Want to know all about your baby’s sense of smell? MH finds out all about it.
WORDS CHRISTEL GERALYN GOMES
If you're interested in the different stages of your newborn’s sense of smell, Dr Sharmila Rengasamy, paediatric registrar at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australiagives us the breakdown:
A baby is still getting used to the different smells. A strong smell can interfere with a baby’s sense of taste.
Babies can use the sense of smell to tell the difference between people they are familiar with versus strangers.
By around six months, a baby would have started on solids. A baby will use the sense of smell and taste to decide if he likes or dislikes the new food.
1 Year and Beyond
A child’s sense of smell will continue to develop until around the age of eight.
When baby is in his first few months of life, it is best if you expose baby to smells that do not irritate his nose or throat. “There are items that a baby should not inhale as they will create a burning sensation at the back of the nose”, is Dr Rangasamy’s advice. Some smells to keep baby away from are: wasabi, chili powder, pepper, irritating spices and powdered mustard.
On top of that, “Parents can help develop their baby’s sense of smell by avoiding use of highly perfumed or fragranced skin products” adds the doctor. In fact, many such artificial or chemically produced smells contain toxins that can be detrimental to baby. It is also best not to use heavy cleaning products with strong smells near baby.
Fumes from heavy cleaning products can cause baby’s eyes to smart
and inhaling smells like that from glue is not healthy.
That aside, Dr Rengasamy also says that there are a variety of scents that are safe for babies. In fact, you should be exposing your baby to a variety of different smells to stimulate him as he grows. These include smells such as that of coffee, flowers, ripe fruit, leather, crayons, herbs, baby shampoo, clean diapers and aromatic flavorings (vanilla).
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