Dad Reading with New Baby

The phase of having a baby is unlike any other. The days are equally too long and too short, exhausting and sweet. You’ll find yourself wishing more than once that there was a manual. This is the phase when nobody sleeps, everybody smells; one mesmerizing baby convinces you, “I need you now.”

There is nothing like sleep deprivation in the home of new parents.

Maybe that’s why every book on babies seems to be primarily dedicated to keeping them happy (stop the crying, please!) or helping them sleep longer (so parents can sleep longer). Sleep is the most prized commodity of parents at this phase. In fact, if you’re the stop-by-the-home-of-new-parents type, just remember this: a sleeping baby is your cue not to stay.

If you wonder why everybody smells, consider this:

When faced with the choice between sleep or a shower, there are days (no one’s counting how many) when cleanliness doesn’t win out. That’s not to mention the dirty diapers or spit-up. The smells aren’t all bad, though. Just watch how long it takes grandma to lean over and sniff a child the first time she meets that new baby.

What New Babies Need Most

The greatest characteristic of this phase, by far, is just how much a new baby needs you.

They need you more desperately, more consistently, and more frequently than at any other stage of life.

They need you to feed them.

They need you to clean up their messes.

They need you to help them get to sleep.

They need you to comfort them.

They need you to smile at them, entertain them, and engage them.

Although the days are long, and the task can feel demanding, only one thing matters most at this phase—you show up.

They’re completely dependent on you in a way they never will be again. There is remarkable potential in the life of a new baby.  It’s just a phase; so . . . don’t miss it.


To read about the one question all babies ask, check out this blog.