“There is not such a thing as a bad baby, it does not exist. All babies are born in love with their mothers. They love us. Some time ago I wrote: we are born to love and to be loved. Now I rewrite it: we are born loving, deeply in love. The neurobiology of labor and birth illustrates this well: inmediately after birth the newborn has even higher blood levels of oxytocin than the mother, the highest levels of the love hormone in life. As soon as it is born, left skin to skin on its mother, it is very awake and attentive, it searches for the breast guided by its smell, it crawls up to the nipple and almost always seeks visual contact first: it wants the mother to look into his/her eyes. Many mothers excitedly tell how at the moment of that look they felt a click, the recognition that this was their baby and the verification that they loved him/her.
All human beings are born like this, waiting to meet their mother. This ability to love the mother comes from birth, in that initial love we are all identical and we await the meeting with a mother happy to receive us.
When we are able to name and see the love of babies for their mothers, the whole interpretation we make of their behavior changes. We can understand their joy and deep well-being when their mother is happy and equally in love with her baby. We understand why they want to always be close to her, if possible in contact with her skin. If we put ourselves in the place of the baby in love and try to see the world from there, everything is perceived very differently. It is what some of us call the “perinatal look”.
If the mother can reciprocate the baby, love will multiply. If the father is present, taking care of the dyad on a daily basis, the baby’s love will also spontaneously expand towards the father or the mother’s female partner. Then it will solidify, after the first months of “crazy” love, another stage will arrive, more serene and similar to “mature love”. Then the baby will be able to separate from the mother, to spend hours away from her, because he will no longer have any doubts about her return and, above all, because of the loving nature of their relationship. He will feel loved not only by his mother, but also by his father and family. You will find it easy to spontaneously trust life and people.
The pattern we experience when we fall in love as adolescents or adults is a replica of that sequence. That first love relationship with the mother is the mold for the following love relationships, although each one will have its own nuances. That’s where empathy comes in. If the mother is key for the baby to build that initial security, the father seems to be so when the infant sets out to explore the world.”
Extract from my book Palabra de Madre.