Just like how you love the smell of your baby, your baby loves your smell too! Use this to your advantage the next time you’re away, and your little one won’t stop crying -- just like this new dad did.
“I was watching [my son] one day while his mom was running errands, and he got real fussy,” dad Eli Spector wrote in Newsflare. “Another dad friend of mine suggested placing one of the mom’s dirty shirts from her hamper on his face, so he could recognize the smell and calm down. I had no idea it would work so well!”
As shown in the video above, the little one was instantly soothed once mom’s shirt was within reach. In his pajama onesie, the adorable baby clutched the garment in his tiny hands -- holding mom’s scent close to him. He even uttered a few soft coos. It worked like magic, and the dad knows it too.
“I hope this video is shared enough to help another dad out of a fussy situation with their little one,” Eli says.
“Mommy scent is soothing because the emotions associated to Mama become attached to her scent such that her scent acts as an emotional proxy for Mama herself,” writes Rachel Herz, the author of The Scent of Desire, according to Mom.me.
Others have commented on Facebook that the infant might start crying again once he figures out that mom’s scent sometimes doesn’t come with lunch. Nevertheless, the video shows just how powerful the mother-child bond can be. Several studies have shown that this bond is established and strengthened when babies are held close, such as when breastfeeding, and mom’s scent becomes more and more familiar to the baby.
One mom, Beverly Jones, shares her own story in the comments. “When my son was born 2 months premature, the NICU provided me with a small blanket that I could sleep with then bring to my son so he would always have my scent near him.”
In reply, Laura Vizcaino writes, “Yes! NICU nurse here, and this is exactly what the bonding blankets are for! It helps reduce stress and crying, and comforts our tiniest little ones when mom can't be there, or when baby is too sick to be kangarooed/held skin-to-skin.”
Case in point, one of the four steps of the Department of Health’s life-saving Unang Yakap campaign for infants includes immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth. Also called “kangaroo care,” the practice of holding a newborn to the chest promotes breastfeeding and facilitates bonding. Developed by the World Health Organization, Essential Newborn Care or Unang Yakap has been proven to decrease rates of newborn deaths globally.