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Your baby's sense of smell developed early; by around 28 weeks of pregnancy he could smell the amniotic fluid that surrounded him. At the same time, chemical changes in your body during pregnancy were altering your individual smell, making it more distinctive to your baby.
At birth, your baby's senses are tuned in to respond to your unique smell, the smell of your breast milk and the feel of your bare skin so that after just one feed, your baby will be able to recognize you by smell alone.
The senses of smell and taste are very closely connected. While taste buds allow us to tell if something is sweet or bitter, salty or savory, it's smell that lets us detect the flavor of our food. Your baby will remember the flavors of foods you ate during pregnancy and when you were breastfeeding. These foods may turn out to be his favorites when he starts on solid foods.
Babies can't distinguish between a wide range of aromas in the way an adult can but you can help your baby to learn about this sense and develop his language skills by talking about what he can smell. Let him sniff fragrant flowers, scented soaps and fresh bread to describe the smell for him.
Though your child will be curious to discover new smells, even as a toddler the one he will always prefer is yours. When you give him a cuddle it’s the familiarity of your smell, as well as the soothing sensation of your touch, that he will find so comforting.