Are Scented Candles Bad for A Newborn Baby? How to Use Candles Around Your Little One Without Harming Your Child

Burning scented candles is a popular way to create a relaxing and fragrant environment. But when you have a baby, questions about safety, potential harm, and the appropriate use of candles around babies might arise.

In this article, we’ll dive into the details of scented and unscented candles, explore their potential effects on babies, and provide guidelines to safely use anything with fragrance and light candles around the house and your baby.

What’s in a Candle? Understanding Scents and Ingredients

Candles are made from various ingredients like paraffin wax, beeswax, essential oils, and fragrance. Knowing what your candle is made from is essential, especially when using candles around your baby.

While beeswax and vegetable-based candles provide a cleaner burn, candles made of paraffin wax might release harmful chemicals.

Are Scented Candles Safe for Babies?

Babies’ lungs are still developing, and direct exposure to scented candles may affect the respiratory system.

Also, it is best to not over-stimulate the smell (olfactory) receptors of a baby or small the baby’s sense of smell develops.

Generally, it’s best to avoid the use of fragrant products using scented candles around babies. Unscented candles with cotton wicks may be a safer option, as they emit fewer particles into the air.

What Candles to Avoid? The Hidden Harm in Some Fragrance Products

Avoid using candles with artificial fragrances and paraffin wax, as they may contain harmful chemicals.

Choose candles made from natural ingredients like beeswax, which offers a cleaner burn. It’s also essential to keep candles away from babies to pose a fire risk.

Can a Candle Around Babies Cause Allergy or Asthma Attacks?

The fragrance from scented candles may trigger allergies or asthma attacks in babies. Exposure to aerosol irritants from candles might also harm the developing lungs. It’s best to avoid scented candles around babies with known respiratory issues.

What are Essential Oil Diffusers and Are They a Safe Alternative?

Essential oil diffusers disperse natural scents without burning a candle. Using an essential oil diffuser may be a safer option around babies, but it’s always crucial to be mindful of the essential oils used and avoid direct exposure.

The Role of Paraffin Wax in Candles: Is It Safe for Your Baby?

Candles made of paraffin wax might release harmful chemicals when burned. It’s generally recommended to avoid these around babies and choose candles made from natural materials like beeswax or vegetable wax.

Using Candles in Baby’s Nursery: Guidelines and Precautions

If you still want to light a candle in your baby’s room, consider electric candles for ambient light without the risk of fire or exposure to scented products.

Ensure proper ventilation and never leave a burning candle unattended.

Electric Candles vs Traditional Candles: What’s Better Around Babies?

Electric candles provide ambiance without the risk of burning or emitting particles into the air. They might be the best option for a baby’s nursery, ensuring a safe and soothing sleeping environment.

Aerosol Air Fresheners vs Candles: What’s the Safer Option?

Like scented candles, aerosol air fresheners may contain irritants that won’t provide any benefit to your baby’s sense of smell.

It’s best to avoid both in areas around your baby and opt for natural, fragrance-free options.

How to Still Enjoy Your Favorite Scented Products Without Harming Your Child?

You can still enjoy your favorite scented products by using them in areas away from your baby or small children.

Aromatherapy candles and essential oil diffusers can be used safely when proper precautions are taken.


Remember the following points when considering which candles are safe for babies :

  • Avoid Using Scented Candles Around Babies: Babies lungs are still developing, and exposure to soot and inhaling it can be harmful.
  • Choose Natural Ingredients: Vegetable or Beeswax candles are safe to use around babies
  • Consider Electric Candles: They provide ambiance without the risks associated with traditional candles.
  • Be Mindful of Fragrances: Even essential oil diffusers should be used with care.
  • Keep Safety in Mind: Never leave a burning candle unattended, and always keep candles out of reach of children.

By understanding the components and potential risks of candle burning, you can make informed decisions and create a safe environment for your little one.

Whether it’s choosing unscented candles or using electric alternatives, mindful choices ensure that you can enjoy the ambiance without harming your child.



Are all scented candles harmful for babies?

Not all scented candles are harmful, but it’s essential to be cautious with the use of scented candles.

Babies’ respiratory systems are still developing, and some fragrances or chemicals in scented candles might irritate or harm them.

It’s generally recommended to use unscented candles or candles made from natural ingredients like beeswax when around babies.

Can I use an essential oil diffuser in my baby’s room instead of scented candles?

Essential oil diffusers are a potential alternative to scented candles. They disperse natural scents without the need to burn a candle.

However, it’s crucial to ensure the essential oils used are safe for babies and avoid direct exposure.

Some essential oils may be too strong for infants, so always do your research and consult with a pediatrician.

What type of candles are recommended for use around babies?

Candles made from natural ingredients like beeswax or vegetable wax are generally safe to burn around newborn babies.

They offer a cleaner burn without potentially harmful chemicals that might be present in paraffin wax candles. Also, consider candles with cotton wicks, which produce fewer particles when burned.

How can I ensure my baby’s safety when I burn candles around my baby and in the house?

First, never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep your candles out of reach of children and away from flammable objects.

If you wish to use a candle in your baby’s nursery, consider electric candles that provide ambiance without the associated risks.

Ensure proper ventilation in rooms where candles are burned, and always keep candles away from drafts.

Are aerosol air fresheners a safe alternative to candles for freshening the air around babies?

Aerosol air fresheners, like scented candles, can contain irritants. Exposure to aerosol irritants won’t provide any benefits for your baby’s developing sense of smell and respiratory system.

It’s recommended to avoid using both in areas around your baby and opt for natural, fragrance-free alternatives. If you’re looking to freshen the air, consider opening a window or using a HEPA air purifier.




This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.