The First Hour of Life

When full-term infants are skin to skin with their mother, they very seldom cry during the first 90 minutes of life. However, when placed in a nearby bassinet, they cry about 20 to 40 seconds during every five-minute period for the next 90 minutes. Newborns are already perceptive enough to know the difference between a bassinet and their mother!

If you decide to put your baby next to you instead of on you, your baby can still feel close to you and can begin to link up your face with the voice already familiar from life in the womb. In this case, we recommend covering the infant with a shirt and diaper or a blanket, because the baby will not receive adequate heat from your body.

If you would like to have your baby on you but prefer a bit more modesty, you may feel more comfortable covered up. When a light towel, sheet or blanket covers both you and your infant, the baby can still easily maneuver toward the nipple in his own time.

When you and your infant are resting skin to skin and gazing eye to eye, you will begin to learn about each other on many different levels. For you, the first minutes and hours after birth are a time when you're open emotionally to respond to your baby and to begin the new relationship. At the same time, your newborn is ready to take in his family and his world.

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