Your Premature Baby's Sense of Taste and Smell
Whilst it may seem hard to believe your baby actually develops a sense of taste and smell whilst in the womb. Your baby smells elements of you in the amniotic fluid that surrounds them so is immediately able to recognise you by your unique scent and the smell of your breast milk.
Babies are born not only with a strong sense of smell but also with a preference for sweet tastes. We believe that it is these innate senses that stimulates them to feed for the first time.
Effects of Smell on your Baby
- Pleasant smells soothe your baby. You don’t need to spray yourself excessively with perfume; it is your natural smell that your baby recognises and enjoys!
- Being surrounded by familiar smells will help stabilise your baby; their heart rate can reduce when a pad with your scent or your breast milk on it is left next to them inside the incubator.
- Sweet tastes like your breast milk and soothing smells can reduce your baby’s response to painful procedures.
- Skin to skin contact and using a dummy during tube feeding can aid transition from tube to oral feeding.