Posted by: babybumper | October 27, 2010

After Birth Sense

I love the moments after birth. The mother examines the child for the first time. The child examines the mother for the first time. The newborn’s gaze is piercing, unrestrained, uninhibited. The first 2 hours after birth the babe is remarkably alert, more so than the next couple of days. What a beautiful time of bonding! Plan to seize this distinctive time, or else these treasured moments will slip away silently.

Respond to Your Child’s Attentiveness

Your miniature yearns to get to know you. Seize this opportunity and stimulate each of the 5 senses.

Sight by Gregory Rallen

Sight– At birth it is estimated that the newborn can see 8-10 inches away. This is the distance from mom’s face when breastfeeding. As your bambino is particularly perceptive at this time, let him gaze at a smiling face. Babies enjoy looking at human faces more than anything.

Hearing– The unborn baby hears moms voice for 9 months. If dad speaks around or to the baby while in the womb, the little one also recognizes his voice outside the womb. It is amazing how much a child learns before birth. If a child in the womb hears a story repetitively, they will prefer that story after birth! Your voice is music to your kiddo’s ears. The baby is also comforted by a beating heart, as he has listened to this rhythm for as long as he can remember.

One of my sweetest on-the-job memories is after a C-Section. Still in the OR, I heard a soft, beautiful sound. Of course, everyone had surgical masks on, but I realized that as a father held his brand-new daughter, he was singing to her. What a beautiful statement of love encircled by the mundane medical tasks surrounding a surgical birth.

Skin-to-Skin by Eric Ward

Smell– Babies distinguish between odors better than adults. When presented with 2 pads soaked in breast milk, the newborn will turn toward his own mother’s milk. The sweetest fragrance to an infant is mama’s milk. Skin-to-skin contact with mom provides the best stimulation for this sense.

Taste– Likewise, the most delicious taste for the newborn is mom’s milk. Providing unlimited access to the breast during the 1st two hours after birth captures the time the baby eats the best. Breastfeeding in this timeframe is essential for proper milk production. This precious after birth time period is particularly well suited and imperative for learning to eat.

Touch by Ben Grey

Touch– The best touch a baby can feel from birth is not silky smooth, nor fuzzy soft, nor warm flannel, but skin. Skin-to-skin contact accelerates neurological development, provides comfort, and warmth. Babies do not thrive without being snuggled against something. They even prefer to touch the sidewall of a crib then being left in alone the middle. Imagine what they are accustomed to! Enveloped in the warmth of mom’s body. After birth, the best way to give touch is through skin-to-skin contact.

What is your dearest memory from sensory stimulation of your newborn child? Does that gaze still piece your thoughts? Did your child cling to your every word? Any special song still surge through your memories? What about the softness of that new baby-skin? What still stands out during the first 2 hour after birth? Do tell!



  1. […] Although this little girl probably will grow healthy and strong, receiving formula from a bottle so early can be devastating to breastfeeding. The family also went through unnecessary stress, and their only 1 hour old little girl was taken away during a precious bonding time. […]

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