Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stinky Baby Head

Earlier this year someone named Patricia left a comment on my post "Surprise!," which was about my surprise visit to Sacramento for my brother's Silver Star ceremony. Her comment, however, was about her baby's stinky head. You might be wondering what's the connection between the two, and I'll refrain from making a cheap joke about my brother. If you look at the top of my blog, up there in italics, I ask "why does the baby's head smell like stinky feet?" What Patricia did was google "my baby has a stinky head" and came upon my blog, posting her question on the most recent post. I left my response there, hoping she would find it.

I have a program that not only tells me how many people are or have been looking at my blog, it tells me from what city they are viewing. I'm huge in India - I'm not kidding. Recently I found out that I can find out how they found my site, even what specifically they typed into their google search. I got past my initial misgivings of spying on people and decided to spy on people. There are some strange searches that got to my site. This is my favorite: Tattoos for cars of lady (mine is the 8th result.) But by far the most common search that takes people to my blog is "Stinky baby head." I get between five and ten hits a day just from that search. I'm not just on the first page of results, I'm #1! I am the premier source of information on stinky baby heads on the planet. People pay big bucks to be number one on google. The problem is it takes people to the aforementioned post on my brother's Silver Star - you'd really need to search for the stinky baby head info. So I decided to move Patricia's question and my response to a new post, to help out the hordes of people seeking a cure for their baby's stinky head.

Hi
I am so perplexed by my baby's stinky head that I googled "My baby has a stinky head" this morning, and came across your own perplexity. Did you ever get an answer to that question, and did you find a solution? I mean, it'd be nice to cuddle my baby without thinking, Man, you are STINKY!! He's only 7 weeks old. How long does this last?

My husband says it's because he has no hair, which is how he explains his own stinky head, and claims that if I had no hair, my head would stink too. I think this is manly bs, on the other hand, you do have daughters, and at least one of them had a stinky head, so maybe he's right.

Looking forward to your judgment on this issue, and hopefully a solution---bathing is useless, within an hour, stinky head once more. Though I confess, I haven't used scented shampoo yet, which I guess would be the first thing I should try. But I'm guessing S.H. is too potent for something as simple as nice smelling shampoo.
thanks,
Patricia

I love that she used the abbreviation S.H. My response:

Patricia,

it turns out Kate, who is bald, is also quite sweaty. We discovered that only after a day or two, she had a head-shaped spot on her crib sheet that she had sweat on enough to make it stinky. So we had to wash her crib sheet every day or two. That fixed baby-stinky-head.

hope that helps

So there you go, sage advice from one stay-at-home dad: wash your sheets. I'm guessing it didn't help Patricia too much, since her baby has stinky head an hour after a bath. Some parenting forums suggested it might come from an ear infection or lactose intolerance. But I would suggest asking a pediatrician, since there's little help on the interweb.

So if you found this page after searching "stinky baby head" or some such combination, please say hi in the comments and post your findings on the mystery that is stinky baby head.

26 comments:

Dmitri said...

I hypothesize that it's not the babies but the noses that are at issue here. Some parents clearly have extra-stink-detecting noses.

I get this tremendous insight from my deep and involved research into a similar phenomenon: asparagus pee. Research shows that all pee from asparagus eaters smells bad, but that only part of the population can smell it.

And you know what's fantastic about this anecdote? I'm not making it up!

Anonymous said...

Wow...very enlightening! That had to have been the best blog entry ever written.

:)

- Dave S.

Joel Bittle said...

Sweet, Dmitri! I bet I can crack the top ten for "asparagus pee" search results!

Anonymous said...

Cute. Sid thinks you should trademark 'Stinky Baby Head' for marketing purposes. Our thoughts: Stinky Baby Head shampoo, Stinky Baby Head pillow covers, Stinky Baby Bobble Heads, Stinky Baby Head Skull Caps (to trap the stink), you get the idea...

Respectfully,
The Stinky Baby Head Creative Team (Dayna & Sid)

Dmitri said...

I've seen fortunes made on less. Copyright that noise.

Patty said...

My daughter Abigail was affectionately known as "Stinkfist" for the first 3 months of her life. She'd spit up into her gnarled up little hand and fall asleep.. you can imagine what it smelled like when she awoke. I found your blog just before I had her on June 22, 2005 and have been a big fan of your insanely funny musings on SAHD-dom ever since.

Patty H. Ottawa, Canada.

Patty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joel Bittle said...

Thanks Patty, I hope baby Stinkfist has earned a better smelling nickname by now. "Stinkfist" is endearing, though.

Lynn said...

I would put a little cucumber melon body spray on my finger tips and run it through my sons "stinkhair" (as my husband and I called it!) after a bath. This helped with the smell and didn't seem to bother him.

Anonymous said...

Uh, I just googled stinky baby head. My third such search for the cure of this awful stench that is making people run for the doors. (My first searches were "infant's head is smelly" and "baby's head is stinky".)
My son has alot of hair, doesn't sleep on sheets and is bathed everyday - I mean, he is scrubbed like a potato. Doesn't matter. But, your blog made me very happy and I will keep reading even after his stank goes away.....

Anonymous said...

So I too stumble across this blogging... I found out the answer to why my daughter's ears stink, which makes everything smell. It's because some people sweat in their ear canals. The sweat get's stuck in the "wax" and voila a lingering smell that can make you want to throw up. At first I thought that it was her cradle cap, then I thought it was because she got something in her hair like spit up. After closely examining her I found out it just radiates from her ears... Get an ear irrigation kit and have fun ridding your nose of the smell for a while. It will be back, like usual, but generally after your child doesn't have any type of blockage in their ears. My daughter also has OME (Otitis Media w/ Effusion) which doesn't help with her draining the wax, which keeps her ears smelling. Anyhow, figured I'd share my tidbit of information incase anyone else has an issue like mine. Have a wonderful morning/day/night everyone :)

Anonymous said...

Google search "baby stinky ears" led me to your site. I am laughing out loud at the comments here, but am happy to hear that my sweet little baby girl is not alone. Should keep the boys away for a while anyway!

Anonymous said...

Well, I searched "smelly head infant" and you still came up number 1! I thought my son's stinky head was related to his reflux. Maybe it is; maybe it's not. But I laughed immensely reading about all the other possibilities. Thanks for a good read!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips. I went and smelled Brock's (my little darling sticky headed boy) ears to see if that's where the smell is coming from, but it wasn't. I think I'll try the cucumber melon (bath and body works is the best) idea. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

I found a solution to the problem. Burts Bee Apricot Oil. Just apply a little to your baby's head 5 minutes before bath time. Then apply shampoo at bath time and use a brush to get the oil out. It leaves the head smelling wonderful. My baby doesn't have cradle cap, but I guess he does have dead skin on this head that I couldn't see, because once I put the oil in his hair and then brushed his hair during bath with soap to get the oil out, dead skin came off. Hope this helps. Y'all have a great day! .......Needville Texas Mom

Joel Bittle said...

Great ideas here. I'm glad this has become a forum of thoughts and possible solutions on stinky baby heads. A parent can feel a little guilty plugging his or her nose when holding a baby - babies are supposed to smell like pure love.

Anonymous said...

I came here looking for an answer to my 5 yr olds stinky head problem! ugh it's so gross like someone forgot to put on deoterant and rubbed their armpit all over his head. i scrub and scrub with no luck :( & there isnt anything on the net about it either...it's definitely not cradle cap as there are no flakes! So I'm still looking..but this article DID make me laugh (I'm working..maybe that's not such a good thing lol) and I'm REALLY curious about this tracker thing you have....

Have a great day!

-Jonette from Tracy, CA (as if u didnt already know that... :P )

queen dani said...

*lol* my baby also has a stinky head but not right after a bath and it's not too terrible - it's that same smell that any man would get that doesn't wash his hair for a few days... but also doesn't do much. my other children didn't have it just him... He's also much larger then they were - a whopping 10 pound at birth - so maybe he also just comes with a huge stink. I actually found this site when i googled "baby has man stink". *heh* you know how you blow on babies bellies and they think it's great? Well a few minutes ago I went to do the same thing - only to my 3 month old sons arm pit and was terribly surprised to get a mouthful of moist man stink saturated baby arm pit. *lol* So i was thinking the head stink and arm stink may be connected... it's weird though because the smell is only under his right arm the other one just smells like regular baby ew... (he needs a bath) weird.

Anonymous said...

I googled "baby head smell" and found your blog. I have been smelling something for the past month but I wasn't able to find the smell at first. I even called the gas company to see if I had a gas leak (although it didn't smell like gas). Strangely, I did have a small leak which they fixed. I continued smelling this strange smell and finally realized it was my baby. I also bathe him and the smell doesn't go away. I don't see cradle cap but now will treat him for that to see if this crazy smell disappears. Thanks all, I had a good laugh reading your comments.

MGYGDL said...

You're still #1!!! I googled "stinky baby ears" and your blog was the first thing on the list.

My human version of little baby Sinclair(the dinasour) also has stinky ears, don't know why. I guess from now on I won't feel as guilty for "looking" away when one of his ears is in front of my face.
His little bald head used to smell bad even mins after getting a bath, but that went away after he turned 2 months old, now the problem that remains is his ears.

Mick said...

Still #1!
We've isolated our baby's stink down to one particular part of his head, if that helps....

Andrea Koehnke said...

Googled stinky baby head and came across your blog. Not only is it hilarious, there are some great ideas on how to make it go away in the comments. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to have come across your website and that my baby isn't the only one with a stinky head. She hated baths for the first year (screamed terribly) anywhere near water so I was feeling bad that maybe she is smelly because I wasn't bathing her enough. But I think that it must be because she sweats so much - like some others on the blog she starts smelling again even after a bath. Anyway the posts made me laugh and it is so important to have a good sense of humor as a parent. I'm in South America so I don't know if I can get any nice smelling oils or anything for her head, but if I find a solution I'll post again! Thanks!

CityToSuburbia said...

Yup, sure enough, I googled "stinky baby" and found your blog. My first son never has or has had this problem, but my 2nd does. Still trying to figure it out...

Rhonda said...

O my gosh! This site is absolutely hilarious! I am dealing with my own baby stink too! My 4 week old son has bad baby stink on his head and forehead, it smells like an old ball cap. Yuck! Bathing doesn't help and I've resorted to thinking it is cradle cap on its way; there isn't any flakes yet! I've also noticed his forehead does sweat alot.

My daughter had cradle cap really bad until she was about 2 1/2 years old, but her head didn't stink. She had another stink area... the folds in her neck! My husband and I referred to that as 'cheese' and diligently cleaned her neck as soon as the said 'cheese' was discovered!

Taxihorn said...

I searched "Why does my baby's head smell like an armpit?", and this article came up first. My 6-month old daughter just started getting S.H. the other day. I thought maybe it was because, since noticing flakes, I applied lotion to her head after the bath. Perhaps it was the combination of the lotion and the shampoo, with some sort of conflicting smells. A different lotion didn't help with today's bath. I'll try different lotions and shampoos, replacing the crib sheet more often, and hopefully this bout of S.H. will be shortened. Cheers!