Are Reed Diffusers Safe Around Babies? (Safety Tips)

Reed diffusers are a modern way to freshen up your space; they use reeds to absorb oils, diffusing the scent into the air. As they are gradually gaining popularity, one of the concerns among users is whether they are safe to use around babies. 

Reed diffusers are safer to use around babies since they are flameless and don’t emit smoke, unlike incense or candles. However, it is advisable to take several precautions for safe use around babies since children’s respiration is different from adults.

If you want to purchase a reed diffuser that is safe to use around your kids, use this guide on what to look out for, tips to use, and the safety measures to observe. Read on to get all the information you need for you to keep your babies safe as you use the reed diffusers.

Are Reed Diffusers Safe Around Babies

Safety Precautions When Using Reed Diffusers Around Babies

The reed diffusers are only safe to use around babies when you use them correctly. Various risks are involved in case you don’t use them in the right way.

  1. Do Not Use Around Newborn Babies or Babies Less Than Three Months Old

Babies are very delicate at this stage, which makes them highly reactive to external stimuli; as much as some scents are very mild, doing away with the diffuser altogether will be safer. Babies under six months are also delicate, so be careful not to expose them too.

  1. Place Out of Reach of Children

Unless you’re using food grade essential oils, many essential oils and fragrance oils contain harmful chemicals that are fatal when ingested. Most of them have substances such as isopropyl alcohol and methyl salicylate. If babies swallow these chemicals, it could be fatal. There are reported cases of drowsiness, mouth irritation, and vomiting.

Other chemicals irritate when they come in contact with the eyes or skin. Immediately seek medical attention as you run the affected area under running water. The long reed sticks can also cause injury when the kids play with them.

Place the diffuser in a cool and dry place far away from the children to prevent such accidents.  

  1. Use in a Well-Ventilated Room

Check that the windows are open at all times when using the reed diffuser around babies. Proper ventilation improves air circulation and makes the scent less-overpowering.

  1. Always Read the Instructions on the Label

The label on the product will always guide you when you purchase a reed diffuser. If there is a warning label that it is not safe to use around toddlers, go for an alternative. Follow the instructions as specified.

Check the content of the diffuser to ensure that it is safe to inhale even for the baby. You can confirm the dilution ratios, as well. You always go ahead and dilute your diffusers if you find them too concentrated.

  1. Use the Reed Diffuser Less Frequently

Using the device less frequently reduces over-exposure to chemicals and prevents the baby from becoming too dependent on the scent. Adults can withstand more frequent use, but it is not advisable to expose this to children. It is safe not to use them overnight. 

  1. Do a Test Run

Your baby may be allergic to certain scents; therefore, if you notice coughing or difficulty when breathing when using the diffuser, cut off any further exposure to the fragrance. Similarly, when applying the essential oils for medical reasons, do a spot check first. Rub the oil on a small patch on the hand or leg and wait for 24 hours to check for irritation or reactions.

The Best Baby-Friendly Fragrances to Use in Your Reed Diffuser 

Not every scent that is good for you will be great for your baby. If you want to place the diffuser in the baby’s room, it has to be a gentle fragrance. Some of the soft scents that are perfect for your baby include:


This fragrance is well-known for its impressively calming properties as a natural sedative that can help you put your baby to sleep. It is also accredited with its ability to relieve colic in children. The aromatherapy benefits of this fragrance are perfect for both you and your baby.

Read our full review on Best Lavender Reed Diffusers.


Just like the lavender, the chamomile will do you good in calming your baby and putting them to sleep. It is mild and soothing enough to help alleviate insomnia and anxiety.


For this scent, be careful to pick out the eucalyptus radiata, which is more baby-friendly, than the eucalyptus globulus. This scent is said to unclog respiratory congestion making it the best to use during the winter. 

Distilled Lemon

Using this fragrance guarantees a mood lift and an upsurge of energy in any room. It is also perfect for eliminating the stuffy smell of closed spaces.

Tea Tree Oil 

Not only is this a great scent, but it is also proven to offer various health benefits to your baby. It relieves diaper rash and helps to counter fungal infections.

In addition, you can go ahead and purchase ready-made reed diffusers that have these terrific scents. They are clean, natural, fresh, and safe to add to the baby nursery. Here are some of our top picks.

Note that you should use these scents moderately (especially the soothing fragrances) lest the baby can become highly dependent on them. Never overexpose them because babies will tend to be reliant on them to fall asleep.

Advantages of Using Baby-Friendly Reed Diffusers

If you are skeptical about using air freshening aerosols, flame candles, or incense around your baby, the reed diffuser would be a perfect alternative. The following are some benefits of using the reed diffuser in your home.

No Flames 

Babies and pets can be attracted to glowing objects like open flames; hence, you can never leave them around a lit candle. Unlike traditional flame candles, there is no risk of tumbling over and causing fires, making them safe to be left around children. 

Secondly, open flames are hazardous because the kids can be tempted to touch, leading to scalding from either the fire or the wax.

However, the diffuser still needs to be stored out of reach of children because it can cause a fire if it topples over, and the fragrances or perfumed oils come in contact with an open flame. (The oils contain highly flammable substances such as alcohol).

No Smoke or Soot

The babies’ immunity and respiratory systems are not as advanced as adults, making them more susceptible to toxins and chemicals in the air. Smoke from candles or incense causes a significant risk to a baby’s lungs when inhaled; therefore, you instead need a smokeless diffuser for the baby’s safety.

Similarly, flame candles produce soot when the wick is burnt, mainly if the wick contains lead, a dangerous pollutant to both plant and animal life. According to various researches, prolonged exposure to soot causes harm to the respiratory system; it contains high toxicity and carcinogenic properties.

Using these candles around children is not advisable since it may lead to respiratory medical conditions in the long run. A reed diffuser, on the other hand, poses no risk of releasing carcinogenic (cancer-causing) smoke into the environment.

Subtle Scent

A good reed diffuser is subtle on your senses, giving a perfect balance of fragrance where you can smell it, but it isn’t too overpowering. This quality makes it mild enough for the baby to inhale. The scent is also more consistent compared to other aerosol sprays. 


One more upside to owning a reed diffuser is that you can adjust it to suit your preference. If the scent is too strong for the baby, you can dilute it to make it just right. Secondly, it can be placed anywhere in the house and even left unattended since you are not worried about it causing accidental fires.

You can never run out of safe places to place or store your reed diffuser. You can put it on a stand or a shelf top as long it is a clean flat surface.

Is It Safe To Purchase a Reed Diffuser With Babies Around?

If the fragrance is mild and you keep it far from the reach of children, you can go ahead and purchase a reed diffuser. However, if the infant is less than three months old, it is safe to avoid it altogether until they are grown enough to safely inhale the scent.

Importantly, ensure that the fragrances are essential natural oils and not synthetic. By using them in moderation, you are guaranteed of a lovely-smelling room that will also be friendly to your babies.

Read more:

Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

Recent Posts