When your doctor declares that you are ready to take your newborn baby home it can feel more than a little daunting.
You want to tell them that – actually – you don’t have a clue how to look after this teeny tiny vulnerable baby. Sure – you’ve read the baby books but when push comes to shove, you’ve really got no idea.
You feel utterly unqualified to take your newborn home and to be left in charge of their needs and survival. But sometimes the scariest ‘firsts’ are not what you imagined they’d be.
It can be the oddest things that make you worry. Like these:
1. Bending their little legs to get them dressed.
You’ve spent hours choosing their first sleep suits in the cutest designs. But when it comes to dressing them for the first time, it’s terrifying.
All because their little legs are bent like a frog and you’re convinced you’ll hurt them as you try to straighten them to fit into the legs of the baby grow.
Zoe Marshall debriefs on the baby products every new parent should own on Mamamia’s podcast The Baby Bubble. Post continues after audio.
2. The drive home.
First you have to figure out how to strap them into the car seat. It seems simple enough but this is your most precious cargo and you wish an expert would suddenly appear and let you know you’ve done it right.
And then you drive home at four kilometres an hour, holding your breath and panicking as you go over every tiny bump in the road.
3. Sleeping while your baby sleeps.
You’re utterly exhausted and should be grabbing every precious minute of sleep you can get. Instead you wake up several times to put your ear to your baby’s head and place a weary arm on their chest, just to check they’re still breathing.
4. Cutting their fingernails.
Nothing is scarier. Suddenly the rounded and actually quite blunt baby nail scissors in your hands seem like a sharp weapon. You’re terrified you might cut your baby’s skin. So much so that you consider nibbling your baby’s nails instead.
5. Bathing their wriggly little bodies.
They are just so wriggly and slippery when they are wet that you are terrified of dropping them so you hold them awkwardly over the tub, splash them quickly with water and swiftly wrap them back up in your arms again.
6. Discovering their first oddly coloured poop.
You kind of expect baby poop to be – well – poop coloured. The first time you see that the contents of your baby’s nappy are yellow or even green you get completely freaked out.
You spend hours Googling ‘What colour is a baby’s poop’ and phone your mum, sister and all your mum friends and spend an inordinate amount of time talking about your baby’s bowel movements.
If your newborn could text, we’re guessing this is what they’d say: