We can't help it - science proves the newborn baby smell is actually addictive 2 months ago

We can't help it - science proves the newborn baby smell is actually addictive

Any excuse to take in that newborn baby smell.

Is there anything quite like the smell of a newborn baby? I've even joked with my relatives in the past that they should make it into a perfume brand because it would sell out constantly.

Apparently, I wasn't wrong as science has discovered that the smell that a new baby produces is actually as addictive as drugs and we're really not surprised.

For mothers, the new baby smell causes a huge surge of dopamine.

This reward response is a similar reaction to when you taste food you've been craving.

It works in the same way that a surge of dopamine caused by using drugs encourages people to engage in drug-seeking behaviour. The surge of dopamine caused by sniffing our babies encourages us to stay close to them, they literally make us addicted to them.

new mum

So is the addictive nature of the newborn smell just a product of evolution to help us bond with our babies or is there more to it?

According to research published in Smithsonian magazine;

"The researchers aren’t sure if new moms undergo a hormonal change that leads to this surge of dopamine or if their reaction is influenced by the experience of smelling their own baby, the researchers say.
It is possible that childbirth causes hormonal changes that alter the reward circuit in the caudate nucleus, but it is also possible that experience plays a role."

So there you have it. It's not all in your head, we are actually addicted to our babies and we wouldn't have it any other way.