Do Babies Love? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kind of a wierd question, but do you feel like newborn babies love their parents or are they simply in survival mode and just show a heavy reliance on their caregivers? If so, at what age do you feel children really start to love?

Mother to Elsa b. 12/06 and expecting a new one 6/10. Partner to Josh and love our two cats, Bert N Ernie.
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#2 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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I dont know when it actually occurs, but once he was about 5 weeks old and smilied when he saw me and didnt at others, I thought he realy did love me
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#3 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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I was very concerned about this question when my little one was new I felt like I was working so hard, and my love for him was so overwhelming, I wondered if he felt the same way!

I'm not a professional, and I can't back this up with anything other than gut feeling, but I think that even a brand new newborn, or a preemie for that matter, does love their parents. They've had all the time in utero, listening to your voice, experiencing your emotions, etc - I think they do know and love Mom in a way that is different than their feelings for others.

Like I said, I don't know of any research to support my gut, but I still think I'm right!!

SAHM to my and and due in summer 2010, married to my best friend.
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#4 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 09:03 PM
 
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I think babies can feel love and have love for others from birth. It may not be the same as an older persons love, but I think those feelings are there, I don't think they have to be "learned".
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#5 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 09:12 PM
 
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Definitely they do. Babies given up for adoption take time before they can interact with their new parents by looking into their eyes, things like that. The baby feels the loss and must get over it before they allow new people into their heart.

Babies do love their parents, and they don't even have to see them after birth to miss them for their entire lives.
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#6 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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I have felt love from all of mine from the start. It's how they looked at me. Perhaps it's just projection but I don't really think so.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#7 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 09:30 PM
 
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What is love? (Oh baby, don't hurt me) : Sorry, I had a Night at the Roxbury flashback.

I think initially it's instinct, dependence, call it what you want. I didn't feel the same reward at that age that I do now. I'd say around 6 months, I started feeling like she actually knew who I was. Of course now she also hugs and says mamamamamama, so that blows my mind.
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#8 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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I think they start out feeling utter contentment with the people they interact with the most and over time that happiness grows into love. When that happens, I'm not sure. My baby is 12 months old and has just started voluntarily giving hugs to both me and her big sister which I consider an indication of her love for us!

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#9 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 10:45 PM
 
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I think love has different meanings at different stages of life. What a baby feels when she's hungry and you feed her, or she's scared and you pick her up is as close to love as anything.
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#10 of 18 Old 02-07-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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I don't feel it's fair to only believe a child loves when they can express it physically. They can't do much of anything until they get used to their body, how can they express when they don't know how to work their parts yet?
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#11 of 18 Old 02-08-2007, 01:49 AM
 
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i wondered the same thing !! my babes 2.5 mos old dunno if she loves me but she loves my boobs!!!!!: she's def my little girlfriend
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#12 of 18 Old 02-08-2007, 02:50 AM
 
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I think it depends on your definition of love. I don't know if I felt that my newborns have "loved" me in the way that I think of the word. I felt that they needed me, that they were extremely bonded to me and comforted by me and my breasts and milk. I do feel what I would call love from my nearly 8 month old sometimes. She bursts into smiles and laughter when she sees me coming towards her, she open mouth "kisses" me on my face, she clings to me, she crawls towards me in desperation... etc. It gets different and more obvious as they get older and older.

Mama to 3 kids. We live in a yurt!
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#13 of 18 Old 02-08-2007, 06:26 AM
 
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Initially (as in newborn baby baby stage) I think it's more of an instinctual, physical-type bonding that grows more emotional as the child develops more sophisticated feelings.

I can say with some degree of certainty that my son loves me in a more emotional way now than he did months ago. It's in the way his eyes light up when he sees me, his smile when I smile, his laughter at my funny faces, the amazing sloppy open-mouthed kisses and random jerky hugs.

Sigh. There's love there alright. A whole lot on both ends.
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#14 of 18 Old 02-08-2007, 08:21 AM
 
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I saw real love in my babies' eyes before they have even come home from the hospital. To describe it more clearly, it was joy at the sight of me.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#15 of 18 Old 02-08-2007, 11:59 AM
 
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I believe they do love, yes. How they love and what it means to them changes as they grow, but love is always present.
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#16 of 18 Old 02-08-2007, 12:09 PM
 
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I believe they do as well...

SANDRA, 41 year old VERY laid-back mama to VERY free range kids Brett (16), Justus (11), Autumn (4), and Ayla (1)... four perfect NCB's! :::
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#17 of 18 Old 02-08-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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I believe they do, although I don't think they know what it is until they get older.
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#18 of 18 Old 02-08-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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Of course they do. They demonstrate most other emotions, don't they? They can express happiness, frustration, sadness, anger, disappointment, curiosity, and all sorts of other emotions, even if that's just through crying and smiling. Why wouldn't they also feel love?
Babies and toddlers, IMO, experience emotions more purely than the rest of us, because they haven't yet learned to restrain or question themselves and their feelings, or to share their experience of feelings through words, like the rest of us have. Thus, when someone takes a toy away, their world seems to fall apart right there in front of them, and when they nurse, and their mother smiles lovingly at them, they must be filled with the most amazing and pure love they will ever experience.
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