Why babies smell ‘good enough to eat’


‘Mmm! My baby smells good enough to eat!’ is NOT a confession of potential cannibalism, but rather a physical response to the scent of their babies many parents experience. According to the results of a study, this may all be linked to a receptor in the brain, suggests Frontiers In Psychology.


The results of the study which was only conducted on moms rather than moms and dads showed that cerebral activity in mothers of newborn babies compared with women who had not given birth differed when presented with the scent of a baby. Further examination showed that the part of the brain triggered by the baby scent for the moms was the same part as the one stimulated by food: a reward related area. So the scent of a baby, in effect, offers the same reward to the brain as eating something delicious.

The results of the study seem to be generating responses varying from agreement to disbelief, especially since no dads were included in the study.

Other smelly studies reveal odd baby odour links

The Christian Science Monitor concurs, insisting that other studies have linked scent receptors in new moms to all sorts of interesting baby-related curiosities. In one study, the CSM claims that 90% of new moms could identify their own babies by scent after only one hour of exposure to the infant.

Not only that, but the CSM reports that moms also find the smell of their own baby’s poo less offensive than the smell of other babies’ poo.

Parent24 would like to echo the somewhat tongue-in-cheek disclaimer of the CSM author who notes:

Cannibalism Disclaimer

“There is never any excuse to harm a child. The impulse that I described in this article does not take the form of an urge to literally bite, chew, and digest a small infant.
Rather, in my experience at least, it arises in utterances such as, "Your baby is so cute I could just eat him all up!" and in behaviours such as placing the baby's toes against the lips and repeatedly uttering the syllable "nom," in an attempt to elicit a giggle from the baby.
I realize now that such phrases and actions are not actually very common. Or normal.
Still, I hope that you will not only stand firm with me in refraining from infant cannibalism, but that you will also urge your friends, family members, and neighbours to do the same.”

Eoin O’Carroll

Have you ever thought your baby smelled good enough to eat?

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