Can Perfume Make Babies Sick? Fragrance Safety Around Kids

Written By Lamaya Mahboob

Babies are very sensitive and delicate, specially to new scents or perfumes.

As a new mother, you might be worried about whether you should be wearing your favorite Dior perfume or waiting until your baby grows up a little.

The reaction adults have while sniffing a perfume might be different from the reaction babies have as they are less developed and weaker than us.

To know every complication that can come from a perfume to babies are described here. So, read thoroughly.

Can perfume make babies sick? 

Can perfume make babies sick?

Yes, perfume can make babies sick. It contains many chemicals such as phthalates which may cause harm to a human’s health. The chances become higher when you are talking about a baby. A baby must be kept away from any kind of chemical substance as much as possible.

Looking for something different? Then check out something cool- Can perfume freeze?

Can strong perfume affect babies?

Can strong perfume affect babies?

Yes, absolutely strong perfume can affect babies! Perfumes, in general, are harmful to babies because of all the chemicals they contain. And, moreover, if it is a strong perfume, babies would face serious effects on their senses and it can also lead to coughing, sneezing, headache, and even asthma.

It can be any scented products other than perfume, for instance, detergent, air freshener, hair products, make up etc. However, if you still want to put something on to smell good, use phthalate-free and natural fragrances which are available in the market now. They are not harmful to your baby.

Even as an adult, you face issues when the person next to you is wearing a strong perfume.

Then you make a distance from that person as it becomes hard for you to breathe properly.

Imagine how an infant would feel if you are holding him or her for a long time while wearing a strong perfume that is bothering him.

That baby does not even have the capability to move from your strong scent and take a deep breath.

Therefore, we should always be careful of what perfume or chemical based product we are wearing before holding a baby.

Is it okay to wear perfume around babies?

You should avoid wearing perfumes while you are around babies. As sense of smell is the first sense babies use to get introduced to this new world, you should allow him to get the natural human scent. It helps them develop their brain more efficiently. Moreover, when the baby learns his mother’s natural smell, his bond with mother becomes deeper and stronger.

Babies would not be able to recognise his mother with his sense of sight right after his birth, however, your natural scent is what will draw him towards you.

If that natural scent is hidden under a perfume, your baby would find it difficult to remember you from the scent he has been receiving from the womb.

You should not be using perfumes if you were before having a baby. The main reason is that it contains chemicals which can be harmful for your baby’s development.

When you are smelling a perfume, it is not only floral and musk, you are also taking in many chemicals which go directly to your bloodstream through the lungs.

Moreover, babies have a higher rate in absorbing chemicals from their skin to their bloodstream. Even poisoning can occur if perfume is infected by babies.

So, I would highly recommend not to use perfume near babies not only because it is harmful for their health but also if they intake as much natural scent as possible it will help them develop their brain as sense of smell is activated by one of its parts that controls memory.

The brain learns how to connect between the scent and memories from the past. Different smells might help to stimulate the baby’s senses. Use baby-friendly perfumes and scents if you wish to stimulate them.

Can you get sick from smelling perfume?

Can you get sick from smelling perfume?

Yes, you can get sick from smelling perfume if you are sensitive towards it. Perfumes may smell magnificent but they can be one of the reasons behind some of your health hazards. And, you might think being sick from perfumes is not that common, however, it is quite usual.

About 1 in 3 people can get sick after sniffing a perfume which you would die for. Health problems like asthma attacks, hay fever, headache, migraine, dizziness, breathing problems, rashes, congestion, nausea and seizures are very common in sickness from smelling perfume.

If a person has allergies, perfume works as a catalyst. Even if the allergy is mild, perfume can make that person seek medical attention.

However, perfume allergy is when your body is allergic to perfume itself or the chemicals that are used in making it.

The most familiar symptom you will get if you are allergic to perfume is an itchy red rash on your skin.

Although, if you are severely allergic to perfume, you might face swelling in your mouth, swelling in your lips, swelling in your tongue or anaphylaxis.

You will need immediate medical attention then.

Also, check out our separate post on Body Mist vs Perfume

Are babies sensitive to smells?

Yes, babies are sensitive to smell as they grow their sense of smell in a few weeks while being in the womb. Their two tiny nostrils start to develop when the mother is only seven weeks pregnant. Babies might not recognize their mothers by the early ages, however, they will use their sense of smell to identify them.

A baby starts to take his first step towards using his sense of smell when he is in the womb breathing and swallowing amniotic fluid from the mother.

This is how a baby knows his mother’s natural scent from the time when he is not even welcomed in this world.

The relationship between a mother and her baby starts from there. That is why the baby feels safe in his mother’s arms the most as he gets reassurance that he is safe like he was in the womb.

It becomes easier for the baby to find safety if the mother is not hiding her natural smell and this is the reason behind why mothers are recommended to be as naturally smelling as possible.

If the baby finds a strong connection with the natural smell of the mother, he will recognise it even if he is exposed to many different aromas from the surroundings.

When he is getting more and more exposure to different smells, he will be able to differentiate between known and unknown people.

If he feels scared or threatened by an unknown smell, he might start crying or kicking the person away from him.

All these learnings are only coming from the sense of smell developed from the very beginning of his journey.

Is it safe to wear perfume while breastfeeding?

Is it safe to wear perfume while breastfeeding?

No, mothers should not be wearing any perfume while breastfeeding. Babies connect with them by sensing their mothers’ natural scent. Therefore, mothers should not put on a mask by applying a perfume to cover their natural smell. This would not make their newborn drawn to breast milk.

A baby knows the natural smell of his mother since he has smelled and swallowed amniotic fluid from the womb.

He will want to sense the same smell when the mother is trying to feed him breast milk after birth.

At that time, your baby might not recognize your smell, however, he can identify you with your natural scent and that is the scent he would like to smell while having your breast milk.

If you smell differently when applying a perfume, the baby might not be able to connect with you while you are trying to breastfeed.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to not apply any kind of scented product which distracts your newborn from your natural scent.

Follow our guide to know Why Are Perfume Gift Sets Cheap?


If you are pregnant or have a newborn, it is highly recommended to stay away from any possible fragranced products.

These products might smell delicious, however, they can endanger your baby as they have toxic chemicals in their compositions.

This might cause a lack in the baby’s physical development. When buying any products, be more aware of the ingredients they have. Always read the label before purchasing any baby products.

If you have any further queries, please feel free to ask them in the comment section, and I would be happy to answer them.

About The Author
Perfume has always been Lamaya's passion as she grew up smelling all the perfumes her mother had. And sometimes she would spray them on her secretly. Lamaya likes doing doodling art as well. If you ever see her in person, you can request a doodle art. You might get one. She wants to be an Environmental & Animal rights activist in the future.

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