An answer to the age-old question: Why are babies so goddamn cute?

Have you ever looked at a baby and just wanted to yell; “STOP IT. You’ve become TOO CUTE?”

Yes, well so have I.

Last year I babysat my cousin’s little baby one day a week. His name is Archie. This is his face.

How can one face be so perfect? Image supplied. 

He is absolutely adorable. Every week I would look at his fat rosy little cheeks, his big blue eyes, his 'elastic band' wrists (fat rolls, so many fat rolls), his round tummy and his silly tongue that he appeared to have no control over and just gasp.

"How...how did you become so cute?" I would ask.

I simply could not get enough. His...thighs.

Advertisement

Goodness! Images supplied.

As it turns out, Archie's cuteness is no accident.

In a new study published in Trends in Cognitive SciencesOxford psychiatrist Morten L. Kringelbrach argues that "cuteness in offspring is a potent protective mechanism that ensures survival for otherwise completely dependent infants." In other words, if babies are to survive, they must "gain access" into the consciousness of adults - and the most effective way to do that is to be...Really. Damn. Cute.

Mothers in the Mamamia office confess to what they thought when they saw their baby for the first time. Post continues below. 

But cuteness doesn't just ensure that babies get lots of attention. The authors of the study argue that it also facilities care giving, empathy and compassion.

A telling case in point, is the image of three-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi. The photograph rocketed through social media, resonating with an audience who formerly felt disengaged and removed from the Syrian refugee crisis. The haunting image of Aylan's lifeless body, washed up on the Turkish coast “broke hearts around the world." The New York Times described the event as "a single tragedy" that encapsulated the suffering of millions of refugees worldwide.

Brian Resnick at Vox states that the face is not the only way cuteness is expressed. In fact, adults are drawn to the laughter and babbling of babies, as well as their smell. A study published in Frontiers of Psychology posits that the characteristic baby smell has the same affect on the brain as drugs. Whether you're a parent or not, the smell of babies triggers a dopamine release and activates the "pleasure pathway" similar to something like cocaine.

So, as I suspected, Archie's cuteness isn't a matter of opinion.

It's science.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
FROM OUR NETWORK