Baby smiles affect the brain like drugs

Filed under: Newborns, Babies, In The News, Development/Milestones: Babies, Expert Advice: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Nutrition: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Gear Guides: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Gear Guides: Babies, Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Behavior: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Development: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Health & Safety: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Expert Advice: Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Babies, Baby-sitting, Feeding & Sleeping, Day Care & Education, Health & Safety: Babies

When it comes to describing a baby's smile, words like "addictive" and "intoxicating" are frequently used to explain the feeling those gummy rays of happiness have on exhausted parents when they finally appear on Baby's face at around 6 weeks of age.

A recent study has people marveling just how accurate those descriptors were. When new mothers were shown photographs of smiling infants, the picture of their own smiling baby triggered a surge of dopamine in their brain, the same chemical the body produces when a person uses drugs, alcohol, or nicotine.

These findings of the study may assist scientists in understanding why some mothers fail to bond with their children and lead to early treatment. Unattached parents can lead to children suffering from abuse or neglect.

So when Huey Lewis sang about wanting a new drug, it turns out all he really needed was a baby!

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.