Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast
#22: The Power of Smell in Attachment
with Jude Stewart
Everyone knows that special newborn smell. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, you’ve no doubt heard about it. Mothers young and old can recall the smell their children had during the first few weeks of their life. It’s one of those things that sticks with you forever. But do fathers experience it the same way mothers do? And what about the babies – what role does smell play in developing an attachment to their parents?
In this episode, I talk to author Jude Stewart about the importance of smell in raising babies and toddlers. I learned how the smell of our children changes with each developmental stage, and how that affects our role as their caretakers. It’s all so fascinating!
Jude has written three books, most recently Revelations in Air: A Guidebook to Smell (Penguin Books, 2021), along with pieces for The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Quartz, The Believer, Fast Company and many other publications. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram. If you’d like to read more of Jude’s writing on the science of smell, check out her article in the Wall Street Journal, What Your Smell Says About You.
Here’s a glance at this episode…
- [02:52] Where that newborn smell comes from
- [05:48] Do mothers and fathers experience the same newborn smell?
- [08:43] How babies learn to smell
- [10:43] Odors associated with different developmental stages
- [13:55] The 3 levels of smell
- [19:07] Smelling fear and stress
- [27:45] How you can incorporate smell into your day
Take a moment now to follow the podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. It’s the best way to be notified when a new episode drops each week. These bite-sized episodes are perfect for listening during daycare drop-off, an evening walk, or a quick workout.
One last thing. I spend time each morning in meditation and would love to pray for you, your child or whatever’s on your heart. Simply email me and let me know how to pray. It can be as simple just your name or you can give a short explanation. Either way you can trust that I will do it. It’s a simple, quiet way for us to connect and for me to support you on your parenting journey. 🧡