When babies gain a sense of individuality

Gaining a sense of individuality

At the time of writing, our son is just over seven months old and I've heard from a couple of sources that around this age, babies start to realise that they are individual people. In other words, up to now he thought he and his mother were the same person which explains why he was quite happy to be left on his own as a baby - he simply didn't realise he was alone. I found this fascinating when I heard it, but it raised a couple of questions for me. Firstly, how do the experts know what a baby thinks? And secondly, where do fathers fit into this? Does this mean we're outsiders? It can feel like it sometimes.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the day when I'm greeted with a cute smile when I come home from work. So far, the first reaction I get is an inquisitive face that says "oh look, it's that man who visits us on weekends and evenings". Admittedly this gradually turns into a smile once I start turning on the charm, but I can't help feeling out of place when I hear expert research backing up my instinct that he was born a mummy's boy. Not that I'm complaining, however. I'm still in awe of the whole childbirth thing and how my partner was able to feed and nurture this human both while he was in her body and after he came out. I'm glad, though, that he's developing a sense of independence and the "man who visits" can now feel like a dad.

Comments (now closed)

At first us dad's do tend to take a back seat during the first year as we are at work and all that normal stuff. Then they get that independant thing and before you know it the little one is jumping up and down when you come home from work and climbing on your lap at every possible moment! then you have the "they have been little terrors until you got home" and all you see is a little angel that butter wouldn't melt in the mouth!
richard17 June 2004

It is easy to feel left out in the early months as a father, whilst out working all day every day, you feel as if you are missing out on everything that your child learns to do, noises they make, that first time they crawl. But you will also be their Dad, and as time passes your wife/partner will start to be envious of the bond you have with your child, as the short valuable time yiou have will always be fun for your child.
17 June 2004

My baby is 1 1/2 months old now, but ever since she was still 20 days old, she smiles at me everytime i coo in front of her face, specially aftern coming home from work or in the morning when my baby wakes up.
Randy17 June 2004