Well, not quite. But if you have had the pleasure of gazing into a little baby’s face, you know it comes pretty darn close. There’s just something about a baby’s smile–so precious, so tiny, so innocent, so cute! It’s been scientifically proven that the affect is even greater when a mother looks at her baby smile, according to a recent report. It just goes to show that the mother-child bond is inexplicably strong and powerful. Whether in real life or photos, Moms go “ga-ga” (aren’t you impressed with the scientific terminology here?) over the giggles of their little ones, and now research proves it.
To study this relationship, Strathearn (Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital) and his colleagues asked 28 first-time mothers with infants aged 5 to 10 months to watch photos of their own babies and other infants while they were in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner. The machine measures blood flow in the brain. In the scans, areas of increased blood flow “light up,” giving researchers a clue as to where brain activity takes place.
In some of the photos, babies were smiling or happy. In others they were sad, and in some they had neutral expressions. They found that when the mothers saw their own infants’ smiling faces, key areas of the brain associated with reward lit up during the scans. “It may be that seeing your own baby’s smiling face is like a ‘natural high,’ ” says Strathearn.
We have lots of great gifts that will make your baby smile! And based on this research, it will be a treat for you as well. Smiles will be popping up all over the place with this classic “Jack The Dog” jack-in-the-box gift. With every turn of the handle, music plays as you and your baby await a surprise welcome from Jack, one of the many characters available. Another great gift that’s sure to illicit playtime giggles is this deluxe activity mat. Providing hours of interactive play, it’s easily considered Mom’s Best Friend.