3 Reasons newborns are irresistible
We really can’t help ourselves.
Something inside us kind of melts.
Have you ever noticed the feeling you get when you see little tiny puppies or kittens, or even a baby elephant at the zoo? Or had complete strangers stop to talk to you as you walk your puppy? We humans are created to care for and nurture babies – whether they are animals or humans. But why is that? Why are we drawn to the youngest and most vulnerable of most any species?
It seems our brains are wired to respond and this is how the attachment process begins.
The transition of adding a new baby to the family can be complicated. Sometimes the loving, caring bond between parent and child is instantaneous, but that’s not always the case. It may take a short while for the emotions to catch up to reality.
Luckily, biology is on our side in helping us bond with our baby. Newborns have some pretty irresistible features that most people can’t help but adore. These instinctual cues help us to find it more rewarding and natural to nurture our baby.
Next time you’re around a new baby, look out for these three powerful and precious features of infants:
Many people notice that newborns have a sweet, unique scent. This special smell is usually gone by six weeks and seems to create a pleasure hormone surge when the sniffer gets a whiff. It is unknown what causes this scent to occur, but there is speculation it is from the vernix caseosa (the white, gunky substance that coats newly born babies) or perhaps from a chemical secretion newborn babies make. Whatever causes the smell, it’s one of the sweetest scents in the world and helps adults bond with their new bundles of joy.
Have you ever noticed how sweetly round little baby’s cheeks are? The primary purpose of infants having such large cheeks is a matter of survival: eating. The first few months of every persons life depends on the ability to suckle, which necessitates large, strong cheek muscles and a large tongue, both housed within adorable round cheeks. Research has shown that humans of all genders are affected by viewing a baby’s round cheeks. People seem to be naturally drawn to the cuteness of infant features which leads to more attentive and responsive caregiving.
Anyone who’s held an infant that’s awake has probably experienced the intense stares a little baby can give you. Research has found that though infants are born with a very under-developed vision system, within four months after birth, babies process human faces at almost adult-like levels. This rapid development of facial recognition is due to an infant’s instinctual preference to gaze at adult’s faces. And that long-held gaze is good for caregiver bonding. Caregivers often return the gaze of the baby. Mutual gazing releases oxytocin which helps strengthen relationships and increases bonding. So next time your baby stares at you and you catch yourself staring back, marvel at the incredible instincts both you and your baby have!
You are exactly what your baby needs
Maybe you’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of your new baby and wondering if you’ll feel a bond right away; or maybe you’re thick in the haze of sleepless nights with a little one, running through the motions and barely having enough energy to keep your eyes open, let alone remember savor the moments with your baby. It can be easy to worry we’re not doing enough with our little one to love them in the fullest way they deserve.
Take comfort in the fact that both you and your baby have the biological instincts to create a thriving and deeply loving bond.
Trust yourself and know that you are exactly what your baby needs.
We’re rooting for you. 😍