Can You Wear Perfume Around A Baby

Can You Wear Perfume Around A Baby

Many new parents are constantly on the watch for things they can do, wear, and use around their baby. Babies are incredibly sensitive to most things that adults aren’t, so it’s always wise to do your research before doing something that could potentially harm your baby. One of the things that are often talked about is perfume. Can you wear it around a baby?

Most perfumes contain ingredients that can cause adverse health effects in babies. However, you can wear perfume around your baby, if it doesn’t contain those ingredients, specifically parabens, phthalates, and alcohol.

That being said, there’s much more nuisance to wearing perfume around your baby. If you’re interested in learning about what ingredients you should avoid, and finding some perfume and fragrance recommendations, this article is just for you.

Perfume Ingredients You Should Avoid Wearing Around A Baby

There are hundreds if not thousands of toxic ingredients commonly used in perfume. The only reason it’s allowed is that perfume contains just a small amount of such chemicals, and it makes perfume unlikely to cause negative health effects in adults.

However, babies are more sensitive than adults, and even those small amounts of toxins in perfume could pose a threat to the overall well-being of your baby. The three most commonly used ingredients in perfume that you should avoid are as follows:


Most perfumes contain alcohol because it evaporates quickly and projects far away. It makes alcohol the perfect vessel for carrying the scent. However, you should avoid wearing perfume with alcohol around your baby.

If you’ve applied perfume with alcohol and are nursing your baby, it’s not unlikely for your baby to come in contact with the area you’ve applied the perfume onto. The skin of babies is like a sponge, and it could easily soak up some of the perfume, drying and irritating the skin.

Additionally, perfumes without alcohol usually have lower projection and sillage than their alcoholic counterparts. Projection means how far away from you the scent travels, and sillage refers to how long perfume stays in the area you’ve left.

As a result, perfume containing alcohol is more likely to be inhaled by your baby, which could severely impact its health, from causing allergic reactions to a plethora of other health problems.

When trying to avoid alcohol in your perfume and other scented products, read the ingredient list and watch out for names like:

  • Alcohol
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Denatured Ethanol
  • Alcohol Denat


It’s another commonly used ingredient in perfumes. Phthalates are a family of chemicals that are used to prolong the duration of scent and increase its potency. You should avoid wearing cosmetics containing phthalates around babies because these chemicals have been linked to causing problems in the endocrine system.

In the ingredient lists, you should watch out for phthalates listed as:

  • DCP
  • DMP
  • DEP
  • DEHP
  • BzBP
  • DBP
  • DNOP
  • DiNP
  • DiDP
  • DnHP


Finally, parabens are another family of chemicals that you should avoid in products that you use around your baby. They are used in most cosmetics as preservatives, meaning they stop the growth of nasty stuff like bacteria, mold, and fungus.

However, some studies have shown that parabens can harm the health of your baby, and cause negative effects years or even decades after the exposure. Some studies suggest that parabens could reduce testosterone levels in boys, and kickstart puberty in girls.

The most commonly used parabens in perfume and other cosmetics are:

  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Butylparaben

But there are many more you could encounter, so avoid products that include ingredients containing “-paraben” in their name.

Best Perfume To Wear Around Babies

Although most perfumes could pose a risk to the health of your baby, there are many products on the market that are specifically created to be used around babies. You can wear the following fragrances and colognes and even apply them to your baby. 

Wearing the same scent as your baby can increase the mother-child connection and help form valuable memories, as scents are some of the best memory retrieval cues. However, it’s recommended to wait at least a year after birth before you apply fragrance or cologne to your baby.

That being said, here are some of the best baby-friendly fragrances:

This cologne was specifically made for babies, and manufacturers say that it’s fine for babies that are 6 months or older. It has a light floral scent profile that isn’t likely to irritate your baby because it’s alcohol-free.

You can get 100ml (3.4 Fl. Oz.) of Tender Moments for just about $25.

Mustela is a French family-owned brand founded in 1950, specializing in products tailored to babies and mothers. Musti is made of 97% natural ingredients, including chamomile and honey extracts that create a pleasant scent profile for you and your baby.

The best part about this fragrance is that it doesn’t contain any alcohol, parabens, phthalates, or phenoxyethanol, making it completely safe for babies. It’s certified by Expanscience Laboratoires, which is an independent dermo-cosmetics lab.

You can get 50ml (1.69 Fl. Oz.) of Musti for just about $21.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

(Q): Can I Wear Perfume When Breastfeeding?

(A): Wearing perfume when breastfeeding comes with the same risks as it does when you wear it around your baby. However, breastfeeding means that you have even more close contact with your baby, so you should be even more careful and do your best to avoid toxic ingredients like phthalates and parabens.

(Q): What Are The Best Practices For Wearing Perfume Around Your Baby?

(A): If you’ve decided to wear normal perfume around your baby, there are several things you should keep in mind. First of all, apply as little as possible. Then, it’s best to apply perfume on pulse points that are the farthest away from your baby when you’re nursing it, like your ankles or the insides of your knees.

Final Words

You can definitely wear perfume around your baby, but you should choose products that don’t contain any chemicals known to harm the health of your baby. We hope this article helped you find some viable alternatives to normal perfume.

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