#1 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, October 2nd, 2013 16:59
#2 By: gilbert wham, October 2nd, 2013 17:10
What I have taken from this article is that babies may contain cocaine. I need to borrow an infant to run a salt-base-salt reaction on, stat...
#3 By: Dioptase, October 2nd, 2013 17:35
Make sure you are sniffing a new baby. Old babies smell distinctly mildewy.
#4 By: gilbert wham, October 2nd, 2013 18:19
However, do they contain more, or less tropane alkaloids?
#5 By: Cynthia Bonville, October 2nd, 2013 18:40
To me, new babies smell strongly of their essential odor - their MHC (major histo-compatibility complex), and they will smell of that again when they go into puberty. Really. Take a big whiff of their head, their scalp is over-producing grease because they were exposed to high levels of hormones in pregnancy, which is why some will have a linea nigra at birth, witches milk or even shed their uterine lining, so they smell of their bodies reaction to hormones. With each of my children they smelled more or less like my husband or I, whatever attracts to me olfactory-wise they have some of and I can smell some of myself too. My niece however smelled like my sister and did not have that new baby smell to me, just someone else's baby, I still love her though even if she smells wrong.
So what you are really smelling is something of yourself, like if you have a favorite hat that smells good to you.
#6 By: Dean Putney, October 2nd, 2013 19:16
After significant prompting, I smelled a new baby recently. It smelled kind of sickening, I really didn't like it much. This sort of syrupy, thick, cantaloupe-y smell. I don't get what all the fuss is about.
#7 By: gilbert wham, October 2nd, 2013 19:17
Are you sure it was a new baby, not an old, defunct baby? Or maybe a cantaloupe? They are similar in size and heft.
#8 By: pjcamp, October 2nd, 2013 21:06
#9 By: El Mariachi, October 2nd, 2013 22:57
How new was the baby? Being covered in blood and and mucus does give them a not-so-fresh bouquet.
#10 By: Humbabella, October 3rd, 2013 09:09
I understand that many, possibly most, men cannot smell new baby smell. I am told I am missing out.
#11 By: Celeste Agnes, October 3rd, 2013 12:16
I never, ever could smell 'baby smell' on other people's babies. I only discovered it when I had my daughter and it is very intense, as if her whole head is one of those air fresheners that spray every few minutes. It's lovely; a hard-to-define mix of the scent right before it rains, vanilla and something a bit like ripe strawberries. It's not just true for new babies though. She's 3 and I still smell it, though it waxes and wanes more now.
#12 By: Alice Weir, October 3rd, 2013 16:11
Ah, and it will get weirder yet, mags. Some day, you will be a grandmother - or even just the parent of a long-since adult child, and will still wake straight up from the deepest sleep when some stranger's baby cries.
You can see a picture of one of your own descendants you have never yet met - and you will know exactly what that child smells like. EXACTLY.
They can say what they will about your children sleeping with you, but you will never roll over on them and crush them - again, even in the deepest sleep. You likewise can be trusted never to roll over on anyone else's child and crush them - even though reason may state they should be rolled on immediately to save the world from one more second of their intolerable whining.
I note that those rare women who commit infanticide are never, ever given the death penalty as a male might be. We understand instinctively that they are somehow jacked up on a level they could not possibly choose and we could not hope to fix. Instead, they are simultaneously reviled and pitied.
So - more primal human stuff some psych can do weird experiments with sometime.
But I'm with Gilbert - I just wanna huff some bay-bay!
#13 By: Rainbow Warrior, October 3rd, 2013 16:55
It is also a fact that women's pupils dilate upon seeing a child.
#14 By: Humbabella, October 4th, 2013 09:29
All good except that people do (very rarely) roll over and smother their children. Nothing it is 100%.
#15 By: Alice Weir, October 4th, 2013 14:37
So rarely, it's not even statistically significant. Like cats smothering babies. It probably happened somewhere, some time - but our moms were scared way beyond what probability justified.
Actually, I'd like to see a good case study or two on baby rollovers - I...suspect something else was wrong there. Maybe, like when women were imprisoned over SIDS. Or, mentally ill women who couldn't bond normally with the babystank. You know - old school witch hunt material. Just a suspicion...
#16 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, October 7th, 2013 16:59
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