Ah, babies: tiny humans that have the power to turn even the most cynical adult into a big goofball that speaks nonsense and does anything to get a smile. There’s no denying that babies are a lot of work and being a parent is stressful, but all of our senses seem to be hardwired to respond positively to babies.
There’s no denying that we love the way babies look. They have soft, round faces with big, expressive eyes, and happy, toothless smiles. Not to mention, their soft hair, smooth skin, and plump bodies are perfect for cuddling.
Because physical contact is important for a baby’s emotional development, it makes sense that we would have evolved to find babies very appealing and want to spend time with them.
As a fun aside, scientists have found that the reason we love to squeeze cute things is because we are so overcome by the cuteness that it triggers an aggressive response in our brain. Remember when Agnes shouts “It’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die!” in Despicable Me? Even though it’s the opposite response that is expected, the reason you can’t help but squeeze a baby’s squishy little cheeks is because they are just too cute for your brain to deal with properly.
We love to hear babies laughing, cooing, and babbling. Talking to babies not only helps them build social skills, but it also promotes good language development as well.
There’s one more sense where babies can really get us: smell.
Babies aren’t just easy on the eyes, they also have a distinct natural scent. No, not just the scent that alerts parents that a diaper change is in order. When a baby is clean, they have a fresh smell that just begs you to snuggle them close and breathe it all in.
As SciShow explains, that aroma isn’t created by lotions, baby wipes, or powder. While those certainly can affect how individual babies smell, the intoxicating perfume of babies just happens naturally. There are a few theories about how they get that smell, but modern experiments show that it has such a powerful effect on the brain, the smell of babies may have actually helped shape our evolutionary history.
Learn more about why babies smell so darn amazing here:
For roughly 1 in 7 mothers, postpartum depression may get in the way of having that bond and positive feelings from their babies. Not only that, but it could result in feelings of wanting to hurt themselves or their children. While it isn’t entirely clear what causes postpartum depression, it is normal and treatment is available.