Why do newly born babies smell so good?
Most people that have had a baby or held a new born baby will tell you that they smell amazing. This ‘new baby’ scent lasts about 6-12 weeks, but most parents can still smell it from their child for a long time after this.
So what is the smell and why is it SO GOOD?
An innocent new baby, cannot do much to protect themselves, so good old Mother Nature made an amazing concoction of amniotic fluid, vernix caseosa (the white wax some babies are born with, that keeps them warm in the womb) and pregnancy hormones, which have been in and around the baby for months in the womb. These key ingredients are stored in the baby’s sweat glands for the first few months after birth. This scent stimulates dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin in adults, which creates a natural nurturing and caring bond towards the baby.
The new baby smell promotes many things. It helps:
- Bonding between baby and parents.
- Stimulate breast milk.
- Reduce stress and anxiety.
- Decrease postpartum depression.
- The uterus contract back to normal.
- Release happy hormones – endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin.
- Promote a feeling of calm.
Some tips, to make that smell last longer and make the best use of it:
- New babies should not have their head or hair washed, a small wipe if needed but no shampoos or soap, for a few week.
- If you’re inside and it’s not drafty, no hat. Especially if you’re nursing or feeding the baby.
- No oils or creams on the baby’s head or face for the first month. Let’s their skin breathe.
- If the baby is distressed or you feel overwhelmed or stressed, try skin to skin (chest skin to chest skin), baby’s head towards yours, cover the baby and take deep breaths close to the baby’s head.
I still close my eyes sometimes and remember the delicious new baby smell from my children.
So if someone wants to sniff your baby (with your consent, of course!) this is why!