Sweet Baby is the ninth track (eighth song) on Prince’s 14th album , the second album to be credited to Prince and the New Power Generation.
The song’s title was inspired by Kirstie Alley’s character Rebecca Howe from the sitcom Cheers repeatedly calling her boyfriend Robin Colcord "sweet baby" (Prince attended a taping of Cheers at some point, where he met Alley, who subsequently played the character of "Vanessa Bartholemew" on the album on which Sweet Baby appears). The storyline in which the characters Rebecca and Robin break up ended with an episode on 20 September, 1991. Basic tracking on the song itself took place eleven days later on 1 October 1991, at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (the day after Letter 4 Miles, the same day as the release of Prince and the New Power Generation’s album Diamonds And Pearls and the recording of Do U Wanna Rock?, and I Pledge Allegiance To Your Love, and two days before recording The Thunder Ballet). Only the title is inspired by the characters; the rest of the song’s lyrics are not related.
Sweet Baby was included as the eleventh track (seventh song) on a March 1992, configuration of the album, and the eleventh track (eighth song) on a late-Summer 1992, configuration, until many of the album’s segues were removed for release. In early 1993, Sweet Baby was planned for a single release, with a test pressing made, but the single was left unreleased.