: These may contain hundreds of chemical substances that can cause chest allergies skin allergies headaches irritation in the eyes nose or throat nausea and behavioral symptoms[1].

It is recommended to avoid using perfumes or artificial fragranced products on or around newborns as their skin is sensitive and soft and has enough time to mature. Instead it is always good to use only natural products[1].

Are there any alternative ways to smell pleasant without using traditional perfumes especially for parents who may want to maintain personal grooming routines while ensuring their newborn’s safety?

There are several alternative ways to smell pleasant without using traditional perfumes especially for parents who may want to maintain personal grooming routines while ensuring their newborn’s safety. Here are some options:

  1. Essential oils: Soft florals like lavender or chamomile can help you feel calm and collected[1]. Sandalwood EO has a calming effect that can be used as an alternative to traditional perfumes[2]. Essential oils can be used in a diffuser or diluted with a carrier oil and applied to the skin.
  2. Non-toxic air and fabric fresheners: Moso Natural’s bags are scent-free and filled with only one natural ingredient which is completely non-toxic and safe to use around children[3]. Scent Fill’s plug-ins are made to last longer than aerosol air fresheners[3]. Fresh Wave makes odor eliminators that remove unwanted smells in your home using safe natural ingredients[3].
  3. Baby perfumes: There are some baby perfumes that are safe for babies and can be used by parents as an alternative to traditional perfumes[4].
  4. Natural fragrances: Some natural fragrances like vanilla cinnamon and citrus can be used as an alternative to traditional perfumes[5].
  5. Organic essential oils: Organic essential oils can be used in a diffuser or diluted with a carrier oil and applied to the skin[6]. It is important to note that pregnant women or those with infants under two should consult a doctor before using an essential oil diffuser[6].

Overall there are several alternative ways to smell pleasant without using traditional perfumes especially for parents who may want to maintain personal grooming routines while ensuring their newborn’s safety. Essential oils non-toxic air and fabric fresheners baby perfumes natural fragrances and organic essential oils are all safe options to consider.

Could you elaborate on how a newborn’s sense of smell develops over time and why it’s especially sensitive during the early days? How does this sensitivity change as the baby grows?

Newborns have a highly developed sense of smell[2][4]. The brain’s olfactory (smell) center forms very early in fetal development and by the time they’re born babies can smell about as well as adults[2][4].

Newborns prefer the smell of their own mother especially her breastmilk[1][2]. They can also recognize the smell of amniotic fluid and distinguish between the scent of breast milk and formula[3].

Familiar smells including the mother’s scent and the aroma of their favorite places are comforting to the baby and play a role in bonding with the mother and other caregivers[2]. The sense of smell is closely related to taste and it influences what the baby does and doesn’t like to eat[2].

Natural smells such as lavender can help to soothe and calm the baby[2].

The sensitivity of a baby’s sense of smell changes as they grow. Infants are attracted to and recognize their mother’s odors and later children are able to recognize other kin and peers based on their odors[6].

As the baby grows their sense of smell becomes more refined and they become more selective about the smells they prefer[2]. They also become more aware of unpleasant smells and may react negatively to them[2].

By the age of 6 months a baby’s sense of smell is fully developed[2].