I feel it means "I love you and I'm going to take care of you", just like you would say to a newborn. And I don't want this to be taken as being disgustingly dependent on your partner, but rather knowing that your significant other is going to be there for you when things get tough.
"Baby" is as close as we can get to having a (universal) "pet name" for most couples. It's a term of endearment. It also signifies loving/nurturing feelings towards that person. No sane person would set out to hurt their (baby). :-)
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Why are grown adults and mates jealous of a relationship with someones grown children?
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