Study Suggests We Want To Eat Our Babies Because They Smell As Good As Drugs

shutterstock_68744230__1380015027_74.134.205.46Show of hands here! How many of you have ever threatened to eat a baby or pretended to eat a baby or kissed a baby’s feet by loudly exclaiming NOM NOM NOM? OH, pretty much ALL of you? That’s what I thought. Well, according to Canadian (Home of the beloved dayglo orange KD) researchers we all do this because babies excite a woman the same way that drugs excite a drug addict. So I have NO idea what is up with men who do the same thing. From The Daily Mail:

A newborn’s odour is a chemical communication between mother and child and sparks the same reward circuits in the brain as when eating something nice – or having sex.

Researchers say when a woman feels like ‘gobbling up’ a baby placed in her arms – even if it’s not hers – it’s a natural biological reaction linked to maternal functions.


Holding a baby sparks the same REWARD CIRCUITS! Like eating a cupcake or having sex with no small child banging on your door demanding cupcakes!

Dr Johannes Frasnelli, of Montreal University, said: ‘The olfactory – thus non-verbal and non-visual – chemical signals for communication between mother and child are intense

‘What we’ve shown for the first time is the odour of newborns – which is part of these signals – activates the neurological reward circuit in mothers.

‘These circuits may especially be activated when you eat while being very hungry, but also in a craving addict receiving his drug. It is in fact the sating of desire.’

Dr Frasnelli and colleagues presented two groups of 15 women – one that had given birth within six weeks and the other who had never had babies – with the pyjama scents of newborns while scanning their brains.

Although the babies were not their own the pleasure chemical dopamine shot up on the images of the mothers in the caudate nucleus compared to the non-mothers, says the study published in Frontiers in Psychology.

It’s strange to me that dopamine didn’t shoot up in all women, because I don’t think only women who have given birth want to eat babies. I think it’s a universal thing, especially if the baby is adorable and smells really good and doesn’t have a dirty diaper. Especially if the baby is wearing a little hat with ears on it. I demand they re-do this whole study and try again using actual babies with hats with ears on them and then see who in the group tries to eat the baby’s feet or pretends to eat their tummies while the baby giggles. I bet the results are universal.


Be Sociable, Share!
Be Sociable, Share!
  • Amber

    It’s not universal. I’m not a baby fan. The only one I’ve ever really liked is my own.

    I just pretend around other people’s babies to be polite.

    • Eve Vawter


    • allisonjayne

      I’m with you. I have definitely softened towards babies since having my own, but in general, newborns are kinda meh. My own kid? Oh my goodness, that smell, that soft hair, the teeny-tiny everything….yeah, it got me.

  • Rachelle

    When Z was in NICU during her first week, I brought home one of her pyjamas just so I could shove my face in it and breathe in her smell in between tears. I knew it made me feel better physically and it also helped a lot when I desperately tried producing milk (when exhaustion and stress was working very hard against me). I don’t remember having a reaction to my niece’s smell though (then again I was very pregnant when Vero’s daughter was born so I was probably not of this world…)

  • SDA

    I don’t understand the “babies smelling good thing” because really babies only smell good when they are lathered in baby lotion. Otherwise babies actually smell bad. They are always sitting in their own excrement, spit up remains on their clothes, hair, and in between fat rolls, and I’m sorry, I didn’t realize until 2 weeks after I first started bathing baby that you really have to get into the crevices or stinky goo collects!!

    That being said. I love the stinky (non lotion-scented) smell of my baby. It is definitely primal. But other stinky babies, not so much, unless they are lathered in lavender stress-relief ointments.

  • Rachel Sea

    Baby huffing is totally a thing.My wife’s last office was filled with breeders. There was an unending stream of new babies, which meant constant baby visitors being passed around so that everyone could smell their heads.

  • Alex Lee

    Must develop a nicotine-patch made from fragrant baby-scalp.

  • DatNanny

    I wish the study had more variables. Mothers of older children, women without babies who want babies vs. women who do not want babies, women in prime childbearing years vs. women outside of the ideal range.

    A new mother’s levels are probably going to shoot up more because they’re getting intense signals to go feed and nurture since their bodies are full of hormones telling them to do so.

    I think results would be more comparable with non-mothers and mothers of toddlers and up.

    In other words, I have no babies yet but I want to GOBBLE UP ALL THE BABIES.

  • G.E. Phillips

    Whenever I taught toddlers/preschoolers and found a child particularly cute, I used to say to the parent, “Oh, if so-and-so is missing, it’s because they’re so delicious that I ate them!” You wouldn’t believe some of the assholes who didn’t realize that I was A) kidding and B) giving their child (and them) a compliment.

    Cute baby NOM NOM NOM for-eva.

    • Paul White

      TBH, that would creep me the hell out if a day care worker said that. I might know it was a compliment but it’s still creepy.

    • G.E. Phillips

      Clearly, you have no idea how delicious cute babies are. NOM NOM NOM I’m coming for yours nexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxt.

  • Pingback: My oldest cat just had kittens()