0 - 12 Weeks

Scent and your newborn

One of the primary ways your newborn learns about the world in the first few weeks is through their sense of smell. In fact, they can recognize you by scent long before they know you by sight. 

Certain scents can comfort your newborn and promote the development of other senses like taste and vision. Over time, your baby will form strong cognitive associations between your scent and the love and attention you give ❤️ 

How scents can soothe your baby

Research suggests that your baby’s sense of smell plays a significant role in their earliest attempts to regulate their emotions. Here are ideas to support these early self-soothing efforts:

Spend skin-to-skin time with your newborn. This close contact allows them to build positive associations with your scent. Skin-to-skin time has numerous benefits, including relaxation, the release of oxytocin (a feel-good hormone), and temperature, breathing, and heartbeat regulation. 

If you need to leave your newborn with another caregiver, you can give them an item of clothing you’ve worn to place near your baby. Having access to your scent can help comfort your newborn.

Your baby may also start to discern the smell of other familiar places, objects, and people. Let them spend time where they may be most comfortable, such as in their car seat, stroller, or play mat

Are there any scents to avoid?

Your baby’s sense of smell is very sensitive, so they can get overwhelmed by strong aromas— particularly anything artificially flavored or scented. They may have a negative reaction to:

  • Perfumes and other fragrant oils found in candles or scent diffusers 
  • Clothes washed with fragrant detergents
  • Highly scented deodorants and body sprays


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Posted in: 0 - 12 Weeks, Bonding, Social Emotional, Memory Development, Cognitive Development, Sensory Development, Lovevery App, Child Development

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