Study confirms that each newborn baby’s smell is unique AND pretty magical

Posted in Newborn.

A team of scientists have confirmed the chemical make-up of new baby smell, so expect it to pop up in some scented candles near you.

New baby smell 

Just kidding about the last bit, but the first bit is true and not only that, the researchers discovered some other cool stuff about the delicious fragrance of newborns thanks to this all new study.

The team was made up of professors and researchers from Hamamatsu University of Medicine, Iwate University, Tsukuba University and Kobe University.

The Japanese scientists studied the chemical make-up of babies’ head smells, as well as the impact of these odours on those around them.

They were especially keen to find out how the lovely smell of newborns helped their parents and caregivers to bond with them.

“Research into these odors can hopefully be utilized in the prevention of issues such as infant neglect and attachment disorders,” Science Daily reports.

(It sounds like this research could even be useful to note when treating parents who are suffering postnatal depression.)

I put a spell on you

For their study, this team sampled the smells from the heads of 5 babies and found 37 different odour components. They also found that different babies had distinguishably different smells, especially when they were firstborn.

In other words, newborn babies arrive with their own distinctive smell and it’s suggested that this helps to identify them and weave some bonding magic on their parents.

The scientists tested whether (unrelated) people could sniff out a particular baby’s smell from a number of other smells, and it turns out that in 70 percent of cases they could. 

It’s probable that related types – aka mums and dads – would have a much higher success rate in the sniffing stakes.

“These results suggest that a baby can strongly express its individuality through the odor soon after birth compared to a few days later,” Science Daily says, noting that the team’s findings “are potentially important contributions to the understanding of the mother-infant bond formation and early non-verbal communication.”

Babies are so clever, right?

Not only do they arrive beautiful, noisy and helpless, but they front up with the exact right perfume, bombarding pretty much every parental sense in the name of forging a deep connection from the get-go.


Get more babyology straight to your inbox