You don’t have to feel bad about finding your newborn niece or nephew ugly anymore, because almost everyone does!
According to research from Brock University, most adults find a baby to be the least cute when it’s a newborn. The study shows that most people think a baby is cutest at six months old.
Participants in the study were shown 18 photographs of babies shortly after birth, at three months old and at six months old and had to decide how cute they were on a scale of one to nine. They also had to indicate how willing they would be to adopt the children based on a number of facial cues including cuteness, happiness and health.
This research can have real-life significance, since how an adult perceives these facial cues can have a large impact on whether or not they will abandon the infant within the first few weeks. If a baby appears stronger, the more attached the adult is to it, which can explain why the six month old children were preferred.
How much a baby resembles their parent is also a factor, especially in men. They are more likely to invest the necessary time and care to their baby if it resembles them and generally, the older the infant, the more it resembles their parent. Newborn faces are still developing and are often much redder from the pressure of giving birth.
For women, cues such as health and happiness were higher on their list due to their natural nurturing instincts.
No parent ever thinks their own child is ugly, but next time you get shown a picture of a co-worker’s newborn, you won’t have to feel so bad about your mean inner thoughts since you’re not alone.