Mother and Baby

Why Your Toddler REALLY Finds His Baby Sister So Cute

Even pre-schoolers are drawn to certain baby-like features in a person or animal

You may go all mushy over the latest puppy or baby vid on YouTube – but even kids as young as three recognise the typical features that make a person or animal ‘cute’.

That’s according to a new University of Lincoln study, which looked at how children between the ages of three and six relate to different dog, cat and people images – specifically those with a set of characteristics known as ‘baby schema’.

This describes things including a round face, high forehead, big eyes and small nose and mouth. Basically the baby-like traits that make us feel protective and caring towards a person or creature – including infants, puppies and kittens.

Baby schema describes things including a round face, high forehead, big eyes and small nose and mouth.

Ooh we knew those chubby baby cheeks were there for a reason.

‘Our results provide the first rigorous demonstration that a visual preference for these traits emerges very early during development,’ says Marta Borgi, who co-led the research.

‘Independently of the species viewed, children in our study spent more time looking at images with a higher degree of these baby-like features.’

Does your toddler love babies and animals? Let us know on the comments board below.

  • Author: Alex Davies Alex Davies
  • Job Title: Features Writer
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