Until I had children myself, I used to wonder exactly how it happened that everyone thinks their baby is cute. After I had my first baby, this mystery became clear, and I wanted to share this with anyone who might be wondering.
Before having kids, when someone thinks of the word “baby”, a picture pops into their head, probably of a niece or nephew, a friend’s baby, or maybe just a generic little baby like the TV commercial baby models.
After having kids of your own, that association goes out the window. I discovered from experience that the minute a new parent sees their baby, the definition of the word “baby” is what they see, and in their mind this is the ideal look. So if someone’s baby has big ears compared to other babies, for example, the parent won’t think “oh, my baby has big ears”; they’ll think “wow, most of the other babies I see have tiny ears! Thank goodness my baby’s ears are a normal size!”
An example that happened to me is when my first baby was bald for most of his first year. I felt sorry for all the parents of babies with hair (yes, really). I thought “Oh how sad, they’re missing out on the bald stage”. Huh? Bald stage?! It never occurred to me that we might be missing out on hair instead. And when our second baby was born (who has always had a full head of hair), I didn’t for a second feel like we were missing out on the bald stage! How crazy is that?!
Parents also tend to perceive other babies as cute when they look most like their own baby. Of course, there are a few babies out there who are considered extremely cute by just about everyone. Regardless of what others think, a parent will always consider his or her baby the cutest: simply because theirs is wrapped up in her definition of the word “baby”. I’m sure there have been numerous scientific articles that can explain this in a much more scholarly way, but sometimes it helps to have it come from a more personal perspective.