Well … a lot of people like to stick their faces on babies, don’t they? Wait, why does the newborn have a unique smell? Some people say it is milk fragrance? Is this really the case? We intend to find out.
Mothers know: No matter how bad the night was, no matter how doofy you feel because of swollen breasts, aching nipples or birth wounds – as soon as you smell the baby’s head, everything is forgotten.
This fragrance is so good, almost beguiling. And it not only captivates the mother of the baby, but also other adults are struggling to take a nose baby scent.
Well, next time someone puts their nose on your baby, don’t be afraid, your baby is really charming!
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Why does the baby smell?
As is often the case in nature, the smell of babies is no coincidence.
Research shows that it strengthens the connection between mother and child and awakens the instinct of protection.
In a study published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology, researchers let women sniff at babies’ pyjamas (they chose clothes to exclude the visual appeal that such a sweet button naturally still has).
One half of the women had just become mothers themselves, the other half had no children.
The result: In all women, the happiness hormone dopamine was released in the reward center of the brain. So the baby scent has a similar effect to cocaine or delicious food!
The scientists therefore assume that the baby’s own smell is a trigger for binding mechanisms.
A similar effect as in the so-called “child ishthing”: This refers to the child’s proportions (big head, big eyes, etc.) which have been proven to be a key stimulus for humans and animals and trigger brood care behavior.
How does the fragrance come about?
This is still a mystery. The fact is that odour consists of chemical substances. “But it’s very difficult to determine what they are,” says Dr Johan Lundström, one of the authors of the New York Times study. “The body odor consists of 120 to 130 different chemical compounds, and they’re different in every person.”
It is suspected that the amniotic fluid from the mother’s stomach and also the so-called “cheese smear” could play a role in the scent. Cheese smear is a protective layer that covers the newborn when it is born. It is washed off, but leftovers can remain on the skin and thus be responsible for the very special smell.
Whatever the baby’s scent is – it is one of the most beautiful things in the world! What a pity that it flies away so quickly. Already at the age of two months it fades.