family · Humour · Rhyme

The Newborn Instruction Manual.

Image shows tiny newborn baby feet with a pink blanket

You feel a little tender and quite fuzzy in the head,
You peer around the room and spot a pink thing by your bed!?

You realise: ‘That’s my baby!’ And the love begins to gush.
But now what should you do with her?
Your head begins to rush!

You really can’t prepare for what comes next right after birth,
But here’s a brief instruction list, to help, for what it’s worth:

You might have been in labour and been pushing all night long,
But if you think you’re due a rest,
My friend, you’ve got it wrong.

DO NOT approach the midwives asking: ‘What am I to do?’
‘This baby wants my boobs but I’ve been up the whole night through?!’
(Yes. I did this).

It is of prime importance that you learn to DO car seat.
As working out these bad boys is by no means a mean feat!

Your first drive home from hospital could find you both confused,
As you wrangle in your infant whilst your midwife stares bemused.

But DO enjoy that moment as you walk home through the door,
And lay your precious bundle down all snuggly on the floor,

Then glance at one another as you both feel quite perplexed.
You’ve got her home.
It’s lovely.
What the chuff do you do next?

DO NOT think for one second you’ll be nipping in the shower.
Or nipping bloody anywhere!
To all things: add an hour!

DO NOT allow your eyes to meet your newly bump-free tum!
You’re simply just not ready to embrace what it’s become!

In fact all shiny objects should be given a wide berth.
Reflection’s best avoided for a few weeks after birth.

DO NOT be shocked or question why there’s cabbage in your bra.
It’s just a fact, accept it.
(Although yes, it’s quite bizarre).

DO NOT think for one second that Lord Google is your friend.
It’s just a one way ticket to be driven round the bend!

Try NOT to search the following:
(Now this one might be tough!)
“Am I a rubbish mummy if her hands are full of fluff!?”

DO accept that lack of sleep plays havoc with your brain,
It’s perfectly excusable to be a bit insane.

DO NOT wake up at 3 am cold, sweating, in your bed,
Determined that you’ve squashed her and are laying on her head!

When really she’s just sleeping, and all cosy in her cot.
YOU CANNOT blame your hubby.
It is you.
You’ve lost the plot.

Do not allow in visitors that knock upon your door,
Without at least establishing just what they’ve rocked up for.

Unless they’ve come to clean your house or turn up bearing cake,
To let them all inside your home would be a huge mistake!

DO NOT assume that strangers, although seemingly quite nice,
Won’t rush at you with highly inappropriate advice.

But though you may refute it now, without a doubt you too,
Will find yourself at lunch discussing colour charts of poo!

Speaking of which…

DO NOT remove a poo stained vest by pulling over head.
Those overlapping shoulder bits are meant for down instead.

(When I first observed this I could only stand and stare,
Just thinking of the needless times I’d washed poop out of hair!)

And nothing can prepare you for that post birth number two,
That gift from Mother Nature to we mummies who are new!

But all that I can offer you,
which just might do the trick:
Grip the wall, swear a lot and bite down on a stick!

But cherish every second as it’s over in a blink,
Those tiny newborn moments fly by quicker than you think.

And vow in no uncertain terms:
‘We are NOT having two!’
Then shake your head in two years time…
…Whilst holding something blue!

Image shows tiny newborn baby feet with a blue blanket

This post originally featured on the fabulous Meet Other Mums blog page, for whom I am proud to be a regular blogger.
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120 thoughts on “The Newborn Instruction Manual.

  1. It never fails to amaze me
    How it’s legal to procreate
    Without some proper training
    (Hindsight is just too late!)

    At school we learn to read and write
    To add and multiply
    But no-one teaches us to cope
    With insufficient shut-eye

    I don’t recall the lessons
    Teaching me to change a nappy
    I don’t remember learning
    How to make a toddler happy

    I have no memories of classes
    Where we practiced winding a baby
    Or where anyone told us about weaning
    Or how kids can drive you crazy

    No bugger in school prepared me
    For meltdowns, crying and noise
    Or warned me of the mindnumbing nature
    Of playing with kids and their toys

    The utter shell-shock of that first night at home
    The realisation as it dawned;
    I was now totally responsible
    For these two little people I’d spawned!

    Given how bloody clueless I was
    It’s a wonder we all survived
    But I must be doing something right
    Because those little people are still alive!

    Love your brilliant post as always πŸ™‚

    1. Your comments make me squeak! I am speechless! AMAZING comment as always. You’re absolutely right. These things should be taught in school. Let’s be honest, the odds of us needing the skills to change a nappy are considerably higher than the chances of us needing to work out the area of a triangle with any urgency! πŸ˜‰ Thank you with a capital ? x

  2. Dawn
    I absolutely love this! I genuinely have never pulled a pooey vest downwards, but will be doing so now… derrrr!
    And visitors absolutely must bring food. Rule number 1 of visiting friends with babies.
    Your rhyming is SUPERB. Massive worshipping you action!
    Kimberly x

    1. Aw thanks so much! Mutual worshipness back at ya! It took me until child two to figure this out. Then I saw a you tube video and literally face palmed myself so hard I could have done myself an injury. It does actually work too! Better to wipe poop off feet than to have to try and get it out of hair! Thank you again for such a lovely comment. Sending hugs. And cake! Xx

  3. Another excellent rhyme Dawn! My daughter had a thick head of hair which collected poo like a trawling net catches fish… Not pleasant for either of us. But if I did it once I did it a hundred times (she was a prolific crapper and there was no way I could get a vest over that bum!).

    Sound advice for all new Mums.


    1. Ugh – poop in hair is just the worst! I feel your pain. At least it generally only lasts a couple of years or so. It does doesn’t it? Please tell me I’m not still going to be doing it when they’re 15!! πŸ˜‰ Thank you lovely xx

  4. Hehe this is BRILLIANT! So true! The number of nights I woke up thinking I’d squashed her is ridiculous and, as you say. every time she was fast asleep in her cot. I remember my hubby driving at about 5mph all the way home too because he was so worried about having our baby in the car. Aaaaw happy times πŸ™‚ #MarvMondays

  5. I had a good giggle at this. “DO NOT think for one second that Lord Google is your friend. It’s just a one way ticket to be driven round the bend!’ I so agree and love the part about the poo in the hair – I have been there. #MarvMondays

  6. Love this Dawn! It is all so true. I remember being in the hospital like ‘erm, my baby has just been feeding pretty much constantly’ and the midwife was like ‘Yes. They do’ as if I was a moron! And getting back home just looking at each other like ‘wow, we’ve got an actual baby!’ ? It’s a crazy time but glorious in it’s own way. #bigpinklink

  7. Epic skills! Such a good poem – Lord knows where you found the brain cells necessary to rattle that up, but you’ve inspired me to go in search of a few of my own who took their own maternity leave and show no signs of ever coming back to work πŸ™‚ #MarvMondays

  8. Spot on! Made me smile and also nod along in recognition. I remember those early days if I unlock the box in the back of my mind. You really don’t know what the heck is going on. Wish I could write little poems like this πŸ™‚ #MarvMondays

  9. Aaah Dawn, so heart warming, but brilliantly true all at the same time! You’ve summed it up perfectly, and I think I need to start a petition to have this printed, and put in the folder you bring home with you from hospital! What is it about the universal thing of waking up convinced you’ve squashed your baby in your bed, when they’re in the basket all along?! I think everyone I knew, experienced it! Google nearly once seriously drove me round the bend-I had an actual panic attack after reading stuff on there, instead of consulting a real life healthcare professional-that is a lesson everyone needs to heed! My husband was always disgusted by the amount of fluff in the boys hands as babies-I think he thought I just left it, but getting it out all the time was fighting a losing battle!
    Amazing as always xx

    1. The fluff in the hands drove me to distraction, and don’t even get me started on the ” neck gunk” that that I found in the many folds of baby squishiness, aproximately 3 minutes before being called into the doctors for our 6 week check. I was mortified!! I felt convinced that she would be taken off me immediately for being so inadvertently neglectful! Thank you for your lovely comment as always xxx

    1. I laughed the first time someone suggested cabbage for sore boobs. Not so funny when you’re desperately grabbing for a cold bit of savoy out of the fridge to replace the now warm bit that has stopped being remotely effective! Oh the memories / mammaries. ? Thank you x

  10. Top notch! I so had the frozen savoy leaves in my bra – don’t think I’ll ever forget the smell (was a godsend tho). You’ve nailed it with the getting home and thinking jeepers- what do I do now! and the post part poo – spot on again! Very funny and clever.#chucklemums

  11. Wonderful poem. You know I’ve always wondered why it’s so painful if it’s supposed to be natural! I do hope you write one on siblings next. #DreamTeam

    1. Ooh siblings! Now there’s a thought. It would be just the appropriate time as my two have moved into the “permanently trying to kill each other” phase which is lovely! ? Right. Thank you for that thought. I’m on it! ? x

  12. That was brilliant, funny – and absolutely true and helpful for mamas of newborns. Lovely, will read some more…Xxx #coolmumclub

  13. A hilarious and perfectly accurate account of life in the wake of becoming a parent. It’s actually pretty laughable looking back…but definitely wasn’t at the time! Thank God there’s only one first time πŸ™‚
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub!

  14. Haha – I could have used this as a newborn mum! Especially the bit about not pulling the poo-stained body suits over their heads – I can’t tell you how long it took me to figure out that I could pull them down instead. #dreamteam

  15. This is BRILLIANT! The last line still has me chuckling! Throughout my pregnancy, I said to hubby, “We are NEVER having any more children! I know people say you have them and forget about all of this – you MUST NOT let me forget!!”… and after about a week of having her, I said, “Well, we could have ONE more!” Hahaha. #dreamteam

  16. So true!! This should be given out at the hospital just after birth!! I was about 3 months in before someone told me the golden nugget about Poo stained vests going down and not over the head!! #DreamTeam

  17. Fabulous as always!! Loved that clenched fist fluff haha! And yep to barricading the door when visitors arrive, I so didn’t need that shit while grappling with a newborn, espesh the judgemental ones! This poem captures life with a newborn perfectly, love your writing Dawn x

  18. Beautiful poem. Very relatable for all parents. I remember my husband and I loading up our newborn in her car seat as perfect as we could, with the nurse behind us watching. It felt like we were giving an exam, and she would either pass/fail us. Lol.

  19. Brilliant as ever! Those first few weeks are actually one of my favourite times…dressing the baby in all those lovely new clothes, taking them out in the pushchair, all those adoring looks from passers by – sleep or no sleep, I loved it! #Dreamteam

  20. I’ve been so busy with work, I took a step away from reading some of my favorites. I always admired your way with words and it’s just so brilliant! So glad this was a first of yours to read now that I can manage work and blog. Sending off to my sister who’s son just celebrated his first birthday. #dreamteam

  21. Ha this is brilliant, and all so true. I still remember being sat in the ward after giving birth, my partner having gone home with a newborn thinking what the hell do I do now! Also the day I discovered the vest could go down instead of over was a life saviour. All those times I’d tried to get a poo-splosion covered vest over her head! Never again. #dreamteam

  22. #dreamteam yes! 9mnths to prepare for a newborn that I got to hold for what feels like a few days…no prep for a toddler though lol.
    Love the line about strangers making inappropriate comments (truth)

  23. I always love reading your rhymes! And I definitely laughed and nodded along to all of this one! I can’t lie, I’m so glad that the tiny baby days are behind me!! #dreamteam

  24. I loved this the first time I read it and I still love it now! You have summed up those early days perfectly, all mums to be need to read this x #dreamteam

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