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Perfume manufacturers market baby fragrances to new parents and their friends and family members who are shopping for baby shower gifts. Although it is not a necessary element of infant hygiene, baby perfume is touted as helping mask unpleasant odors while providing a pampering experience for the parent and child. Baby perfume is manufactured by high-end boutiques as well as mass-marketers who sell products in drugstores and department stores. Perfumes that are designed for infants typically consist of scented oils diluted in water. Alcohol and other harsh ingredients are often omitted.
Baby perfume might be otherwise known as baby cologne, baby fragrance mist or baby water. Sometimes, the perfume is meant to complement a similarly scented baby wash or shampoo. Perfume is often sold in baby-themed packaging, and some lines offer separate versions for girls and boys.
Although baby perfumes are designed to be gentle and are sometimes clinically tested, some pediatricians and child healthcare experts recommend avoiding them, along with other fragrance products that are meant to contact infants' skin. Many babies have delicate skin that can become red or irritated when exposed to fragrance. The use of baby perfume should be discontinued if the infant develops a rash or allergic reaction. Some baby fragrances are not meant to be used on infants who are younger than a certain age — usually six months — because of the extremely delicate condition of a newborn's skin.
The concept of baby perfume was developed in Europe, and baby fragrances are used more prevalently there than in other areas of the world. Some popular baby perfume lines must be ordered internationally if consumers outside the originating country wish to use them. When products are imported, the usage and ingredient labels might not be printed in the consumer's native language. It is important for a consumer to have these translated before using them, because the product might have warnings or special instructions.
Many baby perfume products are marketed as serving additional purposes, including perfuming adults and refreshing the nursery. Consumers who wish to use baby fragrance on themselves or in the home should select only products that are designed for multiple uses. In addition, these products do not contain alcohol, so they will usually not be as strong or long-lasting as traditional perfumes and home fragrance sprays.
Infant toiletries are mot meant to be played with or handled by babies or children. Parents should contact a poison control center or emergency service if a child has ingested baby perfume. Perfume bottles should be stored closed and kept out of the reach of children, such as on a high shelf or inside a locked cabinet.
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