This Is Exactly What Babies Do in the First Hour of Life

Ever wonder what your baby did in the delivery room, aside from getting kissed, undergoing Apgar tests, and posing for selfies? The question intrigued a group of Swedish scientists enough that they turned it into a study. The researchers watched videos of 28 newborns to see how they instinctively behaved in their first 70 minutes of life. The results were published in January 2011 in Acta Paediatrica and recently reported on in Science News.

What they discovered was that a newborn's early moments look an awful lot like how most of us spend Thanksgiving Day (but maybe with fewer tears). The general timeline looks something like this: Baby enters the world and lets out a big cry (Minute 0), relaxes for a minute on your chest (Minute 2) then wakes up and opens his eyes for the first time (Minute 2.5). When it's time to look for food, he starts searching for your breasts. (Minute 8). Another rest (Minute 18). Revived, the hunt begins again, this time with baby actively scooching up toward you (Minute 36) until -- tah dah! -- he finds the nipple and starts nursing (Minute 62). Belly full, he takes another snooze (Minute 70).

Sound about par for the course, right? While there are no major surprises here, I'm grateful somebody took the time to document our kiddo's earliest minutes of life. (Heaven knows my memories of that time are either incredibly vivid or hopelessly hazy.) If nothing else, seeing baby's natural instincts at work drives home to me the importance of skin-to-skin contact and, of course, helping brand-new moms who want to give breastfeeding a shot.

Tell us: How much do you remember about the first hour after baby was born?

Nursing may be great for your baby, but it's not always easy on you. We've got the solutions to your biggest breastfeeding problems. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

Image of newborn with mom courtesy of Shutterstock

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles