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So how will I know how to take care of a newborn?(41 Posts)
I have absolutely no experience with babies. I have no siblings, and friends with babies. My mum, on whose advice I was counting said that she actually forgot everything as it was more than 30 year ago :-)I started to worry about how will I know/ who will teach me how to bath a baby, swaddle, hold him etc. NCT courses ,as I understand, are not focusing on after delivery life. I read books, but I can't read all book in the world and I find it hard so far to put theory into practice. So what do I do?
do not worry you will know what to do - i was lucky though as a kind nurse showed me how to give the baby a bath -
I had some input at my NCT class on nappy changing, bathing, feeding. A whole session on 'essentials'.
Also bought a book called "first time parent" 2nd hand - very useful! Also try youtube!
It's kind of terrifying at first but you just do it, and so long as you just keep feeding them and don't let their head flop about they'll be fine.
It doesn't sound like the greatest tip in the world, but this was me just a year ago, and all I can say is - you learn as you go along! No amount of books or reading websites or tips from people is any better than actually doing it yourself and figuring out what works for you and your baby. Me and my DH, on our first night from hospital, literally sat there in our room with our DD in her basket next to us, and we was like 'what on earth do we do? We should never have left the hospital' the newborn stage flies by, just try not to overthink anything at all. Every day is a learning curve, enjoy your baby when they arrive, it goes so quick!
Just to say I think at least half our nct class was about post birth looking after baby- breastfeeding, what to clothe and how, bathing, napoy changing, essentials needed at home, how to go on holiday etc. All very useful! Also go to baby groups and meet people who you can ask/rely on if your not sure!
It is terrifying, but that is normal.
We were also terrified to bring DD home, despite having read tons of books.
You will get through it. Ask for kelp from midwife when you need it.
You might want to get a Doula for the birth and/or after. It might give you that extra a bit support. I know that would have helped me. Would have been less scary.
Read books, go on courses, speak to mums about how the 1st few weeks are, dig out a few MN threads, prepare as much practical stuff as you can (like food in the freezer, arrange a cleaner etc etc), and then just go with the flow. You will be fine
Don't forget that once you've had the baby you'll be assigned a health visitor who will either visit you at home or give you a clinic to attend. They offer advice on the practicalities of day to day baby care as well as the medical side of things. If you're really struggling to put what you've read into practice (the internet is full of good advice, e.g. Mumsnet baby pages or NCT parenting pages) you can ask them to show you what or how to do things. They can probably recommend free parent and child classes to attend where you'll have chance to chat to other new mums where you can see how other people do things.
If that's not enough support, just keep asking the health professionals who are assigned to you, either midwives, health visitors, your GP for extra help and they may have other options of support that aren't obvious now. Don't ever feel like you're struggling and let it go, yours and your baby's health and happiness are too important to ignore. Always ask for more help if you feel you need it.
The NHS do give you the "Birth to Five" book when you have a baby. I hadn't realised we'd receive it, and felt the same as you, but it really did help us.
I haven't read any books, and I think i've managed just fine
Most of it is common sense. Every baby is different (my second is totally different to my first, so I"m back to square one again) so much as advice etc can be helpful, you generally find your own way anyway.
Mumsnet is very useful!
As others have said, its mainly on the job learning, and you will be fine! Also remember there is no one 'right' way to do lots of things so thats why lots of the advice seems confusing at first. I would go to nct or other antenatal class, as although I didn't find there was too much post birth advice, what you will get is a group of new parents with babies exactly the same age as yours who you can swap questions and tips with - I think this will really help if you have no friends with babies nearby. Also you can ask your midwife/health visitor for support and there are often new baby or breastfeeding groups locally which can be really helpful - ask your midwife as she should have details of them. A good book which gives you some idea what to expect is Your baby week by week by Simon Cave and Caroline Fertleman. Good luck!
I had tiny 31 week twins and had no idea what to do with them, had never even changed a nappy. One of the best pieces of advices I had was from a SCBU nurse who said 'they're not a box of eggs, you can't break them that easily'. Babies are pretty robust and you'll figure it out, maybe not in the first day but give it a week and you'll be a pro!
You'll be doing this 24 hours a day for 7 days a week. You will get to know what your baby needs by doing it.
You'd pick up any skill quickly if you spent so much time living it.
Read books etc by all means, but remember the people who wrote them will never have met your child. You'll be the expert there.
You will be absolutely fine. I don't think I'd held a baby before I had my first, and it was all fine. Midwives and HV are there to help, if you need it and it is not offered don't be afraid to ask. Enjoy and good luck!
Honestly, you'll be fine. In fact it might end up being a good thing that you dont have ideas already about how you must do things - it's much easier if find your own way and do what works for you and your baby and family, rather than what some book says or what your Great Aunt Margaret did or whatever. You'll figure it out babies just want to be fed, clean, safe and warm.
I was thinking the same as you until yesterday. I went to the free antenatal classes and they told us all the main things about feeding and care etc. And you will also have a big support group of midwifes and health visitors to help you. It might be worth speaking to your midwife about the free classes in your are
Instinct is a lot of it - my body just sort of took over. I was worried I wouldn't wake up but I did. for other more complex things your midwife or health visitor can guide you. Just ask them and your mum might think she has forgotten but it will all come back, trust me. try not to worry too much just go with your gut a lot of the time.
I was just the same, only child, no friends with babies. I was terrified.
In my case I did not just miraculously know what to do as some people say! And I live overseas with no health visitors. Totally alone when home from hospital.
The baby whisperer book really helped me. It has charts which explain their different cries and some helpful gentle routine.
I also watched a lot of videos on YouTube for the practical stuff.
You will be fine, but don't feel bad if you don't instinctively know what to do. Why would you?!
I was in the same situation but honestly, once you have a baby of your own you just get on with it. They don't need much in the early days, just change their nappy, feed them and let them sleep. Job done. I love that SMA advert where they say 'you've no experience... But the job's yours anyway'. So true! What's also true is the bit at the end when they say 'you're doing great'. Because you will be.
We did baby care at Nct, it wasn't all about birth.
Basically it's this. If they're crying: check their nappy, see if they're too hot/cold (fingers inside their vest), try feeding them, try cuddling them (hold upright over your shoulder in case it's a stuck burp). If all else fails stick them in the buggy and take them for a walk. The motion might well send them off to sleep but if not the crying noise doesn't seem so loud outdoors.
Tbh it's not rocket science.
Dirty or wet nappy - take old nappy off, clean bottom, dry it, put protecting cream on, put new nappy on.
Baby crying - he is probably hungry or feels lonely and wants you to hold him. Or if he has eaten already and is having a cuddle already he might be feeling overtired and overwhelmed (the worlds a stimulating place for babies) and he might want to sit quietly in a dark room with mummy.
Clothes. Babygrows. Maybe with little Cardi on top and vest under depending on weather. In winter booties and cosy pram suit and hat.
Bath. Run bath, get towel and everything ready. Lower baby into bath. Swill water round a bit. Lift baby out into cosy towel. I went in the bath with both of mine which was lovely.
All these things are practicalities. It doesn't much matter whether you do it way A or way B.
Most important thing is to try to get to know our baby, start to be able to empathise with him and what his experience might be of life and be responsive to his needs and his lead. Of course no one can ever manage this 100% of the time so that baby never experiences any upset or distress in his vulnerable position. But you only need to be good-enough, you don't need to be perfect.
what everyone else said! you just do it. you learn on the job. you visit mumsnet/ask a friend/ask your HV/get some books to check if you really aren't sure and mostly you wing it! I had no experience with babies children at 32 so I didn't have a clue either. But I've managed to keep two children alive and the eldest is 7, so if I can do it - you can xx
put some form of milk in at one end at frequent intervals, keep the other end clean and give lots of cuddles. if in doubt ask MN.
the NHS run an antenatal day, it used be a few evening sessions but now they do it in a day, I found this to be brilliant as it covered not only labour but the basics of newborn care, bathing, breast/formula feeding, even what clothing and baby kit to buy to get through the first few of weeks.
Ask your midwife at your next check when you can get this booked and look forward to it,
Also Mumsnet is a brilliant resource as are baby groups when baby arrives.
Congratulations on your pregancy and very best wishes for the future, you sound lovely and I am sure that you will be a very caring Mum.
Don't be afraid to be tell the midwife you're clueless! She showed us how to do a nappy change, bath baby etc.
And then you just learn as you go. I remember bringing my DD home and her first nappy change at home in late eve took so long she started to go a bit blue from cold! We learnt very quickly to speed up and were experts in no time!
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