Why do many parents say they're proud of their newborn babies? How can you be proud of them, since they haven't done anything but being born?

Because they’re proud at the fact they’ve became a parent at all. They’re proud that:

  • They met someone in life to be there with them the whole way, a soulmate if you will, or at least the other parent to your baby!
  • They got through an entire roughly nine months of pregnancy, not an easy thing to do at all! Especially if a woman gets morning sickness, back and joint pain and general irritability! Obviously credit here goes more to the mother!
  • They’re proud that they went through the extreme pain of labour (most of the time) and they done it all for their newborn
  • They’re proud that they have actually became a parent. After waiting probably decades of life, a few relationships and eventually a relationship strong enough to produce a baby (I’m talking emotionally here, nothing to do with fertility), it’s finally happened!
  • They’re proud looking at their baby to think of everything to come. All the joyful moments. All the upsetting moments. All the ups and downs that come with parenthood! Who couldn’t feel an unbelievable sense of pride looking at their own baby!
  • Not to mention their cute chubby little faces!

19 Replies to “Why do many parents say they're proud of their newborn babies? How can you be proud of them, since they haven't done anything but being born?”

  1. The moment you become a parent you turn into a gushing and ridiculous person of which you have no control to be otherwise. The absolute tiniest thing your baby does seems like the biggest miracle you have ever witnessed. “Oh look! Her lips moved!” “Did you see her close her hand?” “Look at that face she is making!!”

    It can’t helped or stopped. Even in the modern world of scientific knowledge where the process of life is documented to the tiniest detail, it still feels like a complete and utter miracle that this bitty person exists. Even though you know a baby is supposed to thrive and grow and learn, when you get to witness these things it feels amazing and special as if you are the first to know these things.

    Its a sickness that should not be cured!

  2. I try very hard to never tell my kids that I am proud of them.

    Instead I tell my kids “I hope you feel proud of yourself” when they have accomplished something impressive. I am giving them full credit for their achievements, while at the same time showing them that it is more important for them to feel positive about what they have achieved than any external validator.

    While it may be natural for parents to feel pride in their kid’s achievements, it’s also belittling and an insidious way of negating their kid’s independence. Not to mention that kids may learn that external validation is more important than self validation.

    However, in the case of a newborn baby, there’s really not much that the kid has achieved independently. At that point, pretty much everything has been done by the parents.

    So for a newborn, I think it is totally appropriate and right for a parent to feel proud of their tiny baby.

  3. Have you seen a live birth? Do you have any idea what it means for the baby?

    1. Head squeezed so hard that head bones overlap deform and shift. Not just the plates but also eyebrows nose jawbone. Maaaaybe it hurts getting extruded like a sawsage.
    2. Need to breathe
    3. Need to keep himself warm
    4. Too bright
    5. Too loud
    6. Hunger!
    7. Did they just poke me with a needle?
    8. Not weightless anymore? FFS!
    9. Scared: where is that rhytmic sound that is always there? Mom takes showers without me?
    10. Too many red cells so I feel half dead for first days.
    11. ….

    I'll stop at that.

    If someone tells me I should not be proud of my firstborn after she, under all above circumstances, fought for 8h before being able to breathe natural air (she aspirated meconium before being delivered)… they better be wearing a cup. And a safety mask.

  4. It is just something new parents (& Grandparents) say. If you knew the odds a newborn has overcome, just to be born healthy with all the bits in the right place let alone the mother still being healthy and strong after the birth you wouldn’t say: “just being born”. This is not the reason parents say this. The real reason is they looked in their child’s eyes and fell in love. Sounds cheesy, but it is very true for most parents. They have ‘’arrived’ at the beginning of the roller coaster of their life healthy. Of course they’re ‘proud’. It is probably a similar response if one of your family members is in the olympics. You cheer, even before they have run the race, and if they lose, so what, you still celebrate. It is right up there with them being the ‘most beautiful’, ‘most intelligent’, brightest, cutest. Of course it means little in any objective sense, but subjectively to new parents it is of course, totally true.

  5. When my baby was born by emergency C-Section, his skin was a white/grey colour. I didn’t immediately understand why they had two people working on him, and while I felt divided leaving the side of his mom, I had to go and have a look.

    One of the doctors was trying to suck mucus out of his nose, while the other massaged his chest and kept telling me that he was going to be fine.

    I didn’t know exactly what was happening, but he was distressed. I tried to stay calm, whispered to him that he was going to make it and gently dropped my right index finger in his left hand, which he squeezed.

    A short time later, his skin started turning pink and the doctors started acting more relaxed.

    As it turned out, he had been born having difficulty breathing, and it wasn’t until 7 minutes after he was out of the womb that the doctors felt he had a good chance of surviving birth.

    Despite having been given a rough start, he fought like a champion, didn’t give up and pulled through. Today you couldn’t really tell what he went through in those 7 minutes. You bet I am proud 🙂

  6. The last photo I carefully staged and shot hasn't done anything, but I'm fairly proud of it.

    The chocolate cream pie I made didn't do anything. But it was lovely. And I took pride in it.

    The cinnamon and vanilla I let bubble on the stove didn't do anything but smell nice. I'm still proud that I thought to use it as an emergency room scent.

    And thus it is with babies.

    I'm not advocating pride. We received precious abilities – or gifts – or blessings – or in this case babies – and we should thank God for them.

    But that's where it comes from. Being proud of what simply is.

    Babies look sweet. They smell lovely. They're ours. They came from us. And they exist, bringing joy and beauty into the world.

    That's why we say we're proud of them.

  7. Being proud is a feeling you experience because of that thing… In this instance, being proud of your newborn child is due to the sense of pride envoked just knowing that this perfect little stranger is yours…a part of you… Who wouldn't be proud to know they were a part of something so amazing? This feeling can occur for many reasons though…maybe a new car or home, maybe yourself for own accomplishments and achievements. Pride is an emotion, relative to each person and not experienced identically by every other person. You may even feel proud for others…because you care about them or identify with them in some way (i.e. your child graduating, your team winning the big game, maybe a close friend who went back to school after many years and you shared that journey with or even feeling proud for those who stood for what they believed in…for their cause, to make a difference, etc…). Basically, being proud of something is your own personal feeling envoked by something you care for or identity with. 🙂

  8. I am somewhat In agreement. With my own son I was many things — terrified, overwhelmed, in absolute awe that we'd made it — but proud? His father kept going on about how proud he was and I have to admit I found it confusing (was he proud of the baby?) and irritating (was he proud of himself?).

    The fact that he mentioned it as his strongest feeling didn't really help since my interpretation was that the feeling of pride was more about him and not about our baby at all.

    It brought the Lion King to mind.. you know the bit where dad holds the young Simba up for all the animals to bow? I imagine the dad proudly going “bow before the power of my sperm!”. Meanwhile behind mum is thinking “Omg.. you're holding our baby over a cliff! FFS put him down before he gets hurt!”

  9. I takes a lot of work to make a person. Conception is not as easy as you think. The right sperm has fight among hundreds of its kind to find one egg. After that, its almost luck that the fertilized egg attaches to the right surface in just the right spot. After that it has to battle the mother’s natural defenses.

    The Mom and her body become hard workers to provide for the developing baby. Who spends most of the year in the womb.

    When its time to deliver, it takes a small team of dedicated professionals to safely bring the new life into the world. With a lot of pushing and shoving on the part of the Mom. Don’t you know how small the exit is from the womb?

  10. To be perfectly honest, I have never in my 71 years ever heard parents use the word ‘proud’ when talking about a new born baby. I cannot think of one movie or TV drama or play where anyone uses the word ‘proud’ for a new born.

    I could however imagine someone saying they are proud to have become parents, or I could imagine a grandparent saying to their daughter ‘we are very proud of you, we didn’t think you had it in you to start a family’, or words to that effect.

    But for a mother to say of her new born ‘oh yes, I am very proud of my new born baby’ is taking the meaning of the word ‘proud’ out of context, it’s inappropriate and meaningless, and I am sorry to say, all the other answers are wrong.

    Besides, parents of the their first new born are often too traumatised by the sheer joy of finally giving birth after 24 hours of excruciatingly painful labour, so if you could ascribe the word ‘proud’ to the baby, it might be ‘this poor kid, he’s just spent 20 hours of heart wrenching pain and effort feverishly trying to get himself out of this tight tunnel called my womb, it’s amazing he never died of exhaustion. Yep I sure am proud of the little bleeder, and I’m sure he’ll one day go on to beat Sonny Liston.

    So no, ‘proud’ is not normally a word you ascribe to new borns. After all, when a toddler finally stands up for the first time, we don’t say ‘oh, I am very proud of Junior, he finally stood on this legs yesterday without falling over. Parents might feel pride, but they will never actually use the word. Instead they will say something different like ‘oh, what a good little boy, who’s a clever little boy’

  11. Well, biology dictates that all living things try their damnedest to survive. And I suppose by surviving gestation and birth the parents are proud. I also suspect, even when the child does not survive, they are proud, because the baby, although not born alive, still tried. Also, as living things that strive for survival, having a child ensures your genetic survival so the baby is a success of the parents heritage. Now, humans, being intelligent know they can also ensure their own heritage by being successful enough to have a name be remembered through art, math, politics and so on. It's our natural instincts to make a mark and many many people see their mark and future in the birth of a child.

  12. Personal view here —

    I do not believe it is so much that the parents are proud of the baby. It has more to do with the parents being proud of themselves for having produced the baby and there is a sense of transference that takes place.

    I have been a number of people, throughout my life, strutting around and being full of themselves because they had a baby, like it was something new and no one has ever made a baby before.

    I have never gone down that road to producing children and raising a family. I am not certain of my own attitude and behavior should that ever occur. I would hope I would have a little more control over my expression of happiness.

  13. I don’t interpret this statement about newborns the same way you have. While they say they’re proud of the child, I think what they mean is they’re proud to have the child. They are proud of their own achievement in bringing it into the world.

    Certainly in the case of the mother who has grown and birthed it, there is very good reason for this pride. No matter the method of birth, successfully bringing new life into the world is an amazing thing that conjures all sorts of emotions that are difficult to articulate. Pride is possibly the best word most know to capture these overwhelming and new feelings.

    You may well feel, as my ex did, that birthing a child is no achievement because millions have done it before. But the number of people raving about both the birthing process and the resultant child will tell you that no matter how many millions have gone before you, there’s nothing like first hand experience. It feels like an achievement and so that word ‘proud’ just pops out. For many, I think it seems natural to make the result (the baby) the focus of the pride.

    I can’t really see any harm in parents starting out being proud of their newborn anyway. Their kid will do plenty to disappoint them over the years, so let’s stsrt with something positive!

  14. Because it sets a mood and tone that more likely translates into a nurturing environment for the child, the voice tones are picked up on by the little mind as loving and caring. Makes the infant feel loved and wanted.

  15. Gestation and birth are trying- though wonderful- experiences. Parents make those babies, don't they? You can be proud of your achievement and trust me, a healthy, lovely newborn is an achievement!

  16. They are proud of their potential to do great things. I believe babies are born with a clean slate and the experiences they have with their families and environments make them who they are. As a mom to a now 16 year old son, I loved him from the day I first felt him hiccup in my womb. I didn't know what kind of baby he’d be, but I was even proud of those little hiccups because they were my first clue as to who he may become. I believe every parent should be proud of the potential their newborn has and do everything they can to help their child reach that potential as they grow.

  17. They are amazed at the beauty of life that exists because of their actions; they are proud of the existence of their child.

    Personally pride was not my overwhelming emotion but concern and anxiety as my daughter had problems breathing and had to be in the baby unit for over a week as she stabilised.

    I am so grateful that she is with us and so very much in love with her.

  18. It's nothing to do with the babies. It's to do with the sheer hard work of raising a kid. I have to contend with sleepless nights, screaming, being peed and shat on not to mention the constant drool and spit up. I have to spend at least 3 nights a week at home looking after after the baby when I could be out doing work or having fun.

    And I'm a slightly misogynistic guy – it's 100% more hard work for the ladies. First off is that you have to contend with the equivalent of lugging an ever increasing in size rock on your stomach for nine months and you can't really have any fun during that time (no smoking, drinking, drugs or excessive activities of any kind). At the end of it you have to do what is the male equivalent of squeezing a lemon out of your pee hole, to wit the glory and majesty of childbirth and then go through a gruelling cycle of being constantly woken up every 4 hours for the little f**ker to spend an hour gnawing on your tits for some 2 odd years.

    So when I hear that people are proud of their kids I really hear that they are proud that they have had them not that they (the kid) has achieved some deed or anything. I am proud of my kids – as an autistic adult it's been hard having to get used to them but I have persevered and am now much the better for it – I also have some people who I can legitimately watch anime with.

  19. Well hey, they won the sperm race against innumerable other sperms and they also survived the battlefield of mom’s body and grew successfully and presumably were born successfully without any complications, that’s gotta count for something!

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