The Power of Smell

November 4th, 2011 by Dionna | 6 Comments
Posted in Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, natural parenting, Pregnancy and Birth

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Forget baby powder. I want to breathe that musky newborn scent in so deeply that it penetrates to my toes.

Admission: we didn’t give Kieran more than a cursory wipe-down for over two weeks, so badly did we (I) want to preserve that smell.

It is primal, that smell.

I could have picked Kieran out of a room of newborns while blindfolded, just by smelling their little baby skin.

Even now, I love his smell. It’s no longer musky, no longer from me, it is uniquely him.

I want to bottle it.

In my lowest moments, those times when I am crushed by an overwhelming fear that something will take my baby away from me, I frantically search my olfactory memory for a trace of what he smells like. And then I lie there and ponder how I could preserve something – an article of clothing, our pillow, anything – in an attempt to forever capture his scent.

And now, as I approach the time when I will cross over from my journey as a mama of one to my new role as a mama of two, I wonder: will Roo own me in the same way, simply because of how s/he smells?

I can only hope.

Do you remember your newborn’s scent?

6 Responses to:
"The Power of Smell"

  1. Shawna

    Yes! I almost cried when I realized that he was switching away from “baby” smell into “boy” smell, although I love that, too. You made me miss it again!

  2. Ruth

    Sadly I do not remember YOUR smell when you were first born because back at the time of your birth the baby was whisked away after a cursory hello from Mom and Dad and cleaned up by the nurses which included a generous “cleansing” with Johnson Baby Lotion so your “scent” was that…so I still connect my babies to the scent of Johnson Baby Lotion.
    But I DO know how powerful scent memories can be…I still have clear memories ( after 42 plus years) of ironing your Daddy’s shirts after he left for Vietnam… his scent surrounded me in the steam from the ironing board and I had to iron as many tears as I did water from those shirts!!! I remember walking into Mom’s home after she died and being taken back to my fondest memories with her, as I soaked in the scent of her!!! You are right…scent is a powerful trigger to our memories. And don’t worry you will be as enthralled with Roo’s wonderful baby scent as you were with Kierans!!!
    I love you!!

  3. Sheryl @ Little Snowflakes   sheryljesin

    Sadly, I didn’t know better and let the nurses bathe my first son in the hospital. However, with #2 we were home 3 hours after he was born (yay midwives!) and I was sure not to bathe him for quite a few days as I just loved his fresh newborn scent. I still love smelling my baby almost 11 months later. There is something just so wonderful about a baby’s scent. I can’t get enough of it and love co-sleeping with him and smelling it all night long.

  4. Beautiful sentiment.

  5. Tina

    I’ll never forget that smell for the rest of my life. Poor guy’s hair was plastered to his head with vernix and he was covered in spit up for over a week because I didn’t want that smell to go away.

  6. kelly @kellynaturally   kellynaturally

    I still smell my 4.5 year old’s toes in the morning and snuffle my 7 year old’s neck because they both still have the faintest traces of what they “used to” smell like as babies. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to bottle that smell? And the milky smell!!! Nothing like that, ever. Ahhhhhhh… babies.

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