Ever found yourself wanting to squish a cute baby? Turns out there’s a good reason why!

If you’ve ever felt like eating, squishing or squeezing an incredibly adorable baby, you may not be as crazy as you thought. Affectionate aggression is a real thing, and it’s backed up by science! A new study has found that this slightly quirky phenomenon is incredibly common and even extends to our pets.

Too Much Cute

Published in the Frontiers In Behavioural Neuroscience, the study found that affectionate aggression is “the urge some people get to squeeze, crush or bite cute things, albeit without any desire to cause harm”. It’s a way of handling our emotions in the face of too much cuteness, essentialbaby.com.au reports, and sends us into ‘care taking’ mode.

The feeling isn’t just reserved for babies of the human variety either. Puppies, kittens and other pets can provoke a similar response. Kate Stavropoulos, lead author of the study, said that some people experienced affectionate aggression more than others.

“For some people who tend to experience the feeling of not being able to take how cute something is, cute aggression happens,” she said. “Our study seems to underscore the idea that cute aggression is the brain’s way of bringing us back down, by mediating our feelings of being overwhelmed.”

Important For Survival

While the study sounds like a bit of fun, the results indicate that affectionate aggression is actually important for survival. “If you find yourself incapacitated by how cute a baby is, so much so that you simply can’t take care of it, that baby is going to starve. Cute aggression may serve as a tempering mechanism that allows us to function and actually take care of something we might first perceive as overwhelmingly cute.” Imagine being so cute that you cause your parents to stop feeding you…nature is weird!

So next time you find yourself in the presence of a cute baby, be prepared! Affectionate aggression could hit at any moment.

Have you ever experienced affectionate aggression? Let us know in the comments.

  • Didn’t think this was a thing until I had my own and now I get it!,


  • I love giving my kids big hugs, mr 5 says ‘big squeeze’


  • I had an experience with a 4.9 kg baby at work his cheeks were soooo squishy I just wanted to squeeze them he was so roly poly cute! All the midwives had a cuddle!


  • I’ve always thought that feeling is just a rush of emotion.


  • I love squishy babies but I have never frozen and forgotten to feed them lol how strange


  • Makes total sense to me people tell me all the time they want to squish my little one and he is too cute for words.


  • My husband and I often said to each other “Don’t bite the baby.” because of the overwhelming cuteness. They look totally delicious :)


  • I love my kids & often give them a little squeeze because they are just so cute sometimes. I just can’t help it, especially when they give you an adorable smile or even puppy dog eyes.


  • I love hugging my baby, he’s just so adorable.


  • I squish chubby bubba legs. Buts thats because they’re so squishable.


  • My kids are so cute but I have never squished them I just let them know they are so cute


  • Nope! not experienced this at all – no squishiness!

    • No squishiness with pets either! I would hate to be squished in any way!


  • This is quite a strange expression.


  • Oh yes, I always felt to pretend to eat my children, they’re are so adorable !


  • Affectionate aggression sounds like an oxymoron. Little children and young animals are cute and yes it really is needed. Though some do say ” he/she has a face only a mother could love”. For those that can not see, how does it work then?


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?

No picture uploaded yet
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.

Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just submit?

Write A Rating Just Submit