EVER struggled with a cranky toddler that, despite best efforts, just will not settle down to sleep?
It’s an endurance test that most exhausted mums will be all too familiar with – but Christina Stanley and her partner have a hack that could comfort a newborn successfully in seconds.
The family of five, also proud members of the ‘3 Under 3 Club’, seem to have vast experience of tears and tantrums in the early stages – and here’s what they’ve done to resolve it.
“Save your dirty shirt from the day before,” is the caption on one Tiktok video – “it smells like you!”
Dad simply wraps the little one in the shirt or holds it close to his face and baby is “happy because he smells momma!”
It might sound strange that your newborn could sleep more soundly in the presence of your old clothing, but there’s a scientific basis to this hack – and the secret is in how a baby’s brain is hardwired.
Dr. Jessica Madden, a neonatalogist at a children’s hospital in Ohio, revealed to Romper that babies are capable of recognising their mother’s scent before they are even born.
“Their sense of smell develops early on during pregnancy, and the first smell babies are exposed to is the odour of their mothers’ amniotic fluid,” she says.
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“[Within days] they recognise and prefer the smell of their own mother’s body odour and breast milk [to anyone else’s].”
Incredibly, some studies even show evidence of a pain relief effect when a baby is exposed to the scent.
“There is pilot data showing that babies’ pain can be reduced during procedures such as drawing of a sample of blood from the heel for a newborn screen, if they smell their mothers’ amniotic fluid, hospital gown with body odour, or breast milk while the procedure is being done,” Madden continues.
A baby associates its mother’s scent with the love and care they receive from her, so exposure to her clothing will enhance their feelings of security and ability to self-soothe – and with their eyes closed, it feels as if mum is still present with them in the room, even if she’s left.
This genius hack could solve your sleepless nights and increase baby’s comfort and happiness – and even for kids who are a little older, the trick could work better than their comfort blanket or favourite stuffed toy.
Why not give it a go?
Meanwhile another family shares an astonishing tactic to get a newborn off to sleep – playing heavy metal music!
Plus an expert reveals how to tell if a pre-verbal baby needs more food.
And read about one mum who spent hundreds on outfits for her newborn, only to find they were all too small!