Babies in my personal opinion are the absolute cutest! They are small, adorable, and they just love to snuggle.
But babies can often be associated with unpleasant smells, (hello diaper pails!)
So, it would make sense that you would want the nursery to smell beautiful for your new bundle of joy. After all candles are affiliated with beautiful scents and they do create a relaxing atmosphere.
Who wouldn’t want their baby to snooze in a room that has the beautiful scent of the salty ocean breeze?
Unfortunately, you should keep that jar candle of scented satisfaction to yourself, as it could be harmful to your baby.
While you can keep your crackling campfire candle burning in other well ventilated rooms in your house, it is advised to keep anything with fragrance, (cleaning products, aerosols, perfumes, and scented candles), out of the nursery.
This is because newborn babies lungs are still developing, and any extra added scents or chemicals are being directly inhaled into them.
Those whose family members suffer from asthma or allergies should also exercise caution when burning any candles around the house because your baby may be at risk for developing these too.
Fear not! You don’t have to give up your collection of decadent scents completely. If your baby doesn’t show any signs of asthma or allergies you can feel free and safe to burn your lemon breeze candle for a few hours at night.
Another option that is baby friendly would be to consider an essential oil diffuser (see more on essential oils and babies below). These diffusers are often favored for their calming properties when they are present, and for their light, clean, and natural scents.
But it’s important you don’t keep the baby directly next to a candle, and not only for fire hazard and overall safety. But you want your room to be well ventilated or have an air purifier in it as well, so that you and your baby can breathe in fresh clean air.
What candles are safe for babies?
If you are still concerned about burning candles around your baby, but don’t want to give them up completely there are alternatives.
First, you could try electric candles, they are usually unscented (although some are now coming out lightly scented), but they are also flameless. (A win-win for those toddler years!)
But if a candle that’s not truly flickering isn’t your style, it is suggested you go with an unscented option or choose a candle that is not made with paraffin wax.
Paraffin wax candles contain harmful contaminants and often produce soot when burned. Your best option would be to choose candles made from soy, palm oil, or beeswax.
These candles tend to burn cleaner and longer than those made of paraffin wax, and they are generally nontoxic and allergen friendly.
Beeswax is also known to actually be naturally fragrant on its own, so you don’t have to add in harsh chemicals or artificial scents to achieve a long lasting pleasant scent.
Are scented candles okay?
Scented candles are okay to burn, but it’s best to try and be knowledgeable when you select which candles to light, especially when small children and animals are present in the household.
It’s important to remember that if you do choose to burn a scented candle try to get those fragranced with essential oils and other natural scents.
You should also try to make sure to maintain the wick on your candle in order to avoid excess soot and to achieve a cleaner burn overall. It’s also advised to not burn candles or spray aerosols continually regardless of age.
Candle burning should be limited to a few hours each day, so that the air you and others are breathing in isn’t overwhelmed by any excess air contaminants.
Do the strong scents harm the baby?
In a bit of a baby fun fact, a baby’s sense of smell develops around the time you are seven weeks pregnant. So it’s not just you who’s enjoying that simmering scent of bacon or that freshly brewed cup of coffee.
Your baby is actually experiencing the world around you, right down to what you are smelling, and what he or she is tasting in the amniotic fluid.
Don’t worry you haven’t jumped blogs, this isn’t a post on fetal development! But it is important to note that when a baby is first born his or hers eyesight isn’t well developed, so they will often recognize mom or dad by scent.
When overwhelming scents are being produced by perfumes or with scented candles your natural scent will be easily masked.
Your baby won’t feel comforted by a strong unnatural scent, but they will also struggle to find comfort in your scent when such a strong aroma is coming from elsewhere. (Sorry pine and cedar!)
It’s also important to know that sense of smell is produced by the part of the brain that controls memory function. So your baby may also correlate a time in their life (stomach problems, teething, etc) with that strongly scented cinnamon candle.
Babies can often get fussy because they remember a time when they smelled that candle and didn’t feel so well. This is setting yourself up for a series of rough nights.
A positive note in the world of perfumed candles and scents, is that in a study it was found that babies with colic were found to be soothed by a massage of lavender oil.
While another study found that premature babies were also found to be relaxed by the scent of sweet almond oil and again lavender.
It’s important to check with your baby’s doctor regarding essential oils, and candles that are lightly scented with essential oils, before using if you have any questions.You want to make sure that they are safe for your baby and their unique needs.
Regardless if you have a new bundle of joy in your house, or if your baby is 9 months old, it’s always smart to consider what you are putting in the air for them, as well as yourself.
It is still recommended that you try and keep the main areas of living that involve your baby free and clear of any harmful artificial scents.
But remember that you do have options, popular candle retailers are now offering paraffin free candle alternatives! You can now feel better about how and what you are scenting your home with.