Skip to main content

How to get off to a good start

  • Cuddling skin-to-skin with your baby

    skin-to-skin contact

    Skin-to-skin contact is when your baby is placed naked against your or another caregiver's bare skin. (Your baby may have a hat and diaper.)

    The first hour with your baby is a special time.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the first hour of a baby's life is spent with uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with mom. Skin-to-skin can be done after a vaginal or Cesarean birth.

    Cuddling skin-to-skin has may benefits:

    • encourages breastfeeding
    • helps regulate your baby's temperature and blood glucose
    • helps create an emotional bond
    • keeps baby warm
    • reduces crying

    Routine medical care can be done while your baby cuddles with you. Some care can wait and be done at a later time.

    Your support person can hold and bond with your baby skin-to-skin too. It is a wonderful way to be a special part of your new baby's life.

    You are encouraged to hold your baby skin-to-skin as often as you can in the first hours and weeks to come.

    Watch your baby's feeding cues

    Your baby will give you cues when she is hungry: 

    • roots or turns her head when her cheek is stroked
    • opens her mouth and searches
    • smacks her lips
    • makes sucking movements
    • puts her hand in her mouth
    • moves her body in a way that looks like squirming
    • cries (the last cue)

    Having your baby stay in your room will make it easier to watch for the following feeding cues.