Sugar And Spice

This weeks installment of Works For Me Wednesday comes with a twist. Instead of doling out sage wisdom, we are to beg ask for help from our readers for a particular problem. Well I have one. And y’all have never let me down before. So here goes.

My children stink.

What a relief. It feels good to get that off my chest.

My daughters, ages almost 6 and almost 8 have sweaty pits. And they stink.

This is one of those posts that I will never be able to get away with in a few years, when they actually care about what I write about them. So, I’m getting it out of my system now.

First you might suggest that I bathe them. Which is brilliant advice. But, I do. Every single day. And I personally oversee the washing of the “under pits.” I began to notice this problem last winter. I thought I was losing both my mind and sense of smell, because I didn’t think we’d be dealing with body odor issues until they were 10 or 12. Or teenagers, I type with a shudder. Incense is out of the question, because that would just bring back unpleasant memories of the 70’s. And there’s the potential fire issue.

Are my girls just weird? Has anyone else noticed this about their prepubescent children? I’ve even had them on organic milk since toddlerhood, to ensure that we don’t have to go bra shopping while I’m in the throws of pre-menopause.wfmwheader1.jpg

I’ve thought about antiperspirant/deodorant, but I’ve heard that the ingredients in antiperspirant aren’t good for children. And something just called “deodorant” is hard to find.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would be grateful.

For more burning questions about life issues and other important matters, head over to Rocks In My Dryer.

October 3, 2007

40 Responses to Sugar And Spice

  • My daughter had foot odor that could kill when she was about 8. We could tell when she had taken her shoes off in the van because the stink would engulf the entire area. We didn’t want to hurt her feelings so we didn’t say anything for a while but a person can only take so much. Unfortunately she took great pride in her stinky feet and loved to taunt us with them. Thankfully the hormones settled in and the stink has calmed down quite a bit. However, I am pre-menopausal and my feet now reek. BAD! Not any advice in there I guess, except wait, it will get better. Maybe some nice powder for the pits would help.

  • Try the health food store, or the natural foods section of a regular store. They should have many choices of deodorants that are not harmful and are not anti-persperant. They work remarkably well. And as a comfort, my dd was smelly for a while and then she stopped being smelly. Weird but true.

  • ummmm….deodorant?
    ~C

  • Hey there fiddley! I agree, try the health food shop, they sell deodorants that are free of aluminium and other nasties. I’m not sure where you live, but there is also a natural deodorant called a body crystal. It’s a clear stick deodorant that you dampen slightly and rub under the pits. It’s all natural, a little expensive, but can last forever.
    Good luck (don’t forget to delete this post from your archives once your kids hit teenagehood and are likely to hold it against you!)

  • My daughter is rather ripe these days herself. She is 12 and after she has had a volleyball workout is not allowed to remain downstairs until she has had a shower.

    Before we moved to this hot climate, I would never have thought of using body powder, but you know, it does a good job of helping control sweat and smell. To some degree. There just is no help for it when you are running around and sweating profusely! 🙂

    But you may want to try getting your girls some powder, baby powder style, but with a better scent. We put it on everyday after our shower and noticed a big difference, not only in odor but comfort too as we are always hot and sweaty. 🙂

  • Lush do solid deodorants without all the nasty chemicals, I can;t think of the web address right now, but if you do a search you should be able to find them.

  • You might also want to pay attention to what they are eating. Sometimes eating foods to which you have an allergy or sensitivity can lead to stronger body odors.

  • Here in South Africa we have normal deodorant too – don’t you have it there?

    What I wanted to suggest was the deodorant of a perfume – like Lace, or WHite Linen. They bring out a perfume, perfumed body lotion, perfumed talc and deodorant. Get them the WHOLE range.

    They’re not too mature-smelling so girls would love them 🙂

  • How about baby powder? After shower body spray? Or, you could try one of those crystal deodorant sticks.

  • Strange smells can mean a metabolic disorder. Though it sounds as if they are healthy, I think you should mention it to their doctor. Under age 6 is far away from puberty.
    Good luck.

  • Dee Dee,

    I did a google search and turned up the following:

    http://www.caresfoundation.org/symptoms.html

    So there IS a genetic medical condition that may be causing this in your girls. The article also says doctors often dismiss parents’ concern.

  • The health food store and some nice grocery stores(like Publix) have natural deoderants that are salt crystals. You wet and apply. I believe this is the age at schools where they tell the kids to start wearing deoderant.

  • Baking soda or baby powder under the pits seem to help.

  • Jason All Natural Fragrance Free Deoderant is nice. You might also try adjusting their diet. I’ve had to switch to a diet free of refined flours, low in sugar and void of processed food. I used to get rather ripe myself and now find that I can easily skip deoderant for a day with no ill effects. I had heard about this phenomenon before and thought it might just be hype, but it’s really true.

  • I suggest that you definetly go for those body crystals. They are made of potassium alum, all natural and absolutely healthy. They kill bacteria while allowing regular perspiration.
    And secondly, don’t wash your girls too often, it may damage the natural self-defences of their skin. Twice a week is well enough for children of their age, three times maximum: if you manage to find those crystals and use them, you’ll se it they won’t need bathing each day anymore.

  • you can try baking soda under the arms, or a mixture of baking soda and corn starch. it works for me and made my armpits feel so healthy.
    try to find comfort in knowing the smell will only last a little while, once their hormones balance out the smell should go away! 🙂

  • My 9 year old daughter started wearing “deodorant” this summer. Not because I smelled her but because the sweating bothered her. I think kids are just maturing at a faster rate – despite our best efforts to prevent that from happening. I bought her Adidas deodorant that has a cotton powder in it and none of the bad for you aluminum. You can get it at WalMart or most any drugstore. Another idea is to put some baking soda on a powder puff or cotton ball and dust their “pits” with that.

  • I’d just invest in a bag of clothes pins for your nose! ;o) Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

    My kids started early as well and I did buy them deodorant. I didn’t have trouble finding it anywhere and it did the trick.

  • Well, I didn’t know that about the “deoderant”. That is our solution to the stinky 10 year old in our house.

  • My girls have the same issue–it is actually normal at that age because their hormones are starting to shift. Our solution was to begin to teach them self-grooming habits–I gave them Jason’s honeysuckle rose deodorant–from the health food store. If it is really bad get a deoderant rock at the same place–they last forever and all you need is a bit of water to make it work–it seems to me that Tom’s of Maine just put out a liquid version that also has mild scents.

  • Get a tea tree oil body wash, they have them at the health food store and at The Body Shop:
    http://www.thebodyshop.com/bodyshop/browse/product_detail.jsp?productId=prod170248&cm_mmc=CSE_GOOG-_-skin%20care-_-null-_-tea_tree_oil_facial_wash&mr:trackingCode=A7FB74A8-E270-DC11-BE2A-001422107090&mr:referralID=NA
    I use the stuff and can safely say it really helps control odor. For feet odor, use the anti bacterial wipes they sell and wipe down your feet every night before bed. And don’t wear socks to bed if you can help it HTH!

  • Degree has a deodorant-only product. It’s what I use.

  • I was going to suggest the crystal deodorant, too. Or the alluminum free deo’s from health food stores. They do work.
    How about putting dryer sheets in the armpits of their shirts? hehe

  • Not ten minutes before I read this, I said to my almost 8 year old, “Did you put on deodorant this morning? You HAVE TO put it on EVERY SINGLE DAY.” It hit our house MUCH earlier than I anticipated. One at 10, one at 8, one at 7. We’re also now having fun with greasy hair. Oh the joys.

  • Tom’s Organic Deodorant. Walmart has it.

    http://www.tomsofmaine.com/toms/product.asp?dept_id=500&pf_id=BW-ND

    My second daughter started wearing deodorant at age 10

  • I second the nomination for Tom’s Organic Deodorant from Walmart! It’s great, relatively inexpensive and we’ve used it for years. Without the antiperspirant involved, you will have to deal with actual sweat which crops up as a bit of a problem when they actually do become teenagers. (hypothetically speaking… of course, this has never been a problem for my teenage girls. NO never! 😉

    But, Tom’s works great and I did begin to notice ‘the smell’ earlier than puberty in my boys and girls. It just happens!

  • Hi There,

    I completely agree with what Amy & Tara mentioned. What their eating can definitely make an impact. I noticed a huge difference in my odor de armpit when I cut back on white flour, and non-complex carbs. Those foods produce a lot of acids in your body, which creates… the yucks. (My scientific term.) Try Tom’s of Maine Natural deodorant stick. You can find it at any health food store and they last forever! They also have deodorants in various scents. Good luck! My hooligans are 3 & 3yrs 10 months, so it’s good to know I have something to look forward to! 🙂

  • Thank you all for your suggestions! I’ll be looking for “Tom’s” at WalMart.

    Also, Fiddledaddy wanted me to be sure and mention that his princess daughters are only odoriferous if you get really really close. It’s not like they can clear a room or anything…. 🙂

  • My boys are 9 and 10 and they smell, too. 🙂

    We all use Tom’s of Maine, but I have found that my grocery store actually sells it for less than Wal-mart, so shop around.

  • Here’s a thought: when they’re getting out of the tub/shower and drying off, maybe you could encourage them to specifically dry under their arms with their towel. I have kids. Two of ’em, and yes, they stunk earlier than I would have expected. In the interest of staving off the chemical warfare on their bodies, it helped to have them make sure to actually DRY their bodies instead of pulling on their jammies while still damp! If they’re washing with soap and water under their pits, great. Just make sure they’re drying off, too, so that all the good that they just did in the tub isn’t undone by staying moist in an arms-down environment once they’re outta the tub!! Ahhhh, isn’t this fun? 🙂

  • I read an article about a kid who had really smelly feet. Ends up he had a problem with fungus, even though there was nothing noticeable except the death-smell. The mom soaked his feet in organic apple cider vinegar for 20 minutes and rinsed well. It killed the fungus and his feet stopped stinking.
    I’m wondering if your girls have fungus in their pits? Do they dry off really well? You might try wiping them with vinegar each morning for a week (yeah, they’ll smell like salad for about 20 min., but they’ll survive). If it is a fungus-among-us, it’ll go away.

  • Dee Dee,

    It’s a hormonal thing. Boys get pretty bad too. In fact they get worse! She’ll start smelling better when she turns about, umm 12. At least my daughter did. American Girl has some great books on hygiene for girls her age and up. I highly recommend them. Plus you will get a chance to go to a book store.

    Also, here’s what I did with my baby doll when she was that age. I put together a hygiene basket, which included some organic DO, shampoo, hair brush, nail clippers, organic body wash, body spray and lotion, face cleaner and stuff like that. All of which can be gotten at any drug store. She thought it was cool and she used the stuff. I told her to take the basket in the bathroom each morning and each evening to do a routine, which I showed her how to do.

    Have fun!

  • Oh, yeah…I think Tussy is a DO, they still sell it at Walgreens and WalMart

  • They’re probably too young, but when I was in high school I had horrible underarm problems and still occasionally use CertainDri…it’s pretty strong. I know Old Spice makes a sport deodorant stick, but that’s for men. but still…

  • So glad you clarified that they don’t clear rooms wherever they go. I guess I can put the invitation back in the mail. 😉

  • i didnt realize there was anything dangerous in anti persperants….hmmm something new to think about. C only uses deo one from old spice I think and the kids both think they have to have it at least twice a day….now if only they will continue to choose to be such clean boys as they get older(yanno cause at 3 and 4 they can be soooo stinky already…LOLOL)
    BTW…I have a new one for ya Dee, the youngest “borrowed” his daddys razor unbeknownst to us over the weekend and apparently tried to shave his backside. He never fussed etc and he dresses himself most of the time so it was a couple of days before we noticed the issue….heaven help me. BOYS….ugh
    Steff

  • Came back to read the comments. My favorite was yours; that Fiddledaddy rose up and wanted us to know they aren’t THAT smelly. 🙂 What a good daddy.

  • I have an eight year old boy and a six year old girl.

    The eight year old started to stink when he was 7. The 6 year old started stinking just a few weeks ago.

    My kids are constantly playing outside and getting really sweaty.

    Our solution was to let them pick out their own deodorant. We took them on a special date and let them pick out which ever one they wanted.

    I thought it was normal to start to stink at age 7.

  • Wow…timing. I was just reading about antiperspirant and aluminum and Chinese toys and lead paint (ugh!) and have been trying to clean up our lives this week!

    And then ABC news this morning said that antiperspirants are not a concern for breast cancer–but I don’t buy it.

    I bought Tom’s and body crystals last night, instead. Don’t know how either will work yet, but I’m feeling like I’ve done better as I’ve been shown better.

  • RE: Antiperspirants…I don’t believe they’re safe either. Our bodies were designed to get rid of toxins through sweating. I use Thai Crystal Deodorant Mist. I think an 8 oz bottle lasts me about a year. It is made of mineral salts and water. I found that the hard rock crystals that you wet each time, eventually started to stink like BO.