Are Scented Candles Safe for Babies (Or Not)  

A dear friend of mine, also a fellow scent enthusiast, recently became a mother. One of her many concerns, as a new parent was, “Are scented candles safe for babies or not?” Of course, who could blame her for wanting and pleasant but also a safe environment for her newborn!

A precious (and delicate) new entrant in the family, like a baby naturally makes parents overprotective and anxious! You would discover that you can no longer burn your favorite scented candle around the house as freely as you were doing when there is a newborn in the house.

Related: Are Scented Candles Safe in Pregnancy? Let’s Find Out…

In this way, taking care of an infant can be the most beautiful experience as well as an overwhelming one. You would discover that you would have to make the due adjustments, and even compromises, when it comes to the health and well-being of your tiny tot. Thus, if you are wondering whether scented candles are safe for your baby or not, or home fragrance products are safe for your baby, and the safer alternatives (if any), here is what you need to know:

However, it is generally recommended to avoid burning scented candles around newborns due to potential respiratory irritation and the risk of fire hazards.

Are scented candles okay for babies must be a concern for any new parent who has been a scented candle enthusiast. Newborns have delicate respiratory systems, and strong fragrances from scented candles can irritate their airways and potentially cause respiratory distress. Additionally, burning paraffin wax based candles, comprising synthetics scents and dyes, can release harmful chemicals and pollutants, which can be harmful to newborns.

Equally importantly, when it comes to the use of artificial scents and home fragrance products, they have a less realized psychological impact. Since the sense of smell in babies is in developing stage, it makes sense not to overwhelm them with unfamiliar and strong scenes. Strong fragrances can mask the natural scent of the mother for a baby, which can cause emotional distress and bonding difficulties for both mother and the child.  

Related Concern: Are Candles Safe for cats or Toxic? Here is What I Learnt…

Why Home Fragrance Products Might Not be Safe for Your Baby

Nationwide Children’s Organization has advised the parents of newborns to avoid using scented candles and other home fragrance products in the newborn’s sleeping area, such as the nursery or in their own bedrooms. The reason behind following this precaution is that the lungs of the infants are in a premature or developing state in their early years and exposing them to fragrances and home fragrance products can be harmful for the delicate respiratory system of the infants.

However, Nationwide Children’s Organization has also suggested that as long as parents eliminate the direct exposure of their newborn babies to scented candles and other home fragrance products, they can still enjoy these products and the refreshingness and joy these products bring. Thus, care and moderation are two things parents need to be mindful about when burning scented candles or using air fresheners, aerosol sprays and other home fragrance solutions.   

As a parent, you may want to consider alternative ways to create a pleasant scent in your home, while keeping things safe for your baby. Here are a few suggestions:

Replace Paraffin Wax Candles with Soy Wax Candles  

As opposed to paraffin wax candles, soy wax, vegetable or beeswax candles are generally considered safe for use around newborns. It’s because pure soy wax candles do not contain any additives or synthetic fragrances. So, this naturally reduces the risk of any harmful chemicals or toxins being released into the air.

Still, when you are purchasing your soy wax candle, double check the label to ensure that your chosen soy wax candle is made from high-quality, non-toxic materials.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to test your new soy candle in a well-ventilated area to ensure that it’s not causing any adverse reactions, such as allergies or respiratory irritation in you or your newborn.

Likewise, even when you are burning a soy wax candle in your baby’s sleeping environment, keep it far away from the baby’s crib.

Are scented candles okay for babies is a natural concern for every new parent wanting to do everything right for their baby. Here is the good news: Overall, soy wax candles are a safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly option for creating a calming and soothing atmosphere for yourself and your precious newborn, as long as you take the necessary precautions and use them responsibly. This means burning your soy wax candle in a safe proximity from your baby. Also, don’t burn your candles all day long, a few hours at night is suffice to refresh your living space and create a comforting vibe.

My Personal Recommendation in Eco-friendly Soy Wax Candle

This spa grade candle is safe enough to be burnt in any room of the house, including a nursery. Eucalyptus is soothing for a colicky, fussy baby and therapeutic for a sleep deprived, postpartum new mom’s nerves and lemon adds a citrusy bright dimension. HHI candles are divinely fragrant and don’t release soot, smoke or toxic fumes.

Are Scented Candles Safe for Babies (Or Not)  Are Scented Candles Safe for Babies (Or Not)  

Source: Island Spa Eucalyptus and Citrus Scented HHI candle at Amazon

*I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Full Disclosure Ahead!

Try an Essential Oil Diffuser Instead!  

Essential oil diffusers are particularly useful for creating a pleasant scent in your home, without the potential risks that come with burning scented candles in a household having pets and young children. However, essential oils can be particularly strong and may not be safe for use around newborns. In this respect, synthetic essential oils can be very dangerous when used around newborns of toddlers.

However, I won’t entirely write off the use of essential oil diffusers in a household with a newborn. Just like a scented candle, you can burn essential oil diffuser at a safe distance from your newborn. This means you shouldn’t use your diffuser in your bedroom, if the newborn’s cot is there or in the nursery. But you can use it in your living room. Likewise, you can burn your oil diffuser in a well-ventilated room and switch it off when you would bring your newborn there.   

This way you can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy, while not compromising on your newborn’s safety in any way.  

Essential oil diffusers, when used safely and smartly, can actually prove to be beneficial for your health and that of the infant:

Firstly, when opting for an essential oil diffuser, you don’t have to actually burn anything or deal with the possibility of anything dangerous for your newborn, such as fumes or toxins, getting released into the air.

Secondly, certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can have a calming and relaxing effect on you, as new, stressed out parent, and your newborn. For example, certain essential oils, like lavender and chamomile, have been shown to improve mood, reduce feelings of anxiety and promote peaceful sleep.

Moreover, eucalyptus and sage essential oils are beneficial for getting rid of congestion. Likewise, dill essential oil is very useful for getting rid of colic in infants and healing C-section stitches.

This positive impact of a diffuser can, in some ways, make the stressful postpartum period a tiny whiny bit easier. Using a diffuser in a bigger and well-ventilated space can be particularly helpful when trying to soothe an overstimulated newborn and making it fall asleep easily.

Don’t forget to consult with your baby’s pediatrician and do your research before using essential oils around your newborn. However, word of caution here: Discontinue the practice of using your diffuser if you see your infant coughing or sneezing. Additionally, make sure to use a high-quality diffuser, no matter where you are burning it. Lastly, don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and effective use of an essential oil diffuser in your home.  

Opt for LED Lights and Lamps in Your Baby’s Nursery

A great alternative to scented candles are LED lights in terms of being a source of comforting ambient light. LED lights and lamps lack the fragrance, but the glow they create is warm and soothing. Since babies need help in regulating the circadian rhythm of their bodies and settling into healthy sleeping and waking up cycles, LED lights and lamps can be particularly useful. LED lights and lamps are also beneficial for a postpartum mother in getting the rest and comfort she needs while taking care of her baby.

AS compared to traditional room lights, LED lights and lamps typically offer more options for brightness control, including dimming. This function is very useful when trying to create a soothing environment for your baby. You can adjust the brightness of the lights to suit your baby’s needs, whether you’re trying to help them fall asleep after nursing or change their diaper. This can be convenient, especially in a baby’s nursery where you want to minimize disruptions and ensure a consistent lighting environment.

My Personal Recommendation in Night Light for Nursery

Made from soft plastic, this beluga whale is compact and very cute. The colors are soft, luminously bright enough to offer visibility without overstimulating your little one. The charge goes a long way, so that’s one thing less to worry about.

Are Scented Candles Safe for Babies (Or Not)  Are Scented Candles Safe for Babies (Or Not)  

Source: Whale Night Light for Kids at Amazon

Try to Keep Your Home Refreshed Naturally

Don’t rely on scented candles, home fragrance products and air fresheners to refresh your home. Ventilate your living space.  As opening windows is a simple way to allow fresh air and natural sunlight into your home. This is beneficial for your health as a new parent and that of your baby’s. Also, opening the windows can remove any stale or unpleasant odors arising from sour milk, baby’s puke, soiled diapers, etc.  Make sure to get rid of the source of the odor frequently.

Instead of going or artificial products, consider using natural scents like fresh flowers or herbs to create a pleasant scent in your home.

People Also Ask

Are scented candles safe for toddlers or not?

Unfortunately, scented candles are not safe for toddlers when burnt in a close proximity. Besides the obvious risk of sensitivities and allergies, a naturally curious toddler may get too close to the flame and end up acquiring a serious burn injury.


Conclusively, scented candles and other home fragrance products are not safe to be used freely in a home where there is an infant. Newborns are particularly the chemicals, fumes and soot generally found in scented candles and other home fragrance products. These elements can easily overwhelm a newborn’s delicate respiratory system and cause life-threatening complications like asthma, respiratory distress. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up your love for lovely scents and fragrance after becoming a parent. You can choose safer home fragrance options like scented candles comprising soy wax and cotton wicks, essential oil burners, LED lights and lamps. Remember, your newborn’s health and safety should always come first when choosing a home fragrance solution.

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