Often new parents wonder, should I leave my baby with a babysitter? We’ve been in your shoes. You’ve been puked on, peed on, and you’re living in sweats. Despite all of that, you love your little nugget more than life itself and leaving your child with a sitter seems impossible.

But, the answer is yes. You should leave your baby with a babysitter. Whether that sitter is Grandma, a friend, or a babysitter in the community, you should take a little time for yourself. Even if it’s just for a nap.

We know it’s hard but sometimes the best thing for your child is to take a little time away. Here are 5 reasons you should leave your baby with a babysitter.

Teaches them to bond.

You’ll always be their favorite, but the experience with a sitter teaches your child how to bond with others, an essential life skill. There will come a time when you won’t always be able to be around your child, like when they attend preschool. Your child needs to be able to form healthy relationships with other caregivers. It will help them feel safe and secure and give them a sense of belonging when you’re not around. If they don’t learn to have a relationship with caregivers other than yourself in the baby or toddler years, it’s going to be even more difficult for them when they transition to preschool or kindergarten.

You need to take care of yourself.

When you’re rested and feel good, you’ll be more present and patient with your child. That leaves baby feeling happy and secure. It’s kind of like on an airplane when they advise you to put your oxygen mask on first. Take a yoga class, go for a walk or hike, or simply take time to do a hobby you love. Just because you had a baby, it doesn’t mean that you gave up being You. Embrace being a parent but don’t lose yourself.

You need to take care of your relationships.

When you have a child, it’s easy to start putting them ahead of everyone else, including your spouse. However, it’s so important to take the time to nurture your relationship with your partner – now more than ever. When parenting, you need to be on the same page so your child feels a sense of stability. The only way to do that is to spend time with your significant other and have a real conversation without the baby interrupting.

You need to relieve stress.

Being a parent is 24/7 x 365. There isn’t a parent in the world that doesn’t feel stressed with it all. It’s critical that you have an outlet to relieve that stress so you don’t unleash it in a massive tantrum with your partner or baby. To be the best parent, you need to be your best self.

Teaches them independence.

You’re probably thinking, “It’s a baby. Are you kidding me? Independence?” Independence is a skill that children learn as a baby. By leaving your baby with a sitter, they learn that even though you’re not physically there, you always come back. They’ll be a lot more comfortable when you leave them on that first day of preschool, the first day of soccer that’s not Mommy and Me, and on through childhood.

For a more humorous take on why you should leave your child with a babysitter, take a look at 10 reasons parents used a Sitter this week.

So, yes, definitely, get out. Whether it’s dinner, yoga class, or simply a nap, your child will thank you.

Check out our great resources for finding a babysitter and leaving your baby with a sitter for the first time in our Ultimate Guide to Finding a Babysitter.