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To build your baby's sense of self. A new baby needs to know that the world is a safe place. He learns this when you watch his cues and respond to them consistently and with love. When you comfort your crying son, you’re showing respect for his feelings. Your sensitive care builds his confidence in you and in himself. The level of security formed during the first year is at our core throughout our lives.
To make it easy on yourself. Simplify your life right now. Going with your gut reduces internal conflict and relieves stress. Maybe that means bringing your baby to bed so you can get more sleep. Maybe it's wearing her in a carrier so she can be held while you shop. Maybe it’s cutting back on expenses so you can take a longer leave from your job. It's giving yourself permission to do what's right for you and your baby.
Make your life easier next year, too. Babies whose needs are met promptly in the first year learn that you can be trusted. That means that next year when you call out "Daddy will be there in a minute," your baby will play with his toes while you have time to shave. Those early weeks of sleep deprivation seem unending, but keep them in perspective. This is a short-term investment with a long-term payoff.
To enjoy the perks. Early parenting is hard work. There's no paycheck, no benefit plan --- there isn't even a weekend. But there are priceless perks: falling asleep with the baby on your chest, gazing at that innocent face while you nurse her and rock her to sleep, catching a middle-of-the-night smile as milk runs down his chin. These rewards are a limited-time offer. Indulge yourself. Enjoy your baby.