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Author Topic: Why do newborn babies have a 'special' smell?  (Read 24488 times)

gigi

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Why do newborn babies have a 'special' smell?
« on: 25/01/2009 19:35:44 »
And why does it disappear as the baby gets older?

chris

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Why do newborn babies have a 'special' smell?
« Reply #1 on: 25/01/2009 22:47:46 »
My wife swore blind that our children had a special smell when they were little, but I honestly can't say I noticed anything (apart from the vague smell of puke that usually hovers around young babies!)

I wonder whether this is actually something to do with maternal bonding. Studies have shown that vagino-cervical stimulation, such as in childbirth, triggers the release of oxytocin in the brain; in animal studies this has been shown to trigger bonding behaviours. For instance a ewe can be pursuaded to foster an unrelated lamb by giving the mother a squirt of oxytocin up the nose and then presenting the lamb. Since the mother's chemical interrogation of the lamb consists of smelling it I wonder whether the smell of a human newborn therefore attains more significance for the mother than the father for the same reason.

I'd be interested in other peoples' perspectives and experiences.

Chris

Chemistry4me

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Why do newborn babies have a 'special' smell?
« Reply #2 on: 25/01/2009 22:52:53 »
I think it is the (breast)milk, if it is the same smell as gigi is talking about.

Chemistry4me

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Why do newborn babies have a 'special' smell?
« Reply #3 on: 25/01/2009 22:55:34 »
Does breast milk smell?

lyner

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Why do newborn babies have a 'special' smell?
« Reply #4 on: 29/01/2009 18:48:50 »
Before they start eating normal (mashed up) food, their poo smells pretty innocuous and changing them is no big deal. That's just to get you used to the idea of scraping their back ends. Then, suddenly,  you give them real food and it's worse than your own but you still have to deal with it. Roll on potty training.

Make it Lady

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Why do newborn babies have a 'special' smell?
« Reply #5 on: 29/01/2009 21:23:58 »
What you eat has a big effect on how you smell. Different cultures with different diets have different smells. British people are suppose to smell of cheese.
I guess babies must smell of breast milk. Alternatively, lots of mothers in Britain recognise the smell of Johnson baby products as being the "Baby smell." I guess once they are bigger we don't use these products on them any more. Also the primitive brain must use smell to recognise your young. Perhaps they give off an innocence smell when they are small. Once they are able to run away from predators they don't need to give off that smell.

Karen W.

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Why do newborn babies have a 'special' smell?
« Reply #6 on: 01/02/2009 22:30:00 »
And why does it disappear as the baby gets older?

This is The smell of a newborn.. It does linger and I have actually smelled it after wiping from my child at birth... It is good for their skin and often takes a couple months for the smell to dissipate.. but it is a nice new smell of a New born.... It has the consistency of lanolin.....very protective coating...

My children were covered at birth as babies are... I also believe that it is also combined with birth canal odors as well as amniotic fluid etc.. My older boy had had his first stools inside (meconium)and  he had a not so nice smell until he was wiped down then he smelled better and had that nice smell.
He had meconium in his lungs and struggled for the first few months with his breathing... but once wiped down was nice smelling the nurses rubbed him down with the Vernix caseosa..He smelled great then.. It has a distinct soft new baby smell that washes off after the first several baths..... Not the fist.. but after several weeks..it disappeared.

Vernix caseosa:

This white creamy substance, which protected your baby`s skin before birth, seems to be present in skin creases even after bathing. The vernix need not be removed forcefully. Gently rub it into the creases and folds of your baby`s body.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2009 22:58:23 by Karen W. »

elmahnos8

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Why do newborn babies have a 'special' smell?
« Reply #7 on: 08/10/2010 03:32:10 »
Newborn babies smell is amazing! I'm not sure what it is. Probably a mixture of the smell from being inside, the oils in his/her skin to protect it and hormones.

 

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