February 6, 2010

Moms Prefer Smell of Their Own Baby's Poop

Moms Prefer Smell of Their Own Baby's Poop

By Ker Than, LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 12 July 2006 01:18 pm ET
Scientists find that moms consistently rank the stink of their baby's "number two" as No. 1.
In a new study, 13 mothers were asked to sniff soiled diapers belonging to both their own child and others from an unrelated baby. The women consistently ranked the smell of their own child's feces as less revolting than that of other babies.
This effect persisted even when the diapers were purposely mislabeled.
One possible explanation is that the mothers were simply more accustomed to their their baby'sstink and therefore found it less repulsive. A more intriguing possibility, the researchers say, is that the mothers' reactions are an evolutionary adaptation allowing them to overcome their natural disgust so that they can properly care for their babies.
The study, led by Trevor Case of Macquarie University in Australia, will be detailed in an upcoming issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.
Disgust helps protect us from things that can make us sick, scientists say, but there are circumstances in which the emotion has to be tempered. The caring of an infant is likely one such instance.
"A mother's disgust at her baby's feces has the potential to obstruct her ability to care for her baby and may even affect the strength of the bond she has with her baby," the researchers write.
The finding is among the latest in a series of studies suggesting that humans can determine biological relatedness through body odor. Another recent study found that mothers more accurately identify and prefer the smell of their biological children over that of stepchildren.



    Krista said...

    I still think my baby's diapers stink. I guess I haven't been around enough other babies to see if I think they smell worse.

    I read a similar study where they had women smell t-shirts that had been worn for a day by different men. And the woman like the smell of the shirts of the men that were not related to them.

    Missy said...

    Luke says Annies poop stinks bad but it doesn't bother me at all!! Now Ruby's big bum stinks in my opinion.....