A f(eces) only a mother could love
July 12, 2006 3:35 PM   Subscribe

My shit doesn't stink. I'm serious—my mother told me so. So there. Abstract of study published in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, "My baby doesn't smell as bad as yours: The plasticity of disgust", found here.
posted by emelenjr (28 comments total)
If moms prefer their own kids' poop, then us dads should be off the stick for changing their diapers. ;-P
posted by mischief at 3:40 PM on July 12, 2006

Crap post.

posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:50 PM on July 12, 2006

You what reeks, regardless of parentage? Forumla-fed baby poop.

I've been so used to changing breast-fed babies that the first time I changed a formula-fed baby's diaper I nearly fell over from the Wall Of Stench.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:51 PM on July 12, 2006

poetic typos
posted by imaswinger at 4:04 PM on July 12, 2006

I think I might start a post-sludgedroncore band called The Plasticity of Disgust
posted by jack_mo at 4:07 PM on July 12, 2006

pooetic typos
posted by CynicalKnight at 4:08 PM on July 12, 2006

posted by isopraxis at 4:27 PM on July 12, 2006

One of my customers has two kids, one adopted and one by birth. They are 10 months apart (the birth child was a total shock). She mentioned that Julie (the birth child) didn't have as stinky poo just last week. Weird.
posted by nadawi at 4:27 PM on July 12, 2006

Ah, big deal, I prefer the smell of my own farts, too.
posted by jonmc at 4:44 PM on July 12, 2006

Our baby (Molly Elizabeth, which was a name chosen with help from AskMe!) is 1month+1day old today, and my wife and I are both surprised at how her crap doesn't smell as bad as we thought it would. Not pleasant, but certainly nowhere near as bad as expected.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:56 PM on July 12, 2006

Oh yeah, and Molly is about 50-50 breastmilk and formula fed (breastfeeding is not going superbly well).
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:57 PM on July 12, 2006

I don't have kids, but I find that all my cats have shit that smells awful, although not as bad as the shit from the dog next door. And I haven't breastfed any of them.
posted by rosemere at 5:00 PM on July 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

Related to the studies that indicate that moms (they never include us dads in these things) can identify their baby by smell.

Smell. Limbic. Taboo. Incredibly useful poetic too. Have to turn over the chicken, otherwise I'd post a few links, because this is one of the most interesting of our five senses. We have become too addicted to vision, if you ask me.

And it will only get worse.

Not that I don't relish looking at a tree...or a beautiful face...or my daughhter's feces...umm, scratch that last one.

I know another male primary childcare parent who would change his babie's diapers by the sink because he would very often puke.

Me, I guess I ust be more femme. Changing diapers never bothered me, kin or no.
posted by kozad at 5:17 PM on July 12, 2006

"Ah, big deal, I prefer the smell of my own farts, too."

That's only 'cause you've never experienced the winsome fragrance of one of mine.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:31 PM on July 12, 2006

"... my wife and I are both surprised at how her crap doesn't smell as bad as we thought it would."

Don't be surprised if that changes in the not too distant future.
posted by wsg at 5:39 PM on July 12, 2006

Yeah, my mom still just LOVES the smell of my shit. My girlfriend too... just can't get enough.
posted by yeti at 5:50 PM on July 12, 2006

I found that with my own kids, when they were nursing, that their, um, fragrance smelled a lot like mine. As they get older they develop their own odor fingerprint, if you will. (It's all part of the beauty of growing up. The kids take their first steps, then before you know it, their farts smell different then yours. It tugs at the heartstrings.)

That may explain the difference between mothers' and fathers' tolerance, too a little bit.
posted by thekilgore at 6:01 PM on July 12, 2006

Eww. EWW. God, parents are so disgusting.
posted by Decani at 7:02 PM on July 12, 2006

I grew up on a pig farm. Pigshit (and pigs in confined spaces as a rule) is the worst group of smells on the planet. Hands down.
Being around it a lot, you get used to it.
posted by graventy at 7:04 PM on July 12, 2006

I dunno, I wonder if the baby shares the intestinal microflora of the mother and thus produces faeces that smells similar to the mother.

In that case, it wouldn't be as... pleasant a smell to the father (but less bad than to a stranger - assuming that the father and mother routinely swap microflora, but would possible maintain different ratios).

I also wonder, do formula-fed babies have delayed microfloral colonization compared to breast-fed babies?

Bacteria doesn't necessarily smell bad; some people are blessed with microflora that metabolizes some of the especially foul-smelling waste or produces a fairly benign waste product themselves.
posted by porpoise at 7:24 PM on July 12, 2006

It may be impossible to control for the fact that mothers are more habituated to the baby's waste smell, not only because they have more experience with their babies in this department, but because the baby shares so many biological and genetic similarities to the mother, that she is "used to" most of the same smell from her own waste.

A fact at odds with a special adaptation is that people are mostly entirely unbothered by their own waste smell, when the same stuff from other people is nearly unbearable. Since it wouldn't matter one way or the other to survival or reproduction if we were bothered just as much by our own smell, it simply shows us that habituation to social smells is a byproduct of a more general psychological mechanism.

Incidentally when I was a young kid I would cuddle with some amazingly stinky dogs, in a way that would bother me with dogs today. Now it's the lover just back from the gym and things of that nature.
posted by dgaicun at 7:51 PM on July 12, 2006

Herbavore poop smells better than omnivore poop smells better than carnivore poop.
posted by moonbiter at 10:01 PM on July 12, 2006

It's probably the nitrogen in the amines, moonbiter, but there is still a pretty wide vaience even within strict/obligate herbivores.

I admit, shit from cows fed on grass smell far less bad than from cows fed "meal."

posted by porpoise at 10:27 PM on July 12, 2006

Fascinating article. Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 10:47 PM on July 12, 2006

Pretty sure I've said this before, about odors, but, it fits. As a kid, I discovered I could identify coats, in our neighborhood, by to which house they belonged. This covered 7 houses.

I've wiffed a lot of waffles, as you might say, and most men smell good (down there) to me. Some most definitly do not. No idea why that is, maybe diet, hard to say.
posted by Goofyy at 12:47 AM on July 13, 2006

We need a brave dad to start comparing the way the mom shit smells with the way the baby shit smells.

Batshit insmell...
posted by NewBornHippy at 2:01 AM on July 13, 2006

p00p is for n00bs. How do you like that vomit smell?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:51 AM on July 13, 2006

Herbavore poop smells better than omnivore poop smells better than carnivore poop.

That may not be entirely true. Someone somewhere on teh internets said that vegetarians can have some evil wicked poo.
posted by wsg at 12:59 AM on July 16, 2006

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