October 11, 2019


A newborn baby is such a blessing.  But do you find yourself wishing they came with an instruction booklet?

You’re not alone, all new parents with a newborn baby feel like this, which is kind of reassuring.

To help you out we’ve got answers to 5 common questions that nervous first-timers ask. Knowing what to do will hopefully help to raise your confidence about caring for a newborn baby.


1. How often should I feed my little one?

Your newborn baby will need food, by breast or bottle, every 2 to 3 hours. If your baby sleeps through feed time you may need to wake them to ensure they get enough nourishment. Don’t let them sleep for more than 4 hours.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Breastfeeding – nurse about 10–15 minutes at each breast
  • Formula feeding – 150 – 200 ml per kilogram of body weight every day.

Signs your baby may be hungry include:

  • Restlessness
  • Turning their head and opening their mouth
  • Sucking their fists or fingers.
  • Crying  (a late sign of hunger).

2. Why is my baby crying?

It’s completely normal and natural for a baby to cry, it doesn’t mean they’re sick or unhappy. Babies can’t talk so this how they communicate to us. Predictably it’s usually that they need food, their nappy is wet, they’re tired, or they just want a cuddle.

The hardest thing for new parents is figuring out exactly which one of these they need to be comfortable. As you get used to it though, you can recognise your baby’s crying patterns and start to anticipate their needs.

3. How often should a newborn baby sleep?

A newborn baby needs to sleep about 14 to 17 hours sleep per day and will sleep usually 2 to 4 hours at a time and then wake up to feed. Most babies will need 1 – 3 feeds during the night until they’re 4 months old.

Your baby might start sleeping through the night as early as 3 months of age but if they don’t you can start encouraging this by keeping them up longer during the day by talking and playing, and reducing stimulation at night.

4. How do I bathe my newborn baby?

Newborn babies will only require a sponge bath until their umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals. This can take 1 to 4 weeks.

Sponge baths – place your baby on a flat surface and wrap them in a towel. Using a soft, clean washcloth dampened with warm water gently wipe their eyes and ears. Wet the cloth again and add a little mild unscented baby soap to wash their face and head. Next wash the rest of their body paying special attention to creases. Dry and dress in a clean nappy and sleeper ready for bed.

Infant tub baths – fill with less than 10 cm of warm water. Gently lower your baby in feet first with one hand and support their head with the other. Use a washcloth and a little soap to wash face, body and hair, gently massage their scalp and rinse by cupping hand over the forehead so suds run towards the sides. Afterwards wrap them immediately in a towel and dry off, then dress.

You don’t need to bathe your baby every day as it can dry their skin out. If their skin is very dry use Vaseline on those areas.

5. What should I look for in a disposable nappy?

Look for disposable nappies that offer quality, comfort and won’t break the bank. Little One’s nappies have been tried, tested and recommended above leading brands by Australian Mums and they are great value for money.

So these are some of the most common questions parents of a newborn baby spend their time wondering about. Did we miss a question you’d love the answer to?

Or have you got some good advice to help out another mum with a newborn baby? SHARE with us in the comments below.

little ones nappies logo in white on an orange cloud
This post is proudly brought to you by Little One’s Ultra Dry Nappies  – designed to help your child stay comfy and happy. With a soft inner lining for increased comfort, a super-stretchy waistband* for freedom of movement and an extra absorbent core to draw moisture away, Little One’s will keep your baby comfortably dry. Discover at Woolworths. #sponsored

*Super stretchy waistband is not applicable for newborn size.  
  • A good general list of newborn needs.
    With bathing – I agree with another comment about putting bub in the crook of your arm to support head & neck and use wrist and fingers under their far shoulders to support. Means you can use the other hand to bathe and also a better grip as newborns are slippery little things.
    And I’d never use Vaseline on baby’s skin. Vaseline has petroleum in it. Yuck!! There’s so many natural baby products on the market now. Tho simple sorbeline cream always works great for any dry skin. I only bathed my newborns every few days, as every day does dry out their skin and doesn’t allow their skin to develop the natural moistureisers in it.


  • I never fed my baby by the clock, sometimes that want it sooner sometimes later, I would always know because it was when my milk came up in my breasts, Listen to your body and stop watching the clock.


  • When bathing in an infant bath I was taught to have baby’s neck/head resting on forearm and your hand/fingers under baby’s armpit – this helps you hold them without slipping an makes it easy to bathe also. Then wash baby with a little face towel and they can kick around in the water too if they like it. Mine loved it used to cry when I’d take them out of the water!


  • I wish I had this earlier on so that I knew some of these things. It was such a bi learning curve for me and a worthwhile one of course


  • Very handy tips! A great little guide to refer to for new mums


  • Great and useful!


  • Great information for new mums in this post.


  • These tips would have been so helpful when my boys were newborns.


  • Some good tips to help out new parents.


  • At newborn I was doing 25 minutes each side


  • I didn’t learn about the early stages of hunger till I had my third baby. Before I would wait for the cry thinking that was the only sign, wish I knew sooner as feeding after the early signs present make for a much more contented baby


  • Some excellent tips and reminders!


  • Some good tips. I bathed mine initially in the bathroom sink. I never used Little One’s nappies :)


  • Great list that will certainly help new Mum’s


  • SO many questions involving having a newborn, so much confusion. We had so many trips to the gp with our first baby, a bit more relaxed with number two


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