I enjoy having fragrance in my house. They make the whole place smell better. With so many different ways to fragrance the home, wax melts are a great choice due to their many benefits. But as a parent, I have a different set of concerns. Are wax melts safe for babies? I have put in a lot of time to study this, and I hope my findings will help you.
Most wax melts are safe for babies, but not all. Choose wax melts that are made from beeswax or soy wax as they are made from natural ingredients, making them safe for babies. Paraffin wax is a byproduct of the oil purification process and will release harmful fumes, so it is less safe for babies.
I found a few other things that gave me more confidence to use wax melts around babies, and I’m going to go a little bit more into the details.
Wax melts are safe for babies because they do not produce soot
Soot is bad for babies, they are produced when something is burned. They can cause respiratory issues for babies that are just developing their lungs. There is also a growing body of evidence suggests that soot pollution harms brain development in babies. [source] So let’s try to reduce their exposure to it.
Wax melts use wax warmers (or candle warmers) to melt the wax, and since those that run on electricity do not burn anything, they do not produce any soot. This is a substantial advantage over scented candles. Take note that there are wax warmers that use candles to melt the wax, so choose those that run on electricity. I have one to recommend further down below.
If you are currently pregnant and are using scented candles, be aware that soot produced by burning the candle can affect the baby in your womb. I suggest you change to wax melts if you must have some fragrance at home.
Wax melts are safe because they are flame-free
You also need to consider if wax melts will pose a danger to your baby physically. From 2014-2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 7,610 home structure fires that were started by candles per year, [source] so avoid using candles.
The good news is that wax warmers don’t use a wick, which means no risk of fire! I have seen a demonstration of how fast fire can spread in a room, and all it takes is four seconds for the whole room to catch fire.
There are two types of wax warmers, one that uses electricity and one that uses a candle. Choose the electric one to avoid the risk of fire, and place the wax warmer somewhere out of reach if you have a toddler.
This wax warmer from Amazon is a good option. It runs on electricity, has a timer so it can be turned off automatically. You don’t want your warmer to run non stop when you forget to switch it off. Works well with Scentsy cubes and have good reviews.
Some wax are safer than others
I came to know that there are many different types of wax, and not all of them are safe. Here are some of the common wax types for your reference. Pay attention to the wax types when buying your wax melt.
|Wax Type||Safe For Babies?||Wax Description|
|Soy Wax||Yes||Made from the oil of soybeans.|
|Beeswax||Yes||Natural wax produced by honey bees.|
|Coconut Wax||Yes||Made from coconuts. Natural.|
|Paraffin Wax||No||Made from crude oil. It is known to cause health problems.|
With so many safer options, I cannot see why I would ever choose wax melts made from paraffin wax. Scentsy wax seems to be the favorite among many, and almost became my choice until I saw that they are made with Paraffin wax. If you’re looking for wax melts, try this from Amazon, it’s made from 100% soy wax, have a good scent, and good reviews.
What do other parents say about wax melts?
I know of some parents that are already using wax melts around their babies, and I felt that their experience is valuable. I have also asked the opinion of other parents in general, and this is what they have to say.
Five parents mentioned that they use wax melts around their babies and don’t see anything wrong with them. Some of their children have grown up to 15 months old without showing any signs of bad effects.
Most parents, however, prefer not to use anything scented in their baby’s room. The reasons are not scientific though, and they just prefer to be safe than sorry. And while some parents don’t use it in their baby’s room, they use it in other parts of the house like the living room.
As for myself, I use it in the living room, and seldom in my baby’s room. Yes, that means I occasionally use it in my boy’s (now 22 months old) room, but not always. His favorite sport is running all over the house and climbing up and down chairs and has never shown any respiratory issues.
What do the professionals say about it?
Now let’s take a look at what the professionals have to say about this. There are a lot of articles talking about scented candles and air fresheners, and they always advise caution. But it’s tough to find a credible source for wax melts.
An associate professor by the name of David Stukus, MD, mentions that candles and air fresheners are generally safe when using it under normal circumstances. That said, it could release various chemicals into the and may irritate the airways, and it affects about 20-30% of all children. [source]
Healthline has an article vetted by Alana Biggers, MD, mentioning to avoid paraffin wax and instead use soy wax or beeswax. [source] The article is mainly talking about candles, but we can glean information about wax melt from it.
As usual, professionals generally advise to use things moderately and avoid if possible. But from my research, talks of paraffin wax and soot created when a candle burns are the main issue with scented candles. By taking what we learn about it, it gives us an idea that we shouldn’t use wax melts made from paraffin wax, and since wax melts don’t produce soot, they are much safer than candles.
It is safer to minimize the usage of wax melts in bedrooms
Whether you’re sharing your room with your baby, or she sleeps in a separate room, it may be prudent to reduce the use of any form of fragrance in the bedroom, even wax melts, and here’s the reason why.
Normally, rooms are smaller than the living room, and the windows and doors are usually closed when it is sleep time. This makes whatever is in the air stay longer there. Your baby also spends a lot of time sleeping in the room, so based on what I have researched, I won’t want to expose my baby to any form of fragrance in those conditions, at least not often enough.
Your baby is developing her lungs, so at least let her grow up to around two years old before placing any fragrance there. I use them in the living room or other parts of the house, but very seldom in the bedroom.
So, will I use wax melts? Definitely, it is by far the safest fragrance option I know of since I cannot find any bad news about using it on the internet, the news, or the people around me. Candles or air fresheners, on the other hand, have quite a number of negative news surrounding them. If you know of any harmful effects of wax melts, please do let me know in the comments below.
As always, do check with your baby’s pediatrician if wax melts will be okay for them, all babies are different and may react to things differently.