The Science Behind Why We Actually Love Being Called 'Baby'

by Lauren Martin

Baby, baby, baby.

Doesn’t that word just make you feel all warm inside? Like your heart is about to be swallowed by your soul? Like you could curl up in a ball and fall asleep on a warm cloud of good feelings?

Well, oddly, the word does do something to the female brain. It releases a certain chemical in our brain -- oxytocin.

According to numerous catalogs discussing stress reducing techniques, being called "baby" has a positive effect on the female brain. It causes instant emotional stress relief.

Of course, there aren't enough scientific studies focused on the word "baby." But there are reports on words' ability to produce biological responses and studies on the parallel between happy couples and nicknames. According to Tech Knowledge, negative and positive words have biological effects on our bodies. We respond to them on "a visceral, autonomic level."

For example, when we hear the word “no,” our bodies start producing stress releasing chemicals. The opposite happens with words like “baby” and “yes.”

A report published by Harvard Law School studied the effects of positive words and images for the use of negotiations. The study suggests that "even the use of a single word -- like "keep" instead of "lose" -- in the presentation of options can unconsciously influence the conscious choices people make.”

We now know that our choice of words has a direct and immediate effect on our emotional response and makes our brains inclined to respond in specific ways.

Here are all the benefits of using the word "baby."

It feels nice to know someone's there when she wants to act "like a baby."

When we enter the scary reality of the adult world, we lose our sense of security. And when the man you love calls you "baby," you can’t help but feel like you no longer need your mama.

It’s not that we’re not strong, independent women. But in this cold, cruel world, it’s great to hear that someone is there for you. If you’re sick, tired or just sad, someone’s there to dry your tears and clean you up. That security is comforting.

According to Psychology Today, “Sensuality releases dopamine, and this motivates our brain to seek more, even to the point of addiction. Then,  the addition of neurochemicals like oxytocin and vasotocin (released within the care circuits) help us to build long-lasting relationships filled with kindness, compassion and trust."

It gets her through the day.

It's been proven that positive words promote positive feelings, which in turn promote positive action.

According to Andrew Newberg, MD and Mark Robert Waldman, authors of “Words Can Change Your Brain,” holding a positive word in your mind can stimulate frontal lobe activity, which includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action.

So the more motivated, happy and confident you feel, the more you get sh*t done. Women who are feeling loved, adored and taken care of are more motivated to go out and create not just meaningful relationships, but meaningful work.

It makes her see you as her baby.

Newberg and Waldman suggest that positive words strengthen areas in our frontal lobe and promote the brain’s cognitive functioning. This, in turn, creates a positive view of yourself, which leads to a positive view of others.

When a woman hears that she's your baby, she can't help but look at you like you're her baby. It's the sign of a healthy relationship when both parties think of each other as "baby."

In a piece from Scientific American called "Why We Use Pet Names In Relationships," author Elizabeth Landau found multiple sources (and there aren't many out there) proving that pet names are the sign of a healthy relationship.

Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle and co-author of the book "The Normal Bar," which collected data from 100,000 random couples all over the country, 76 percent of couples that reported to be in a happy relationship also had nicknames for each other. The words are used as daily reminders of the importance and intimacy between the two partners and to forever keep each other feeling safe and loved.

So if you want to calm down your girlfriend, let her know you love her or change her attitude toward you, try to use the word "baby."

And no, I don’t mean baby talk. There’s a fine line between the two. We love being called "baby" and saying it to you in return, but we don't want you acting like one.