Why We Adore Babies

No matter how bad of a day you’re having, or how difficult you may view your life’s current-state, it’s hard not to melt when you place your eyes on an infant. But why is that? We have the finely tuned ability to naturally empathize with babies and look to administer care for them as if they’re our own, even if, unfortunately– they aren’t. Maternally and paternally, a lot of this unconditional love is embedded in us from the outset of conception. From a strangers point of view–totally unrelated to a certain baby–we find ourselves spellbinded by what’s in front of us. The cuteness that radiates from a baby’s countenance seems to tinker with our brain in a way that’s certainly necessary. From the soft skin, to the glowing bright-eyes and miniature nose; we feel┬áconnected to them. in addition, the innocence that any baby evinces is hard to deflect. Without the visceral acceptance of babies, we probably would have struggled to survive considering they’re the key to our species’ long-term prosperity.

Chemically, neurotransmitters play a major role in the make-up of our feelings for babies. Dopamine and oxytocin get released in a manifold of ways when parenting and nurturing a baby. These hormones help channel the parents attention to the child itself, rather than unknowingly neglecting it. Many mothers are seemingly, yet understandably, overly fond of their offspring because of these chemicals being fired off in their brain. You, essentially, are them; thus, you naturally favor them. Also, nature has it’s way of controlling a males mentality by accumulating prolactin (a hormone that basically suppresses testosterone) so that a father may redirect his priorities and increase the bond with his newborn. When parents are privy to the connection of their young one, they will undeniably be there for them through thick and thin. Conversely, those who play “deadbeat” set themselves up for failure by devaluing the attachment they’ve been endowed with toward that baby.

Having recently become an uncle, I find it highly admirable, but mostly interesting. When I’m around the newborn, I can’t help but feel a strong attraction–an attraction that wasn’t present a year ago. Now that my nephew (Colton; see picture) is alive and in good health, I can wholeheartedly say, my love is deep for him. I will invariably treat him with utmost avuncular affection. The idea that he’s so pristine, new, and fresh gives me great excitement of what’s to come for him. He has a clean slate. But what if I were to randomly meet a nephew of mine that’s in his teens–I’m sure I wouldn’t find him as alluring and adorable: the newness is everything. Moreover, babies woo us with their charm and preciousness. The baby schema–an innate instinct that causes us to swoon over a toddler’s facial and physical structure–washes over our minds like waves against rocks. But interestingly, the thought of the unknown, is what prompts us to enjoy and relish the good moments when we’re in the vicinity of a newborn. There’s no wonder why when bereaved parents, who lost their children at young ages, find the grieving process to be nearly insufferable. It’s because they never got to witness what the child was capable of accomplishing, and the defenseless innocence that babies emanate resonates deeply within us.

Truth is: there’s nothing NOT to like when you’re around a baby. They’re being molded left and right with a sort of ‘trial-and-error’ type mindset. They look. They stare. Every gaze you exchange with them seems to be extremely genuine. There’s no phoniness or disingenuousness; it’s just them being observant and trying to learn what’s around them, which is clearly something you can’t feign. Their little bodies are a reminder of how cuddly our anatomy once was. As unpredictable as they are, you can’t help but smile at how funny they tend to be in the most dearest moments. The lovey-dovey playfulness we exude when we’re around them has a soft spot in all our hearts. Watching them grow and change each and every day is a privilege, and it’s important to steer these mini-humans in the right direction.