I’ve always heard about the enchanting smell of babies, but I can’t honestly say that before having a child I knew what anyone was talking about.  But, I have to admit, I’ve never spent this much time with an infant before.

People have told me that they smell great. That the fragrance is “delicious” and that they just can’t get enough of it.

One of the doctors in the hospital told us that babies actually emit bonding hormones from their heads.  This strikes me as an implausible hypothesis. But I’m not a doctor, so… ehn?

It does make sense to me that babies would trigger the release of hormones, though.  Hormones that make you feel love and attachment even euphoria.  I don’t know what the mechanism for that might be; it’s just hard for me to imagine that it’s atop their heads.  That’s just not a good place to keep things IMHO. On the other hand, she does have a bunch of hair up there and maybe whatever chemical trigger is there is coming out through there.

Anyway, we’ve had a baby and I still have no idea what people are talking about with this baby smell.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE cuddling with G.  She’s so soft and fun. She’s wiggly without being fidgety. And being close to her makes me feel happy and relaxed. I know she’s not yet a social creature, but I emotionally feel like we’re connecting when we interact… even though most of those interactions seem like they involve her farting on me. I love having her right with me or, better, snuggled up against my chest.  (Husby bought this wrap thingie that I am VERY excited about.) So, my subjective experience supports this hypnotic hormone hypothesis.

But this baby does not have a fragrance that makes me want to eat her or seek out her fragrance.

I don’t claim to have a particularly sensitive nose, but she smells fine to me.  I can’t really describe the bits of her scent that I think are her, the parts that aren’t milk, formula, fabric softener, poop, saliva, urine, etc.  It’s sort of lightly earthy, I guess.  But I can’t describe it beyond that, but it’s fine.  It’s a fine smell.  It’s not offensive.  It’s enjoyable.  But we’re not talking about the fragrance equivalent of black tar heroin here.  It’s fine.

But maybe I’m just not able to distinguish the scent.  Maybe the hormonal impact of her scent has short-circuited my ability to separate the scent from my responses to it.

I’m not sure about that, but I’m not able to identify this mysterious and alluring “new baby” smell that people rave about. This takes absolutely nothing from my experience, but it does remain a mystery to me.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Wayne Evans from Pexels