Call me crazy but I love to smell my baby. Literally, stick my nose to her head and inhale deeply. Then kiss profusely.
I am not joking, I do this 20-30 times a day. Every time I pick her up or snuggle her. I don’t know what it ‘smells like’, it just smells like her. She is 4 months old and I still do this all the time. Apparently, I am not alone in this ritual of baby sniffing.
According to this article from Smithsonian.com, sniffing a baby triggers receptors in the brain that stimulates the same neural pathways and reward centers as intoxicating behaviors including sex and drug use. Apparently I am catching a love buzz from my baby. But researchers are still stumped by this dopamine surge. It occurrs in non-mothers when they sniffed the ‘new baby smell’ too. The difference was that the dopamine reaction was stronger in mothers than non-mothers.
One theory is that the smell creates a stronger bond for mothers and their newborns. We know all kinds of strange things happen as new mothers. Breastfeeding (once we get the hang of it) feels wonderful in a very natural and non-sexual way. Our hearts expand so big over the love for these little miracles that it should probably burst.
And in full disclosure, I also really love the smell of breastfed baby poop. I know….WTF? Your thinking I have lost my mind or am some sicko, but it smells like yogurt or buttermilk, and I love it. I don’t start asking my husband to change diapers until the baby starts solid food. I know, that’s pretty evil 😉 (Any mom reading this knows exactly what am talking about with the solid food – Haha!).