She lifts her baby and smells him before kissing him on his tiny cheek. She smiles, in love with this tiny human.
He holds his daughter, rocking her gently to sleep. As he puts her down in her crib, he leans over to kiss her goodnight and breathes in her sweet smell.
They excitedly cuddle their new grandbabies, planting kisses in their curls. They agree there is nothing quite like “new baby smell.”
From parents, to grandparents, to friends and strangers, to personal care products, society seems to agree that babies smell good.
But why exactly do babies smell good?
A recent study indicates that a baby’s scent releases chemicals in the brain that lead to positive feelings. These feelings, in turn, cause the individual to feel drawn towards the baby.
Nature has programmed babies so they release a scent that draws their mothers in and makes them feel more protective and caring towards their baby. That same scent helps the mother bond easier with her child. The same is true for other family members as well. In fact, a baby’s scent is so strong, that just by sniffing a baby’s scent, people who are not even related to the child will experience a boost in positive emotions.
In short, babies smell good so we will take care of them while they are still too young to care for themselves. Their scent creates in us a desire to love, protect, and care for these tiny creatures who are incessantly demanding. Their smell is what allows us to feel good about caring for them even while we’re exhausted, hungry, and irritable ourselves. That scent is what causes us to put our offspring’s needs ahead of our own.
Babies smell good for survival.
So hold your sweet baby close and sniff away.