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New Babies - A Beginning Owner's Manual

Updated on May 13, 2013

Baby in the Hospital

The little newborn exercising his lungs.
The little newborn exercising his lungs. | Source
Another newborn in a hospital picture.
Another newborn in a hospital picture. | Source

Babies are born every day, but yours is certainly different. How do you deal with this wonderful new miracle? Labor, delivery and the hospital stay are the beginning for you and many will tell you what to expect but you can't necessarily depend on that. What about the first day at home? Do you know what it is really going to be like? Settling in with your new baby can be easier than you think. In this hub I will lead you lightly through these happenings.

Labor and Delivery

Miraculous! You are having a baby. What a wonderful miracle is about to unfold in your life. Along with that miracle will come a myriad of advice. As soon as people hear you are pregnant they will begin to recount their own labor and delivery stories. You'll hear about Aunt Lulu's thirty-five hour labor ordeal and cousin Joe's sister-in-law's sister who delivered her baby in the cab on the way to the hospital. You'll hear all the stories, good and bad, and everything in between. What you should notice is that each one is different and that is because each labor and delivery is different. Even when you have your own children, no two labor and deliveries are alike. The best advice is to listen to your doctor, read reputable books or medical sites on the Internet and be prepared for anything to happen.

Once labor begins there is no turning back, this is the moment you have been waiting for for nine months. Whatever pain you experience, and there will be pain unless you have been drugged, it will all be worth it.

During delivery, again, unless you've been drugged, you will be aware of everything going on as your baby begins its journey through the birth canal to the outside world. As the doctor holds up your baby you will experience a love like you have never known; an instant bonding with this beautiful new baby that is yours!

Cervix dilation

This shows how things get started and when you are ready to deliver.
This shows how things get started and when you are ready to deliver. | Source

Crying Newborn


The Hospital Stay

The hospital stay is usually about three days. I know you are anxious to get your baby home but trust me, don't rush it. The three days you spend in the hospital are your last three days of peace.

  • There are nurses to take care of your baby if you are tired,
  • there are nurses to change and dress your baby but best of all,
  • there are nurses to take your baby if your baby is crying and doesn't seem to want to stop.

These are no small feats. Being relieved of a crying baby is a very good thing and something you will come to long for in time. Sleep as much as you can either at night or during the day, it doesn't matter which. You are fortifying yourself for taking that beautiful new baby home.

Baby at Home

The extras are nice but not necessary in the first few weeks.
The extras are nice but not necessary in the first few weeks. | Source
The binky!
The binky! | Source
Asleep in the cradle.
Asleep in the cradle. | Source

The First Day at Home

You're bringing your baby home at last! What a wonderful time. Everything is ready with more gadgets, do dads, clothes and contraptions than anyone could ever need. The most important things to have when your baby gets home are a crib, a changing table, a baby bathtub and a baby. Of course a carriage is nice too but not absolutely necessary. What about the baby swing and all those musical things and on and on? Not necessary. I'm not saying you shouldn't have them but as your home begins to get smaller and smaller it is best to start with the essentials for this new little baby.

Once you are home the baby is all yours. When the baby starts to cry it is usually time for the baby to eat. You may find this is not as easy at home as it was in the hospital. No one will be preparing the bottle for you, you will have to get the formula in the bottle and the bottle warmed. Certainly easy to do, but a little more difficult when the baby is screaming. Remember to always have a clean bottle ready. The last thing you want to have to do is wash a bottle while your baby is screaming to eat. If you are breast feeding, you have an advantage here as long as the baby has latched onto the breast. They can sometimes be a little stubborn (not wanting to latch on) causing you anxiety and sometimes pain in the process.

When you finally get the baby settled and the baby is eating, looking into that beautiful little face is euphoric. This isn't so bad you think. Technically it is not, but it has just begun. When the baby has finished eating it is time to change the baby's diaper. This is a feat you may not have been prepared for. Babies will invariably move their legs in the opposite direction you want them to be. They are tiny little legs and though fragile, unless you twist and bend them, you will not break them.

Once you've managed to remove the dirty diaper you must clean the baby's bottom thoroughly. A little easier to do with boys than girls. Always remember when cleaning a baby girl's bottom "front to back". Once the baby's bottom is clean you can put on the new diaper, that is unless the baby has pee'd all over itself while you've been cleaning its bottom. Trust me, this will happen and for a while may happen often. Now you will need to change the baby from head to toe, wash the baby, and start the diapering process all over again. When you've finally got the baby clean, dressed,diapered and warm, you put the baby down to sleep.

So what do babies do?

Hmm, the baby doesn't want to sleep? Well, there are four things babies do,

  • eat,
  • sleep,
  • poop,
  • and cry, not necessarily in that order.

That is what baby's do. No one told you that? Well, prepare yourself because babies cry a lot and often for no apparent reason. I don't care what the book says, you may just have a crying baby. You do the check off list; the baby ate, was changed, is warm, oh wait, did the baby burp? Did you forget to burp the baby? That is a must during and after every bottle or breast feeding.

I recommend using a burp cloth because if you don't the baby will definitely spit up on your nice outfit and or that baby's nice outfit. Hold the baby up to your shoulder with the baby facing your back and gently tap on the baby's back and/or rub the baby's back until the gas is expelled. This could be some burping and or some farting. Once that is done things should be okay, but, not always. Sometimes the baby will keep crying. You stop and go over the check list again, eat, burp, change diaper, what could be wrong? In many cases nothing. Sometimes the baby just wants to snuggle, sometimes the baby just wants to cry. Where's that binky (pacifier) they gave you in the hospital? You did bring it home, right? Now would be a good time to use it. At first you may have to hold it in the baby's mouth as they may not seem to want it but if you hold it in the baby's mouth as you gently jiggle the baby up and down a bit the baby may latch on to it and begin to sleep.

Hang in there, tomorrow will be a better day, that is after the two a.m. feeding.

Baby and Cousin

Sometimes you just feel as sad as the baby!
Sometimes you just feel as sad as the baby! | Source

Settling in with the New Baby

You begin to establish a routine and recognize your baby's cries. You know when a cry means the baby needs or wants something and when it is just a cry. You get better at the diaper changing routine and can move the baby's legs around gently and get them in a position that actually allows you to change the diaper. You put a tissue or paper towel under the baby (girl) or over the baby (boy) as you change the diaper so you don't have to change all the clothes each time there is a diaper change. Burping does well with each bottle. The baby sleeps on and off all day and all night. Well, almost. The two o'clock feeding is the worst.

As you come to terms with being awakened in the middle of the night try not to blame your husband. He does, after all, have to get up early and go to work in the morning so you are blessed/stuck with the two o'clock feeding. It seems though as the days go on this is the time the baby wants to fuss, cry, or just not settle down. It will shift back; for some the baby will sleep through the night by two months, for others it will be two years. Hope that yours is two months. Happy mothering. Take lots of pictures and enjoy that new baby!

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved.

Did you learn anything from this hub?

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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Coincidentally Vinaya I was 19 when I had my first too! It is quite a learning experience for a young girl.

      Thanks is nice when they get older ;)

    • vandynegl profile image


      6 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Oh, these were the days! I love my kids, but do not miss the endless nights! Good information for parents-to-be!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal


      my mother was 19 when I was born. I cannot imagine all the troubles she went through to raise me. Today, she takes pleasure in helping my sister raise her kids. Thanks for sharing your parenting advice. I'm sure many people will find this very helpful.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      You're so welcome Joy56, thanks so much for reading!

    • Joy56 profile image


      6 years ago

      aw love reading about new babies, and new mum's thanks so much for this lovely hub

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Congratulations younghopes and thank you for reading my hub. You have just begun the most wonderful journey a woman can have. I hope you enjoy every minute!

    • younghopes profile image

      Shadaan Alam 

      6 years ago from India

      Oh its such a wonderful hub, reminding me of all i am going through these days, just given birth to a baby boy and all this sounds so familiar and so good to listen, yeah the baby does only these three things- eats, sleeps and poops and of course keeps me awake for the whole night. I am learning so much needs to be done for the small baby, just a beautiful experience

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you for reading Rajan, I guess all parents could add to this hub. I totally appreciate the vote and share!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      This hub brought back old memories, when our kids were born. Truly no 2 babies are alike. This is a very helpful write for new moms and dads and I'm happy to share this wonderful write up.

      voted up and useful.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much Carter. It just seemed to me it might be something some new Mom's could use. I'm glad you think your daughter can and congrats on the coming new grandbaby!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much Carter. It just seemed to me it might be something some new Mom's could use. I'm glad you think your daughter can and congrats on the coming new grandbaby!

    • carter06 profile image


      6 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Somehow I missed this one Till but am passing onto my daughter who awaits her first bub, are so right sometimes the simple things get lost in the awe and joy and new mum's will benefit from this..I love that it's a narrative as so easy for them to identify with..cheers

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Denise, sometimes new mothers are just overwhelmed and not sure about the basics we take for granted.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Mary, my kids are moms now with my youngest grandchild 5. Although I didn't need the advice personally, I felt it was so very useful and written in a no nonsense, easy to understand format. I loved the tip about starting with the basics-three cheers for that! I walk into some of these nurseries now a days and can barely find the crib! lol OK, I may be exaggerating, but you get the picture!

      I hit the UP/U / I buttons and will pass this valuable hub along!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      And, thanks again Michelle!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Sharing this again, Mary, for all the moms and grandmoms -to-be!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      TheKatsMeow, the new one is the one with the big blue binky...imagine giving that to a girl ;) There rest are my now four year old grandson and the second from the top is my thirty-seven year old son. Thanks for finding them adorable!

    • TheKatsMeow profile image

      Katee Shew 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Is this the new grandchild I keep hearing about? adorable!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      That was lovely Glimmer Twin, thanks for sharing!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      My mom was my manual - Had no idea what to do with this constantly crying baby that my husband and I brought home. My daughter cried, I cried, but then it all worked out and we all got into our groove. 10 years later and we all still cry from time to time, but so far it's been the greatest joy of my life. Useful hub!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I'm glad you found it useful Vinaya. Thanks for reading.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Mary, this is very useful and informative for first time parents. However, I also learned new things.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Sloan. Having a new grandchild was my prompt! Anyone with children misses the "baby days" because we can look back on them fondly.

    • Sloan Thomas profile image

      Shannon Sloan 

      6 years ago from Baton Rouge, LA

      This topic was a great idea for a hub! I enjoyed reading it. I have 3 of my own and I miss those days!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Congratulations Deborah! The first little newborn picture is my four year old grandson, the second picture is my 37 year old son! Our newest baby, Madison, is the one with the blue binky!

      Thanks for the votes Moonlake...we can all remember things we went through to get where we are today!

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      What a beautiful baby.

      I will have to send this to my granddaughter she can use in a short time. I can remember my daughter a new baby, new puppy and a new house where she knew not one single person. I wasn't to far off so I could help her some. Voted up and more.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      We just had another grand baby IN THE FAMILY.. .. SO ADORABLE.. what a wonderful hub.. it's picture time.. lol.. we are loving it.

      many blessings love your hub


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      ChitrangadaSharan, it is nice to know you found my hub useful,I thought all mothers might relate to it and hope others will find it useful too.

      Thank you WND.

      Oh FaithReaper how "interesting" your babies many of us shared your Zombie Mom days, but as we know, God is good and let your son be a good sleeper....I enjoyed your comment and remember those days so well. God bless and enjoy your weekend.

      It's always difficult to know if what you think will be helpful really will Bill, but thanks to comments like yours I think I hit the mark. I couldn't resist that photo, my granddaughter wasn't sure what to do when the baby would'nt stop crying. Thanks for the vote and share...hope you enjoy your weekend.

      HawaiiO after I finished laughing I realized you know me too well! Those days are easy to look back on fondly but oh those crying babies! The days we spend with our babies are so very have those two glasses of wine and enjoy your weekend my friend :)

      Drbj, that is when we have the answers, when its too late ;).

      Thank you Michelle, new baby and Mommy are getting better every day. Than you for the share my friend.

      My Min Speaks, I am thrilled you found this useful enough to refer back to. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • My Mind Speaks profile image


      6 years ago from Long Island N.Y

      When my time comes for me to have a baby, I will definitely be referring to this hub! Thanks =)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Mary, blessings to you, Madison, Mummy and the family! Settling in with new baby is always a challenge. Thanks for the ins and outs, which I share!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Great realistic information, Mary. Years and years too late for me, of course. But I'll pass it on to the grandkids. Your photos are BEAUTIFUL!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Mary! Whew! When I read your hub title in my inbox, I rushed on over to see if a major miracle had taken place in Tillson, New York! What? My friend, Mary? Who knew?

      And then when the giddiness wore off, I realized that one of two things might be happening. Either Mary is reminiscing about the good old days, or a loved one is in the midst of taking care of an infant.

      I mean, with tillsontitan, one never knows! Like watching I Love Lucy after two glasses of wine. Ha-ha! Thanks for sharing and for being a good sport. I, too, remember those good old days, and there have been many a time when I wish I could have them back...truly, the one thing we know for sure and can pass on to our children is this...cherish your time with your kids, because they absolutely grow up so fast!

      Aloha, Mary! Have a nice weekend!


    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub Mary. This will come in very handy for those soon-to-be moms and dads out there. It's also a good refresher for us grandparents :) Love the Baby and Cousin photo, they both look like they're about to cry. Voted up and shared.... Have a great weekend.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Mary, what a delightful and wonderful read here of the reality of when those beautiful little bundles of joy arrive from Heaven above! I know my two were completely different, during pregnancy and afterwards!!! I know after reading all those baby books, I realized I should have just thrown them out afterwards. LOL My daughter was my first child, and she NEVER slept for two years! I rocked and rocked her and then when I went to put her in the crib----the screams came that seemed to hit me right at the base of my spine! I worked after four weeks too. Zombie mom. She still has her days and nights mixed up, and she is now 29. My son, did not even give me a chance to rock him, as he fell asleep from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. each night after I returned to work. I felt guilty for about a couple of seconds, but then almost slapped myself after thinking back to the years of no sleep with my daughter. LOL

      Thank you for this wonderful write here. I really enjoyed reading it.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Wonderful job here in giving advice to new moms.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      You reminded me of the times, when I was a newborn's mother. All the preparations and anxieties, which come along with it.

      This hub will prove to be of great help to new mothers.

      Thanks for sharing this useful one!

    • lilmissmontana profile image

      Erin Nichols 

      6 years ago from Montana

      This will definitely help. From my experience though, sometimes it's hard to take advice from others because you want to do everything on your own. But this is very insightful and touching!

      And thank you! My baby girl is my world!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      First, congratulations on your little angel lilmissmontana! Second, thank you for your kind words. Though I tried to keep this light, I hope it will help some new Moms. Thanks for t he vote.

    • lilmissmontana profile image

      Erin Nichols 

      6 years ago from Montana

      What a beautiful Hub. My little girl is 4 months old, and reading this hub brought back every first memory, first doubt and frustration. It has been a challenge, but I love it. Very well written and I could have definitely used this four months ago =] Great job. Voted up!


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