Its supposed to smell sweet and wholesome, soft and milky and to draw a mother in for snuggley closeness, I believe. There is even a sweet smelling flower of the same name. Last week, geekybaby's breath, if it smelled like a flower at all, smelled like that exotic thing at Kew gardens that flowers once every 50 years and emanates the odor of rotting carcass.
As any parent of a child in daycare knows, now is the season of back to back colds and sniffles. Geekybaby, on the mend from his first snottiness of the winter developed another fever last week. This one was accompanied by heavy congestion. There is nothing more uncomfortable than a congested baby, unable to nurse he bit at my nipples in frustration. Strong as he is now, he fervently resisted my attempts to squirt saline up his nose and suck the boogers out with my bulb syringe. I hate to do this, but find it strangely satisfying when a large volume of snot is retrieved! And on top of this his breath took on a putrid smell. So nasty that I kept thinking he had a soiled diaper, when in fact he was just exhaling. I could imagine a comedy moment where a friendly passer by, lured in by his adorable smiley face, leaned in to tickle him under the chin then recoiled in horror at his reeking dragon breath. Something so cute really shouldn't smell this bad.
The nice advice nurse at the doctors thought he probably just had a regular cold, but when I mentioned the breath issue she suggested I bring him in. By this time his fever had subsided, and apart from the stinky mouth breathing he seemed in good shape. He giggled at the lovely young resident who examined him, even happily endured the dreaded ear exam, and I felt quite daft, bringing this clearly perfectly healthy if rather congested baby to the doctor. Even the breath seemed less foul, though the resident took a sniff and said "well that certainly isn't baby breath".
This was Friday, and we were planning a weekend trip to tahoe, so though no infection was diagnosed, ears and chest clear, I got a prescription for antibiotics. They next day, fever still coming and going, and smell even worse than ever, I started to treat him. The putrid smell thankfully vanished after the first dose, and the congestion cleared right up too. I don't know what he had, maybe a sinus infection, but I'm glad he no longer smells so horrible!