Babies begin to communicate with us the moment they're born. When they cry or move, we respond. With this primitive communication come the first emotional skills. They learn at a few months old that smiling gets them a lot of positive attention-- and smiles in return. They learn that different noises elicit different responses from adults.
At first babies don't realize they and the world are separate. It takes time for them to understand that they are unique individuals, that by moving around and making noises they can cause things to happen, and that there are other people out there who care for them and help them.
This first stage of emotional growth is called "self and other awareness." As the child becomes aware of his mother, and all she does for him, he bonds to her, and to the caregivers who provide and care for him. This is the beginning of trust, self esteem, and self confidence.
The safer a child feels with you emotionally, the stronger that bond will be, and the better they will be able to grow as people. By being there for your baby, you are letting her know that she has a safe place to grow and learn, that she is wanted, that she matters to you, and that she belongs. This sense of safety and belonging is vital to growth and development.
If you teach a child that you are always there for him, he will feel safe exploring the world and new ideas.
If you teach the child that you believe in him, he will always know in his heart that he can succeed.
If you teach your child that you love him no matter what, he will always be able to come to you with his problems, and trust you to help him find better solutions.