Why we want to eat our babies

So edible.

I’m not talking about a jokey little nibble on the ear, I’m talking about the very real urge to bite a chunk out of that delicious bottom.

I was reading about this topic on another mummy blog a little while ago and felt an immediate sense of relief that it’s a real thing for people other than me. I mean, I know people say strange things like ‘owh he’s so cute I could EAT him’ all the time, and usually in a weirdly aggressive way, but I never knew that they might actually mean it until I had my own baby and once bit her on the cheek so hard that I made her cry. I typed that last bit really fast and quietly so please read it that way too.

After doing some research of my own, I discovered that this reaction actually has a scientific explanation. It’s called ‘cute aggression’ (which I literally feel is all of my mum feelings tied up into two words), and it happens when an overload of positive emotions cause you to act in ways that would normally be associated with negative emotions.

A ‘cute aggression’ study gave participants a sheet of bubble wrap whilst showing them various pictures – those that were shown cute pictures (like kittens and babies) popped noticeably more bubbles than those shown less-cute photos (you know, like regular cats and adults). We do it because it helps us to release stress – which is apparently just as bad for us whether it comes from positive or negative emotions, who knew?! It’s thought to be a tool that helps us to control our emotions when we literally can’t stand how cute something is. I would also like to add that I even read one article titled ‘wanting to eat your baby makes you a better parent’…so actually biting mine makes me the best, right??

Supposedly, we also want to hold (and maybe squeeze, but don’t do that) babies forever for the same reason. They’re genetically designed to look adorable and make us want to look after/bite them – I mean, there’s a thin line between cuddling and eating when it comes to babies, I get it.

So fellow mums and other people who want to eat babies, you can now rest assured that it’s totally normal to feel like this! But still totally not ok to actually eat your baby. I might have to adopt this as my mantra…the desire to eat Thalia seems to be getting increasingly worse.

But now that it all makes sense and I don’t have to worry about being a little psychotic, I’ll be over here cuddle-biting my toddler.


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