True, it is a curious thing, the way people will interact with babies this way. I have a vague recollection that CS Lewis even made a comment about it once.
It seems it's all to do with smell.
I am also amused that at the end of the story, the reporter has found it necessary to add this:
Based on responses to this story, I should probably make something absolutely clear: You should never attempt to actually eat a baby.Nice sarcasm.
The headline, subhead, and lead to this story are not meant be taken seriously. Together they are, in the parlance of journalism, "the thing that gets people to read the article."
There is never any excuse to harm a child. The impulse that I described in this article does not take the form of an urge to literally bite, chew, and digest a small infant.
Rather, in my experience at least, it arises in utterances such as, "Your baby is so cute I could just eat him all up!" and in behaviors such as placing the baby's toes against the lips and repeatedly uttering the syllable "nom," in an attempt to elicit a giggle from the baby.
I realize now that such phrases and actions are not actually very common. Or normal.
Still, I hope that you will not only stand firm with me in refraining from infant cannibalism, but that you will also urge your friends, family members, and neighbors to do the same.