Fast forward a good few years and I absolutely know what they are.
When you have your first child, those first few days and weeks are never quite as you imagined, its a lot tougher, breastfeeding is not so easy, the tiredness is immense but the love you feel for your little baby is unbelievable. Somehow you get through, you learn when your baby needs more food, a nappy change, to be winded etc and you do learn to understand their different cries. This is, I believe, if you don't buy any of those so called 'baby training manuals'. You know the ones by Gina Ford and her cronies.
When I was pregnant with my second child I decided to purchase her Contented Little Baby book just to see what all the fuss was about. I was rather shocked at what I read. Strict routines of when to feed the baby (and when to feed yourself, I kid you not!), when to change their nappy (that would be when its dirty Gina), when they should sleep, when you should wake them (are you kidding, wake a sleeping baby, make the bloody most of it!). While I was reading it, I thought how it does not encourage the NATURAL maternal instinct and how, in fact, it can completely destroy it. I know of mothers who cannot function without GF telling them what to do, its like living in a communist regime. Kids need to be kids and funnily enough, they do find their own routine. Its ridiculous to think that all babies need to go to bed at the same time (do adults?). It makes me so angry that some people seem to try and take away the natural parenting instincts.
Its not just GF. I remember the first health visitor for my son giving us a leaflet on how to play with your child...
So throw out all those baby manuals (and those patronising health visitors) and do it your way, it is after all, the best way.