How Scent Can Promote Sounder Sleep for Baby (and Parents!)

March 18, 2021

On average, new parents lose over 100 minutes of sleep every night during the first year of having a new baby. In many ways, the lack of sleep and the disruption to your routine can be the hardest part about becoming a new parent. As a result, many parents are desperate for tips and tricks to help soothe their baby to sleep.

I began to fully understand this when my oldest daughter was a toddler and my youngest was my sweet little baby who never, ever slept, unless of course, she was right on top of me. I found myself reading so much about infant sleep, gathering any advice on how to get a baby to sleep. One tip that frequently kept coming up was to put your scent into the crib with your baby by giving them a shirt that you have worn. This made a lot of sense BUT having a loose item in a baby’s sleep environment of course went against all safe sleep guidelines.

I knew there had to be a better and safer way to soothe her to sleep. Something that would still allow her to feel my presence without me constantly holding her. At that point I began to research the science behind scent, and how greatly it impacts the sleep of newborns by helping them to fall asleep faster and staying asleep for longer. 

Scent develops in utero

Even before a baby is born, their scent begins to develop early in the first trimester when their tiny nostrils are formed. Shortly after that, at about 10 weeks, their scent receptors, which help them detect smell, are developing. During their time in utero, they smell their mother’s amniotic fluid, which later leads to the ability to identify their mother after birth by her scent alone. 

 Before a baby is able to recognize their mother by sight, she is able to smell her. Those familiar scents from being inside the womb bring comfort and a sense of security. These scents are tied to their most basic human needs; comfort and food.

Scent creates the illusion that you are right there with your baby

By incorporating a parent’s scent, the baby feels as though you are there physically with them, even when you are not. A parent’s scent alone has the ability to reduce cortisol levels in babies, in turn reducing stress and anxiety, helping to promote longer, more sound sleep (for both the baby and parent). 

 The feeling of a parent being nearby will as a result make babies feel content. And, when they are content, they may initiate the suckling reflect, which will further soothe and calm them to sleep. I call that a win-win for parents, and babies!

Scent can help you bond with your baby

Some of your fondest memories are probably tied to scent. You might smile when you smell chocolate chip cookies in the oven, because it reminds you of your childhood. Or when your partner puts on the same cologne from your wedding, does it take you right back to that day? Scent has the ability to create powerful memories. 

 This very idea was the genesis for The Mookabee Swaddle. Since babies continue to recognize scents, even while they are asleep, I developed a scent absorbing Soothe-SwatchTM which safely incorporates a parent’s scent by snapping into the swaddle (and lovie as they grow) allowing the baby to safely smell a parent while they sleep. 

 Scent plus swaddling is a magical equation

We all know the sweet baby burrito helps babies feel more secure while they sleep and mimics the feeling of being in their mother’s womb. Utilizing this proven technique, combined with the power of scent, we have created the first and only swaddle backed by medical professionals which harnesses the power of both. Our hope is that parents can gain back some restful hours without feeling guilty about not rocking their baby to sleep. Because, with the Mookabee Swaddle, you continue to bring comfort to your baby by using the power of your scent.  

* Special offer for the FPC Community: Use code FPC20 at checkout to receive 20% off the entire Mookabee site!