Despite being virtually unable to see and incapable of holding up their heads, newborns are already emotionally complex people—which new mom Mindy Kaling says she quickly learned after baby Katherine was born in December.
"When she was born, she was kind of skinny and anxious," Kaling tells Shape, adding Katherine seemed to pick up on her mama's vibe. "I think she was like, 'Can this woman take care of me?'" What new mom can't relate? No matter how much experience you may have with other babies, how many parenting books you've read or how many classes you've attended, there is nothing quite like welcoming your first baby and realizing you are responsible for another life. With no choice but to dive right in, it's also remarkable how quickly you (and baby) can gain confidence. In fact, for Kaling, all those feeding sessions proved to be about so much more than providing nourishment. "During our many breastfeeding sessions, we've gotten to know each other, and she's learned to trust me over time." After working her way through that initial new-mom anxiety, Kaling says she's come to appreciate her one-sided conversations with baby Katherine. "What's great for me is that my doctor told me that incessant chatter is good for a baby, and I've lived my whole life waiting to have a captive audience," Kaling says. "I'm constantly doing voiceover for her, as I did in The Mindy Project... Honestly, I feel like her first words are going to be, 'Just stop. Please!'" Of course, new motherhood has a way of continuing to challenge you—even as your confidence grows. But, as Kaling previously told People, the rewards compensate for all her sleepless nights, especially now that Katherine's ability to display her emotions has taken another exciting turn: "Just when I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, this is overwhelming,' she throws me a huge smile. It's the best part of my day."

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