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Smell: Recognizes Scent of Mother’s Breastmilk (0-6 Months)

Young babies are attracted to the scent of their mothers’ breastmilk and prefer it to other women’s milk. In one experiment, two breast pads were placed on the sides of newborns’ heads only a few days old. On one side was the breast pad from the infant’s mother, and on the other, the pad from another lactating mother. In experiments like these, babies reliably turn toward the breast pad of their mother.


Makin, J. W., & Porter, R. H. (1989). Attractiveness of lactating female’s breast odors to neonates. Child Development, 60, 803

Shelov, S. P. (Editor-in-Chief). (2004). Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. The American Association of Pediatrics. Revised edition. New York: Bantam Books.