Science reveals the age kids are the cutest – and it’s bad news for newborns

Super cute toddler

If you’re having trouble categorically confirming the cuteness of your wee kiddo, then science is here to help/make you cry.

Six of the best

A recent study published in Evolution and Human Behavior tells us that older babies are the cutest kids on the block, and newborns are made a little more … funny-looking, basically to ensure the survival of the human race.

Confusing, no? We thought so too, but the study authors say there are clear signs babies are most appealing at six months of age – and clear reasons it might be this way.

“We noticed adults rated the newborns as the least attractive and the six-month-olds had the highest ratings across all of the facial cues,” Brock University’s Prarthana Franklin, the study co-author, explained.

“That was interesting because usually we think that the younger children are, the cuter they are, and so more people prefer younger children.” 

She also noted that there was “a lower limit of three months old that’s the preferred age compared to newborns.” Sorry new baby kiddos!


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Survival of the fittest?

The team suggest that we might be hard-wired to find tiny babies less beautiful for some pretty bleak reasons.

“Hunter-gatherers who already had a child they were nursing, couldn’t nurse two children at once,” Brock University study co-author, Tony Volk, said.

“If you’re a peasant mother in medieval England and you only have enough food for one child, and if having two means they’re both likely to die, it’s best just to have one child. These are difficult decisions that humans have made for thousands of years.”

Gulp. Thankfully things have improved for newborns since then.

A reminder to bond

While this all seems a bit sad for newborns, the researchers said it’s an opportunity to find new ways to bond with tiny bubs. It’s time to throw newborns a bone!

“We firmly recognize that every newborn infant offers the tremendously appealing, unlimited potential that all humans initially possess, and we fully encourage investing in all newborns as much love and resources as is possible.”

“Ways to bring about earlier bonding include infant massage, spending lots of time with the baby, skin-to-skin contact and supporting new parents materially and psychologically as much as possible,” the researchers suggest.

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