Your baby's sense of smell is highly sensitive from day one. Here are 10 ways babies use smell to help them understand their world.
Wafting into the womb
Babies can smell even before birth. Through the amniotic fluid, your baby is able to smell and taste the flavors of everything you eat and drink.
The smell of bonding
Cuddling with your baby and smelling each other's scent boosts the level of the "love hormone" oxytocin in you both. This chemical reaction helps the two of you bond.
Your natural scent
Don't use highly perfumed or fragranced skin products in the early days of your baby's life. This will help your newborn get to know your scent and bond with you.
Familiar smells, especially those of Mom or Dad, can be very comforting and soothing for newborns.
Aromatherapy for infants
A study found that premature babies respond well to aromatherapy. Lavender and sweet almond oil helped to reduce stress in newborns.
Baby comfort smells
A much-loved comfort blanket or toy develops a scent that babies find reassuring. That's why your little one may seem unhappy if you wash it, however desperately it's needed!
Memory & scent
The human brain creates powerful associations between smells and life experiences. Why? Because the sense of smell is processed by a part of the brain that also controls memory. As a result, years later, a particular smell can trigger a memory and remind your child of a time or feeling from the past.
At around 3 months, babies become more aware of the people around them. Unfamiliar scents alert your baby to the fact that someone is a stranger. She may cry or kick her legs if she feels scared or threatened by anyone.
Sniff test for solids
When your baby starts eating solid food, he’ll use his senses of smell and taste to decide what he does and doesn't like.