Scientist found that the newborn smell is actually addictive!
Even hearing the word phrase, "the newborn smell" we can actually smell it! Everybody who has ever been around a newborn knows the smell very well. They have a very distinct fresh smell that everybody loves to be around and loves to get a "whiff of." Most people love to hold newborns because they are cuddly, sleepy and then they have an amazing smell that radiates from their little heads. It's like the smell is addicting, right? Why is that? Why do people love the smell so much?
Many studies have shown that 90% of mothers can identify their babies by just smell alone and babies have shown that they can recognize their moms by just smelling them. Recent research has shown that the smell of newborns actually causes a release of dopamine in parent's brains. Parents were asked to smell pajamas of newborn babies and scientist found that the parents had a release of dopamine and their brains lit up. The biggest dopamine response was from mothers.
The response in the mother's brain was very similar to the reaction that is experienced when you get to eat the food you have been craving, or doing a drug you have been longing for. The same way a surge of dopamine caused by using drugs encourages people to engage in drug-seeking behavior, the surge of dopamine caused by sniffing our babies encourages us to stay close to them. "These results show that the odor of newborns undoubtedly plays a role in the development of motivational and emotional responses between mother and child by eliciting maternal care functions such as breastfeeding and protection," said Johannes Frasnelli, a postdoctoral researcher at University of Montreal's Department of Psychology, where this study took place.
Scientists believe that there is such a huge response in the mother's brains because it encourages the bond between mother and baby. The scent makes women crave to be closer to their babies and to bond with their child. Evolutionists believe the scent is an intrinsic part in the mother-child bond because it makes mothers want to take care of their new baby due to the addiction to the smell. They believe that the smell keeps babies alive. Psychologists believe that the scent is there to help mothers relax and feel calm around their babies.
So next time you see a newborn and you feel a need to smell their baby it is completely normal. It is actually very normal to want to smell a newborn because of the amazing release of dopamines that women experience when they smell the scent. Research has shown that the dopamine release occurs even when the newborn baby is not theirs. There you go you guys, newborns are addictive!