Monday, June 20, 2005

Scent of a Newborn

The baby scent is something that can hardly be described adequately, but that everyone who has ever held and smelled a newborn baby will understand. Newborn babies are fresh and untainted, pure and precious. To describe the scent, one would have to use words such as new, clean, unspoiled and delicious. While babies are fully capable of emitting odors which repel us, the scent of a fresh baby wrapped in a blanket and cooing or sleeping soundly is a scent that can weaken the knees of the most hardened adult.

New moms will cuddle their newborn baby, holding him close, breathing in the scent that gives her an emotional response she never thought possible. Perhaps that is part of God's plan for moms to instantly love and protect their newborns; much like a mother dog, cat, or bird will protect her babies, nurture them, clean them, feed them, and sacrifice herself for them, a human mother has an innate instinct that goes above and beyond her love for her baby. When the baby is born, an instant connection is made and the mother is hooked in just moments, though it takes the baby a few months to get to know her. Years later, when a mom finds that her children are roughened teenagers with acne and attitudes, she'll still remember the newborn scent, and at night when they sleep, she'll stroke the foreheads of her teens and remember.

New dads also recognize the newborn scent. Dads have much the same reaction to their newborn as moms, but they won't often admit it! Dads are often extremely shocked at their emotional reaction to being in the delivery room with their wives when the baby is born. Actually seeing the birth gives fathers a connection to the child that is different from the mother's. Fathers have an innate desire to protect and defend, but fathers who've witnessed the birth of their child and hold the helpless infant shortly after birth never forget that initial feeling. Later, when the baby is cleaned and wrapped in a soft blanket, tough, masculine men will cuddle the tiny person and the precious scent will remind him of his duty and his legacy.

Grandparents have a unique attachment to a newborn baby and have an even different perspective in regard to the new baby scent. Grandparents remember when the mom or dad was a tiny infant. Grandparents have the added bonus of breathing in the new baby scent of their own flesh and blood, knowing it came from their own once-precious baby. The love of grandparents is a beautiful thing and the newborn scent can frequently bring tears to the eyes of a grandparent.

Anyone who has had a baby or has spent any time with babies will know that new baby scent. For those without children, it can produce a longing unlike any other. For those with children, it takes us back to a time when we were young, tired, and happy, and when our baby was the center of our universe.

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