Yes, seriously – you know that urge to munch your gorgeous little baby?
This can take form in craving lots of smooches with your baby, wanting to squeeze their delectable little rolls and chunky cheeks, and even on occasion be the urge to actually bite your baby (not in a viscious way, of course) – but why does it happen, and why is it normal?
Luckily, science has explained this weirder aspect of parenthood…
It’s known as ‘cuteness aggression’ and science says that it’s perfectly normal. In fact, it’s a response to our babies making our brains SO happy that our grey matter can’t actually handle it and these responses, which would be seen as aggressive in different contexts, is how our brain brings us down from that all-consuming ‘baby high’. It’s a normal way that our brain self-regulates, and usually babies LOVE their mummy and daddy pretending to nibble them, so it’s win-win all around, right?
Babies in most species are, by design, absolutely bloomin’ adorable to make caregivers fall in love with them and want to look after them. I mean, with those big eyes, rosebud lips, button noses, squishy butts and rosy cheeks, how can we resist? The ‘cuteness aggression’ impulse is merely a consequence of us forming such an intense love for our baby! This paper on ‘baby schema’ (another term used to describe the physical attributes of cuteness) is a great read for anyone interested in the neurobiological side of this topic.
It all boils down to evolution – these mechanisms, as bizarre as they may seem to us, are natural and actually super beneficial when it comes to bonding with baby. They show a positive attachment and are a healthy way to decrease our stress levels!
We hope that you feel a little less odd now… I know I do!
Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx