Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Said every mother ever ! It's strange but we do , I don't know what it is about the crowns of their heads, but they smell like home. Maybe it's where we as Mums see and get to nuzzle the most often as they lie snuggled in our arms, feeding, sleeping of just being carried around. But you ask a Mum what they love the most about their baby and the smell from the top of their heads comes in tops.
It is also what Mums miss the most because like my wee one, they lose it over time. It is a mixture of not wanting to be held as much and her getting in everything so her smell is changing, it used to be milky and warm , now its perfume de rubbish bin with a hint of cat. But why do we love that smell. It is one , the smell you can't explain , each baby has it , it is unique to them and yet familiar to you but also other Mums. I remember holding other babies who are younger than mine and smelling their heads. The smell was there, different yet the same. Yes, Mums are weird we smell babies at both ends and it's allowed. Only a parent can sniff a child's bum, especially in public and it be socially acceptable and a Mum can bury their noses deep in to a baby scalp and drift away. And two, it is our happy place, a flicker in our heads back to a time of bonding, and learning, excitement and fear all mixed in to one little person. It is the memory of the first time you were handed your baby and you kissed their head and inhaled love. It is the smell of true love. Who wouldn't want to drown in it.
My wee one smells of a combination of hot milk and biscuits/cookies. And the smell of fresh sweet water. I guess for me it is a smell of something familiar and calming. I associate it with good smells from my life. Shampoos and lotions and potion I smear all over her add to her own unique smell. Its like us ladies when we put on perfume it takes on properties of our own body to make a truly individual smell. And us Mums and maybe Dads ( will have to ask , although he may not have registered it and look at me weirdly ) can pick our baby out of a crowd with a blind fold on if were allowed the sniff test. Just on a side note we can do it with their nappies too. As a nanny I always knew when another child had been changed and the contents in the nappy had been put in my bin. I knew it wasn't my baby's smell. I can do the same with my own , when others are changed at our house, everyone poop smells different.
Im thinking it harks back to cave man days when you had to know your baby from another. Just as the baby feeding from you, learnt by all their senses its you , they feel you , touch you , smell you , hear you , see you and if bf, taste you. They learn to know your skin, your voice, your heartbeat so do Mums learn by scent, their baby. They say too that Dads know their baby because genetically they look like them for the first year !
I do wish as my wee one loses her smell of a baby and moves on to smelling well like her, that we Mums could bottle it and keep it in the memory box for when we look back. The hospital bracelet , the umbilical cord, first foot print and yes scratch and sniff my baby's first year smell. So next time you see a Mum who has an older one holding a wee one and burying her face in it is head, don't look so weirdly at her as she gets lost in memory and peace. She is going to her happy place. Sniff away !!