Can I Wear Perfume Around My Baby? Think Before You Spritz

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It smells divine and comes in pretties bottles, but could those musky and floral concoctions pose risks for you, as well as those around you? It's certainly a thought for mamas who love to wear their yummy scents. Holding and loving on your little one means baby is breathing in perfume all day. Stopping yourself mid-spritz to wonder, "can I wear perfume around my baby," may be one of the best questions you could ask to help protect your child's health, because there's more than rose petals and patchouli mixed in that mister.

If you've ever sat next to a person who has drenched themselves in eau de toillette, then you know some scents can be so strong, you feel like your senses are being attacked. Sneezing, coughing, and getting a headache are all common reactions to the chemicals in perfumes, as the website for TIME magazine explained. But when you analyze the ingredient list, there's really only one very potent villain to name: phthalates. Although phthalates are in numerous cosmetic products, evidence suggests we should keep our distance from this trouble maker. According to Prevention, phthalates can cause birth defects in mice, and a growing body of evidence suggests that those same chemicals can cause similar developmental problems in humans.

Looking at the research you'll learn that phthalates hit you right in the hormones, and exposing babies to this chemical can cause an onslaught of health concerns as they develop. As the website for the U.S. National Library of Medicine explained, studies show that when young boys are exposed to phthalates, testosterone levels are lower; while for girls it can cause early onset of puberty.

If the disruption of appropriate hormone function isn't enough to make a mama pass on the perfume, spraying on your signature scent can have additional health risks for kids. As Mind Body Green pointed out, children exposed to second hand perfume run the risk of developing behavioral problems, asthma, and obesity. All these connections to health issues associated with perfume are derived from studies on the way phthalates effect the human body.

Wearing perfume around your baby is personal choice, but knowing the facts can help to inform your decision. If you can't give up the good smells, try using natural perfumes or essential oils, which can provide the same intoxicating scents without the toxic side effects.