Smelly Toddler Underarms

Updated on July 27, 2008
R.C. asks from Dallas, TX
4 answers

About two days a week my baby's underarms are musty. I believe it all started when my older girls allowed her to put deodorant on-of course, without me knowing. Now I don't know what to do. I put powder under there, but the fact that her underarms are smelly bothers me!! Does anyone know if this can be treated/eliminated? or what can I do to maintain a keep away the odor?

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answers from Dallas on

Both of my kids started using deodorant at about 4 years old. However, it is important that it does not have anti-perspirant. Anti-perspirant contains aluminum, which may be linked to Alzheimer’s later in life. Being overweight, even by a little bit, can also trigger those hormonal cues. The pediatrician said that some kids are just more hormonally strong than others!



answers from Dallas on

Hi R. C,
My name is M. D and I can remember my mother telling me that my sister used to smell under her arms when she was real young. I ask her when did it stop or what did she do about it and she told me that it stopped after she started her on vitamins. So maybe if your daughter does not take vitamins you could try this and see if that will work. Hopefully this will take care of that. I do not know how long it took before it stopped.



answers from Dallas on

Your daughter probably doesn't have anything wrong, but my suggestion would be to check it out anyway. My son started having b.o. when he was 5. Because this seemed abnormal to me, I asked his pediatrician (who blew it off) and my former father-in-law who's a doctor (who merely suggested using deodorant soap....but I was addressing a medical concern and didn't need hygiene advice).

Later, when he was a teenager, it was clear that he had not been growing properly. FINALLY, I got another doctor to take it seriously and refer us to a pediatric endocrinologist. She diagnosed a hormonal disorder. At age 15, his growth plates were 99% closed, and it was too late for growth hormone to work. He was 5'2" at that point. The good news is that he's continued to grow, despite the dire prognosis, and is now 5'5" at age 19. This is still several inches shorter than what his genetics would predict him to be.

My point is, that you should consider pressing the point with more than one doctor until one will take it seriously and do some testing. At best, a disorder can be found early enough to prevent permanent problems. At worst, time and money may be wasted, but your mind will be set at ease with medical tests that reveal no problems.


answers from Dallas on


My oldest daugther (now 16) had this issue. She started getting musty like a man around 5. And now my 5 year old has started to do the ssame thing. I found a deodrant by Degree for Girls. We've started using that and it has totally helped.

My 16 year old started her cycle at 9 so I think it is from their hormones developing earlier than we did.

And I sooooooooooooooooooo feel you on not liking teenagers! ;-)

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