Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Ages & Stages

Your Newborn's First Hour: Getting to Know Each Other

Bonding With Your Baby Bonding With Your Baby

If you deliver your baby without complications, you'll be able to spend the first hour or so after childbirth with your newborn. Because babies are usually alert and very responsive during this time, researchers have labeled this the sensitive period.

The first exchanges of eye contact, sounds and touches between the two of you are all part of a bonding process, which helps lay the foundation for your relationship as parent and child. Although it will take months to learn your child's temperament and personality, many of the core emotions you feel may begin to develop immediately after birth.

Bonding has no time limit

It's also quite normal if you do not immediately have tremendously warm feelings for your baby. Labor is a demanding experience, and your first reaction may well be a sense of relief that it's over. If you're exhausted and emotionally drained, you may simply want to rest. That's perfectly normal. Give yourself some time, until the strain of labor fades, and then request your baby. Bonding has no time limit.

Also, if your baby is taken immediately to the nursery for medical attention, or if you were sedated during delivery, don't despair. You need not worry your relationship might be harmed because bonding didn't occur in this first hour. You can and will love your baby just as much, even if you couldn't watch her birth or hold her immediately afterward. Your baby will also be just as loving and connected to you.

More information

Last Updated
Adapted from Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age Five 7th edition (Copyright © 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Follow Us