Perfumes can easily overwhelm babies, especially the younger they are. This is because shortly after they are born, babies’ sense of smell is much stronger than most other senses, given that some are still not fully developed after birth, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Smells adults may not think twice about can be too much for newborns. As such, mothers may need to stop wearing their favorite scents until little ones are not spending so much time close to their mothers’ neck and chest so that the smell does not inundate babies’ nostrils. And when babies are overwhelmed by the perfume their mothers wear, they are not shy to let it be known.
Given the chemical content that makes up perfume, it is not surprising that babies’ noses do not find the combination of scents that make up the final product appealing. Instead, the notes of different florals, sandalwood, cedar, and the like are not notes at all. But instead, a heavy amount of fragrance that is nothing short of unappealing to babies. As such, many babies are bothered by the scents that their mothers wear, and if not remedied, according to BabyCenter, can disrupt how often and how much babies feed.
Here is how to tell if the perfume mom wears overwhelms her baby.
Babies Will Have Physical Reactions To Perfumes That Bother Them
The reason that there are so many perfumes on the market is that what is heavenly for one person can cause allergens for another. And when the body has allergies to perfumes, it will have physical reactions when in the vicinity to the scents.
Some of the most common physical reactions that people experience when they are inundated by perfumes, according to Time, include sneezing, coughing, and headaches. For babies, who are able to detect some scents better than adults, according to Parenting Science, they too will experience these symptoms. And because they are constantly being exposed to perfume because of being held, breastfed, burped, or the like, there is very little time that babies are away from the scent.
As such, if babies stop wanting to feed or feed for short periods, cry when they are near a spot where perfume is strongest, or sneeze and cough out of nowhere, it is possible that the perfume mothers are wearing are causing problems. This suggests a discontinued use until babies are older.
Baby Uses Mother’s Natural Scent To Identify Her
Because babies are unable to see their mothers clearly after they are born, they use their sense of smell to identify who their mothers are. If mothers wear perfume, the scent may overwhelm babies to the point where they are unable to determine who their mothers are in the weeks after delivery.
According to Ninu Perfume, if the scent of perfume is too overwhelming for babies, they may not only be able to tell where their mothers are but may also not be able to identify the source of breast milk either. This will impede the amount and frequency with which babies feed. And in some cases, it could make it so that they do not thrive.
As such, at least until breastfeeding is well established, it might be best to not overwhelm babies’ senses with perfume fragrances.
Check The Ingredient List Because Chemicals Can Bother Babies
Fragrance is one of the biggest carcinogens. And because perfume is a fragrance, more often than not, the chemicals that make up the perfume are not healthy for either mothers or babies to be breathing in.
According to the Children’s Environmental Health Network, the chemicals that make up perfume are often “petroleum-based” and can be carcinogenic. Some of the worst offenders that make up the foundation of perfumes, according to the publication include:
Phthalates: Not only are phthalates cancer-causing agents, but they also are endocrine disrupters. As such, as the reproductive system is still forming babies may have complications with these systems as they age, all as a result of being exposed to phthalates.
Benzophenone: The pretty floral scents that are in perfumes are from benzophenone. Like phthalates, benzophenone is a carcinogen and endocrine disruptor.
Styrene: Part of what makes up “fragrance,” according to EWG, styrene is “anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
Parabens: To help keep the chemical compound stable in perfume, parabens are added, according to My Non-Toxic Tribe. Parabens are a carcinogen and can interfere with the development of the male reproductive system.
These issues may take time to show in babies. But being exposed to these chemicals can lead to bothersome and troubling symptoms in the future.
Safe Perfumes & Alternatives
For those moms who cannot get away from wearing a scent, looking for alternatives that will not overwhelm babies are the best option to not interfere with their natural feeding schedule.
According to Elite Daily, diluting essential oils to be worn as a fragrance is a great way to still wear a scent, but it is much healthier from a chemical exposure standpoint as well. And with the variety of essential oil scents available, there is sure to be one that mothers can enjoy as much as their perfume.
The key to wearing the essential oil is to make it light. After all, if it is overwhelming, it comes back to why babies are bothered by perfume. Therefore, wearing a light scent made with coconut or almond oil is the route to go if wearing a fragrance is desired in the early days of motherhood.
Candles aren’t just beautiful, they might have some disadvantages for pregnant people in particular.
About The Author