Why Your Baby Smells Like Cheese (5 Tips To Help You Cope)

It is common to hear many mothers complain that their baby smells like cheese even though the babies don’t eat cheese themselves. 

This can be a turn-off for many people who want to play with the baby, and it can also be very embarrassing for the mother. 

If proper measures are taken, you can prevent your baby from smelling like cheese, despite the discomfort.

Baby Smells Like Cheese      

If you’ve noticed that your baby smells like cheese, don’t panic, it could be inconvenient, but don’t beat yourself up about it because it’s pretty common to have babies take up different smells after the first few weeks or even days of their birth.

This is primarily due to the type of things they’ve been exposed to, maybe the products you use during shower time or clothes, and in many cases, a cheese smell is one of the most common smells they take up.

Ideally, newborn babies are meant to smell good, and that is why you find yourself sniffing their hair from time to time.

And as they grow older and become more exposed to the environment, their skin may trap dirt particles in the air. Other times it may be due to poor hygiene and bathing wrongly that leaves a baby smelling awful.

Why Your Baby Smells Like Cheese

A bad odor sometimes means underlying health issues, but it is not the same with a cheesy-smelling baby. 

Depending on the cause of the cheese smell, you can easily prevent it. 

While you, as the parent, may have gotten desensitized to your baby smelling like cheese, people who aren’t used to it may detect it fast and try to avoid holding your baby.

There are several reasons why your baby smells like cheese, and below are a few of the very relatable situations shared by many parents dealing with the cheese odor from their babies.

1. Breast Milk or Baby Formula                            

This is very common with babies that spit up a lot. The spit, which contains partially digested milk, smells sour and may leave a cheese-like smell on the baby. 

Excess lipase in your milk can make your baby smell like cheese. Lipase is an enzyme in human milk that breaks down milk fats so babies can digest them easily. 

Milk that contains an excess of this enzyme can taste or smell sour/soapy, even when all storage guidelines have been followed.

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To prevent your baby from smelling like cheese due to spit, avoid overfeeding your baby during meal times and keep him propped upright to stop throwing up on himself.

Sometimes it is difficult to prevent the baby from spitting up; in such cases, a proper clean-up will prevent any clogged breast milk residue from the spit.

2. Folded Skin 

Another possible reason your baby smells like cheese is the folded skin in his limbs. 

Usually, the folded skin and creases in their limbs trap sweat, dead skin, and dirt from the environment and, if not appropriately cleaned, will leave an offensive odor on your baby.  

This is because the trapped dirt, dead skin, and sweat begin to decompose due to the heat in that area and leave a very offensive odor. 

Also, the spit up from your baby may find its way down to the folds and get trapped with the dead skin.

Parents with overweight babies should pay attention to the folds on their baby’s body, especially in areas like behind the knees, the neck, the underarms, arms, navel, and behind the ears. 

3. Health

Health-related issues can also cause your baby to smell like cheese, especially when your baby is experiencing indigestion, uncontrollable stooling, and vomiting. 

4. Stool

Your baby may be stooling/purging, and due to the frequency of the stool, it may leave your baby’s diaper smelling like cheese. This can also cause your baby to smell the same if not changed quickly.

In such cases, a proper clean-up after changing the diaper will prevent any residual poop particles that may cause your baby to smell like cheese.

Read Also: Baby Cries When Changing Diaper (Helpful Tips)

Is Baby Smells Permanent?

Depending on the cause of the particular odor, baby smells are not permanent and can be cured or managed as the case may be. 

Managing baby smells is much easier and less expensive than managing adult smells since they require fewer products and work.

While you may require spending money to acquire the right products for an adult, you will spend less since babies do not need many skincare products. 

In other cases, you wouldn’t even have to buy any new products; just a regular clean bath and changing stained clothes and soaked diapers frequently will get rid of common smells.

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How To Get Rid Of Cheese Smell In Babies

The first step to handling any problem is identifying the cause of such a problem. 

In the case of treating, baby smells such like a cheese smell; if you’re pretty observant, you’d be able to figure out why your baby smells like cheese.

Step 1: Identify the cause of the cheese smell

Trying to figure out the cause of the cheese smell you perceive from your baby doesn’t require so much effort.

You have to pay attention to when your baby smells like cheese; for instance, it could be midday, late evening, or in the morning. This way, it’ll be easier to know what causes the smell.     

Step 2: Rectify the situation

After knowing what makes your baby smell like cheese, the next thing to do is to take steps to rectify the situation. 

In most cases, the root cause of a cheese smell in babies is partially digested breast milk present in their spit. 

If your baby is the type that spits or throws up frequently, try to avoid overfeeding the baby. 

In cases where you cannot help it, use a napkin during meals times to prevent spilling the milk or formula on your baby’s body.

Step 3: Bath regularly

Regular bathing can reduce the chances of having clogged creases on your baby’s skin. 

If you bathe your baby twice a day, make it thrice daily, targeting the time when the smell is highest.

Step 4: Use mild baby products

Avoid using harsh products that are strongly scented on your baby’s skin. Use scentless soaps (like Aveeno) and baby oils (Johnson’s Baby oil) instead of lotions or perfumes.

Step 5: Consult your doctor

Visit a pediatrician if you’ve exhausted all the possible measures to treat your baby’s smell.

Wind Up

Dealing with a baby that smells like cheese may be very embarrassing. If necessary care is not taken, you can quickly get desensitized without knowing and wonder why people avoid holding your baby. 

But if you’re an observant parent, it’ll be easier to know when your baby smells like cheese and tackle it properly.

The above-suggested steps are the easiest ways to treat or maintain any awful smell from your baby, not just for a cheese smell but also for other odors.