Andy Cohen just welcomed a baby boy! 🎉

Andy Cohen is one of the busiest people in television, and he's about to get even busier because the Watch What Happens Live host just became a dad!

Baby Benjamin Allen Cohen came into the world Monday, and his dad shared the big news on Instagram.

"He is named after my grandfather Ben Allen. I'm in love. And speechless. And eternally grateful to an incredible surrogate. And I'm a dad. Wow," Cohen captioned a photo of a sweet skin-to-skin moment with his baby boy.

Baby Ben's birth comes a few weeks after Cohen announced he was expecting during a December episode of WWHL:

"After many years of careful deliberation, a fair amount of prayers and the benefit of science, if all goes according to plan in about six weeks time I'm going to become a father thanks to a wonderful surrogate who is carrying my future," he said.

Cohen's been single since the spring and didn't mention a co-parent in either announcement. It seems he's doing this as a single parent—and that's a totally valid choice. For any new parent, single or not—including Andy Cohen—their village becomes so important after the baby arrives.

In those early days, weeks and months, we all need help. Every parent's village looks different (Cohen's will probably have more famous faces than most) and every parent's needs are different.

That's why Julie Smith, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in parent coaching, previously told Motherly that one of the most powerful things members of the village can do for a new parent is asking them, "What do you need right now?"

By asking parents what they need, instead of presuming, we village members are letting them know that their needs matter as much as the baby's, that we have confidence in their parenting and that they are not alone.

When we ask this crucial question we can avoid well-intentioned efforts that actually add more stress than they relieve, like showing up with casseroles when the freezer is already full (Cohen probably doesn't need casseroles at all). We can meet parents' needs in a really meaningful way.

New parenthood can be an exhausting experience, but it is one Cohen has been dreaming of for a long time.

"Family means everything to me and having one of my own is something that I have wanted in my heart for my entire life," he said when he announced the pregnancy. "Though it's taken me longer than most to get there, I cannot wait for what I envision will be the most rewarding chapter yet."

The man who brought the Real Housewives into the world has brought a baby into the world, and we are so happy for him.

Congratulations Andy! 🎉

[A version of this post was published December 21, 2018. It was updated to reflect the birth.]

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When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.


The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.

As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

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As a mom of three, I frequently get a question from moms and dads of two children: “Ok, so the jump to bad is it?"

Personally, I found the transition to having even one kid to be the most jarring. Who is this little person who cries nonstop (mine had colic) and has no regard for when I feel like sitting/eating/resting/sleeping?

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