After the baby is born, the relatives will be coming out of the woodwork. Aunts and uncles you haven't seen since your twelfth birthday will be traveling from all over to pinch the adorable cheeks of their newest family member. All the company will be exciting, but playing host can get exhausting, especially when you're trying to keep the house clean to make a good impression on these long lost family members. When you wake up early in the morning to a screaming infant with bags under your eyes and knots in your hair, you're going to be in no mood to vacuum or dust, so you might be tempted to reach for the air freshener. However, you need to be cautious about how much you're spraying around your infant.
Never spray air freshener close enough to your infant so that it could be directly inhaled. There are usually phthalates in them, which are proven to have seriously negative effects on growing babies. Spray the freshener only in areas where your baby won't be. For example, avoid spraying it in a way that lets the particles land on your baby's play mat just in case he gets some on his skin and then in his mouth.
Technically, air freshener is not safe around babies, but there is rarely enough in the air to be directly inhaled or ingested as long as you're being careful. Spray it only when your baby is napping or playing in another room, and be careful about where the particles land. You could also try purchasing an organic brand that contains fewer chemicals and no phthalates, or a brand that has been deemed safe around babies. Of course, you could also skip the freshener and give your house a good old fashioned deep clean if you have time.
It's probably no surprise that air freshener is dangerous to your newborn baby, but you really don't have to avoid it completely. As long as you are safe and conscious about where you aim the spray, your baby will be perfectly fine. After all, how else will you get the house clean and fresh in time for the relatives? When you're a new mom, you'll reach a new celebrity status, and it will be nearly impossible to keep the house clean. Air freshener will be your savior on those groggy mornings when company is on the way.
Source: Lidia Casas et al: The Use Of Household Cleaning Products During Pregnancy and Lower Respiratory Tract Infections and Wheezing During Early Life. International journal of Public Health 2012