Becoming a new parent is, quite frankly, the scariest thing in the world. There are not enough handbooks in the world to prepare you for the overwhelming responsibility you now carry in your arms. This perfect little being now relies on you for their every need – yep being a new mom is very daunting.
You start to see your home as this unsafe environment, when before it was cozy. What about your wonderful collection of candles? Are they destined to remain unburned for the next 16 years? Is it possible to be a good mom yet still enjoy those relaxing flames of joy?
Yikes, let’s look into the safety aspects of mixing candles and babies.
Candles will always come with an element of risk due to the hot flame and wax. You can still enjoy a scented candle if you are careful. You should stick to natural products, rather than synthetic ones. Babies’ respiratory systems are sensitive and you should limit candle use to a few hours per day.
Are Scented Candles Harming your Child?
Scented candles are amazing for getting rid of those smelly, unwanted odors. Wet pet fur, last night’s curry, and full diapers are some of the home scents that are less enjoyable to sit in. So what do we do? Well, we change the diaper first but then we usually look for ways to neutralize the air again. Hello, scented candle, right?
Should you light a candle regularly with a baby or small child around, it might be time to change your ways. Babies and young children are developing and growing rapidly during their early years. Many parts of their body are sensitive and not fully developed yet and will struggle with strong smells. Many candles are full of chemicals and toxins which aren’t great for anyone to be breathing in.
You should stick to natural, clean burning candles if you do wish to continue their use. Even with these though, keep them well away from your child’s reach and nostrils! Babies are incredibly sensitive to the world and its smells. Anything strong can negatively impact and aggravate conditions such as croup or asthma. In a world of ever-increasing allergies in children too, you need to err on the side of caution.
Are you hoping some candles in your baby’s room with some calming lavender oil might induce a good sleep? You may find that a scented candle does more harm than good. The scents can irritate their already sensitive airways. You may end up listening to a tickly cough rather than soft snoring.
Any fragrance products should be kept out of your baby’s sleeping environment. Their own space needs to be as chemical-free as possible and well-ventilated at all times. You don’t necessarily know what, if any, conditions your child may become susceptible to. The last thing you want is to find this out the hard way.
It isn’t just the chemical factor we need to consider here either. Is it safe to leave a candle burning in your baby’s room? All candles come with a warning to use only under supervision so unless, you too, are in the room, they are dangerous. It doesn’t take much for candles to be knocked over and then the consequences can be severe. It’s a no from us as far as candles in the baby’s nursery go.
What Candles are Safe to use Around Babies?
If you wish to carry on using candles around your baby then choose wisely. Sticking to natural products, unscented where possible, has a more positive impact on the baby and the environment. Let’s not forget though, a candle is a fire so you are wise to consider the safety aspects around your baby.
Let’s take a closer look at a few specific candle types that might be more suited to babies – under adult supervision, of course.
Are Woodwick Candles Safe for Babies?
Firstly, if you don’t know a great deal about wood wick candles, you may enjoy our article; Wood Wicks Vs Cotton Wicks. Wooden wicks are not only more sustainable and less harmful to the planet, but they also produce a far cleaner burn. You also need to ensure you keep the wick trimmed after each use to help avoid smoke and soot.
If you choose to use a wooden wick candle that is scented then try to stick to ones that have oil in them. This is preferred to ones that say fragrance as these types will be synthetic and chemically. Wood wicks don’t have that carbon build-up that is common on the tip of cotton wicks. This produces fewer nasties into the air making it safer for babies to be around.
Are Beeswax Candles Safe for Babies?
Beeswax candles are arguably the most suitable type to burn around babies. These candles are made from a natural source and, when coupled with an essential oil, are fairly safe to burn. Also considered a clean burner, beeswax candles do not omit nasties into the air. However, you will need to ensure the wick hasn’t been bleached or dipped before purchase.
As with most things in life, burning candles around babies comes down to common sense. You do not have to ban all use of candles once you become a mom. After all, aromatherapy and relaxation will be needed more than ever. However, keep their lighting to a minimum, for a few hours, and never overnight in the baby’s room.
Once the baby is on the move, you will need to be a lot more vigilant. If a burning candle drops and your baby grabs hold of it, you will be looking at serious burns. Always keep your candles well away, on a flat surface, and inside a container.
The more natural the better when it comes to the wick and the scent. Avoid paraffin and avoid fragrances – instead purchase candles that use essential oils. Be mindful of how delicate a baby’s respiratory system is and consider possible allergies too. Other than this, enjoy those peaceful moments with your favorite candle.