What is the cutest thing you have ever seen? Chances are, it’s a baby, a kitten, or something else completely adorable and small. There’s something about seeing cute babies that just makes our day a little brighter. Lately there’s been an increase in baby characters in movies and T.V., and there seems to be a reason behind it.
What exactly is going on with this baby trend? Why is it happening? I’ve got the answers and some cute baby pictures along the way.
What is the Baby Trend?
The baby trend is the recent popularity of baby characters in pop culture. Baby Yoda might be the most popular baby character that comes to mind, especially considering the fact that memes with the little green alien are flooding social media.
While it is fun to scroll through pictures of cute infants and baby animals, or aliens, there is more behind the trend than you might realize. The baby trend taps into our human instinct, and it can help explain why we are so obsessed with all things cute and cuddly.
Why Do People Love Babies?
Babies are cute, funny, and just plain adorable. People love babies because looking at them triggers feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation. Philosopher Charles Darwin pointed out that something about babies makes adults want to care for them. Infants depend on adults to survive, and they get our constant attention and nurture by being cute!
The way babies look isn’t the only reason why we love them. The smell, sound, and touch of a baby appeals to our senses and make humans melt in their tiny hands. Think about seeing a cute baby and wiggling its little toes or touching its soft hair, all these features make tiny humans hard to resist!
Why Do Baby Animals Look Cute?
Believe it or not, the reason why baby animals look so cute is closely related to why humans find babies so cute! In fact, baby animals remind us of human infants, which triggers our nurturing instincts.
Baby animals have the following characteristics that make them cute to humans:
- Small face
- Big eyes
- Short snout
- Soft fur
- Small ears
- Playful behavior
A study published by Dutch Magazine showed that people feel more empathy toward puppies than adult dogs. It is because of their baby-like features that make humans want to nurture young animals, even wild animals like tiger cubs!
What Happens to Your Brain When You See Something Cute?
By nature, humans have nurturing instincts. Seeing something cute ignites the orbitofrontal cortex, the part of our brains that’s linked to emotion and pleasure. This brain activity can also explain how babies capture our attention so quickly and without distraction.
After the initial trigger in the orbitofrontal cortex, another slower process also begins in the brain. This activity in the brain is associated with caregiving, bonding, and other complex behaviors. Caring for babies requires tenderness, careful attention, and protection against danger. These instinctive reactions affect both men and women, regardless of if they have their own children.
Is Looking at Cute Babies and Animals Good for Your Health?
Have you ever seen an adorable baby or puppy and felt the urge to hug or pinch its cheeks? According to researchers at Yale University, this instinct is not only normal, it is also a sign of emotional health. Simply looking at something cute can trigger feelings of attention and affection.
Additional research suggests that looking at pictures of fluffy animals can make you more productive! In 2012, a study conducted at Hiroshima University found that participants who were shown images of fluffy baby animals outperformed their peers who saw images of adult animals in a subsequent task. This fact may also help explain why the baby trend is so popular. The positive response we receive from looking at cute babies and animals is what draws us toward them to begin with! Next time your boss catches you looking at puppy pictures during the workday, you can let them know you’re increasing your productivity.
Why Is Everyone Obsessed with Baby Yoda?
Baby Yoda originated from the Star Wars spin off show The Mandalorian, and people have been obsessed with him ever since. Even folks who don’t watch the show love his big green ears and cute button nose. But the mystery remains, why are people so obsessed with Baby Yoda?
Australian ethologist Konrad Lorenz came up with the idea of kinderschema after studying animal behavior to explain why humans do what they do. What he determined was that infant mammals all have similar characteristics that prompt a caregiving response in adult mammals.
These features include:
- Large head
- Large eyes
- Rounded body shape
- Rounded cheeks
What this means is that when humans look at an infant or a baby animal with these characteristics, we feel an emotional connection. Baby Yoda taps right into our biological and evolutionary responses when we see something cute.
What Are the Best Baby Yoda Memes?
You can argue that every Baby Yoda meme is the best, but there are some that take the cake. The best Baby Yoda memes are the most relatable to everyday life, and something we’ve all experienced at some point.
The best Baby Yoda memes include:
- Baby Yoda at an Italian restaurant
- Baby Yoda studying for finals
- Baby Yoda on Instagram
- Baby Yoda late for work
- Baby Yoda with chicken nuggets
Who is Following the Baby Trend?
While Baby Yoda may be the most popular current example in pop culture, there are plenty of people and organizations who have taken on this “babyfication” trend. It’s hard not to love these cute babies!
Check out who is on the baby bandwagon:
Groot is a character that appeared in Marvel Comics. Baby Groot was born after a heroic sacrifice at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Fans raved over his tiny smile, big eyes, and small stature.
Baby Looney Tunes
In the early 2000’s, “Baby Looney Tunes” aired on Cartoon Network. The show featured baby versions of popular Looney Tunes characters as they go through pre-school. We think the best character is tiny Tweety Bird.
If know or have a young child, chances are you know all about Baby Shark. The hit children’s song originated in South Korea and quickly took the United States by storm. The “Baby Shark Dance” is the second most watched YouTube video ever, with 4.67 billion views.
Baby Snapchat Filter
In 2019, Snapchat released a “baby filter” that gives your face an infant-like shape and appearance. In the photo, you can see Kin Kardashian using the filter which gives her bigger eyes, a smaller nose, rosy cheeks, and a rounded face. Snapchat claimed its platform grew by 7 to 9 million users solely because of this filter.
Dancing Baby Meme
This viral video shows a 3D animation of a baby dancing. It is said to be one of the earliest forms of a meme, and it exploded in popularity for being cute, funny, and honestly kind of creepy.
If you watched the 2020 Super Bowl, you probably saw the Planter’s Peanuts “Baby Nut” commercial. During the commercial, Baby Nut emerged after the funeral of Mr. Peanut. With his rounded shape, button nose, and ogling eyes, you can’t help but smile when you see him.
Check out the birth of Baby Nut in the famous commercial!
Only time will tell what new baby character or meme will come next! Until then, enjoy all the baby peanuts, sharks, and superheroes you can.
How to Use the Baby Trend to Your Advantage
You don’t have to go and make a puppy your company mascot to take advantage of “the baby trend.” There are plenty of other ways you can use cuteness to expand your business, go viral on social media, or improve your next marketing campaign.
Here are some unique ways you can use the cute factor of babies to market your business:
Cute is Persuasive
Using cute characters or baby animals in your advertising can make it easier to get your point across. A study conducted by the University of Michigan discovered that high school students are more receptive to anti-smoking campaigns when the message came from cute cartoon characters compared to harsh warnings.
Cute is Calming
Puppies, kittens, and pets in general have positive mood-boosting power. Many college campuses will have dogs and cats on campus to help students relieve stress. Cute animals can help improve cardiovascular health, depression, and ease loneliness. Think about the smile on your students or coworkers faces when you bring in furry animals for them to play with!
Cute Evokes Emotion
Morten Kringelbach, Neuroscientist at University of Oxford, is writing a book about endangered species. Part of his research in writing his book is to use cute photos of animals to help raise awareness by evoking empathy. You can use cute images to evoke other emotions such as happiness or compassion.
By now, you know people love cute things, but that doesn’t stop at just animals and babies. People are also attracted to cute clothing, designs, merchandise, even cute vehicles! You can use this to your advantage when designing products you want to advertise with. For example, if you’re selling custom sweatshirts, make sure your model looks extra cute.
However you choose to use “the baby trend” to your advantage, you’ll likely see positive outcomes! Whether you want to boost your personal social media profile or start a new campaign for your business, appealing to human emotion through all things tiny and cute is always a good idea.
Loving cute babies and tiny animals will never get old. The baby trend seems like it may stick around, and we are certainly enjoying every second of it. For now, keep surfing the web for photos of cute kittens, waving at infants, and asking strangers to pet their dogs.
Lange, Jeva. (2019, November 22). The scientific reason why everyone in the galaxy is obsessed with Baby Yoda. Retrieved on March 4, 2020, from https://theweek.com/articles/880347/scientific-reason-why-everyone-galaxy-obsessed-baby-yoda
BBC Radio. (2020). Looking at cute animals is good for our health. Retrieved on March 4, 2020, from https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1gtf240M2TfDxTZN0YLV89M/looking-at-cute-animals-is-good-for-our-health
Kringelbach, Morten. (2016, July 4). How cute things hijack our brains and drive behavior. Retrieved on March 4, 2020, from https://www.ox.ac.uk/research/how-cute-things-hijack-our-brains-and-drive-behaviour
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Weisenstein, Kara. (2020, February 3). Who asked for this Baby Nut? Retrieved on March 5, 2020, from https://www.mic.com/p/who-asked-for-this-baby-nut-21771544
Wikipedia. (2020, March 5). Baby Looney Tunes. Retrieved on March 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Looney_Tunes
Jang-Won, Lim. (2020, March 3). ‘Baby Shark Dance’ second most viewed video on YouTube. Retrieved on March 5, 2020, from https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2020/03/03/baby-shark-dance-second-most-viewed-video-on-youtube.html
Carman, Ashley. (2019, December 27). The decade in babies. Retrieved on March 5, 2020, from https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/27/21039356/baby-yoda-groot-2010-decade-2020-snapchat-filter-sonic-film-tv