The First 24 Hours With Your Newborn

First 24 hours with baby

When the long phase of pregnancy is over, you are waiting to welcome your little one into this world. With the overwhelming sensation of becoming a mother to a wide range of mixed emotions, there is a lot to experience in the first 24 hours. You may feel completely exhausted after delivery or overjoyed at the sight of your little one. The first 24 hours with your newborn can be exhausting as well as equally joyful. If you are becoming a mother for the first time, this experience will be totally new to you.

Initial 24 hours with your newborn baby

No matter how much you prepare yourself for parenthood, you may still have to experience a lot of new things and make adjustments accordingly. The first 24 hours with your baby is new and challenging both for the mother and baby. Your baby could be just as busy as you at the hospital. Read on to know what the first 24 hours with your baby would be like.

What will your newborn baby look like?

As soon your baby is born, her skin may look mottled or blue. This is mainly due to being covered in amniotic fluid, vernix, and blood throughout the 9 months of pregnancy. Your baby’s skin will start becoming pink as soon as she starts breathing. Your baby’s skin will appear wrinkled and worn out the initial 24 hours, post birth.


Skin to Skin Contact

Soon after birth, your baby will be put on your chest to feel skin-to-skin contact. You and your husband can hold your little one close for a few moments in the theatre and recovery until your baby is taken for further medical tests.

Skin to skin contact mainly helps in

  • Maintaining baby’s body temperature
  • Start breastfeeding
  • Decreases newborn crying

If you have had a C-section, you can ask your doctor or midwife to place your baby on your chest for the initial few moments so that your little one feels secure in the new environment.


Soon after skin contact, newborn babies may show signs of wanting to breastfeed. Your doctor or midwife may advise you to breastfeed your baby for a minimum of 30 minutes. Initially, you may have to take help of a lactation consultant to learn how to make your baby latch and suck milk.

The first milk that a mother gets is called “colostrum”, which is thick and yellowish. This milk is very nutritious and provides a lot of initial nutrients that your baby needs immediately after birth.



Post breastfeeding, your baby will be taken for the initial clean-up and bathing to remove traces of amniotic fluid, vernix, and blood. After that, she will be taken for other medical tests. Until your baby’s umbilical stump heals and falls off, every bath is given with utmost care. Your baby would not need a thorough bath with soap and shampoo the initial few days.

In the first 24 hours of your baby’s birth, newborns are bathed with simple warm water and a towel to keep them clean and restore the moisture to the baby’s skin. Your baby can also be initially swabbed with a warm wet cloth if you are concerned about bathing in water directly. Your doctor or midwife will advise you on how to give a bath to your little one.

First Vaccine

Newborns fall prey to infectious diseases soon after birth due to their low immunity levels. Hence vaccinations are very important to prevent them from contracting diseases. There are certain important vaccines that need to be administered immediately after birth within the first 24 hours. They are

1} BCG Vaccine: The BCG vaccination is the first immunization post birth. It offers newborn babies protection against tuberculosis.

2} Oral Polio Vaccine: This vaccine is coupled with BCG vaccine. It protects the baby from polio. It is administered at age 0, 6 months, 9 months, and booster doses at 4 years.

3} Hepatitis B Vaccine: This vaccine is given to protect the newborn babies against hepatitis infection. It is administered along with BCG and Polio vaccine within the first 24 hours of birth.

Apart from these vaccinations, newborns are given a shot of Vitamin K immediately after birth. Vitamin K injection is essential for clotting of blood. Many newborns can have congenital Vitamin K deficiency which can cause spontaneous bleeding inside organs. Giving babies Vitamin K injections immediately after birth can prevent bleeding disorders.


Newborns may sleep soon after their first feed and vaccinations. They may sleep at a stretch of 6 hours or so until their next feed. They may sleep half the day and keep awake at night. Your newborn may sleep about 16 to 18 hours a day. The initial few weeks both you and your newborn baby will suffer from irregular sleep patterns until you both fall into a regular sleeping schedule.

Pee and Potty

When your baby was in the womb, excretion would happen through the placenta of the mother. Soon after birth, your baby’s pee and potty will come out naturally like all other human beings. In the first 24 hours, newborn babies will pass urine and their first potty. Their first potty is generally the meconium which is greenish black and sticky in nature. Gradually, over the next few days, your ne baby’s potty will change color and consistency.

Newborn clothes and Swaddling

It is generally a practice to put comfortable cotton clothes on newborns. This is mainly due to their frequent feeding schedule and ease of change. Cotton clothes are comfortable on your little one and won’t irritate newborn skin. Also, do not to put full body suits or dresses until the umbilical stump falls off from your little one.

Swaddling newborns is a common practice many parents follow. This is nothing but wrapping up a baby tightly in a cloth or blanket. It helps reduce waking up during nap times. It also calms the baby and helps reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Newborn Crying

There is no way to escape this one. The initial few hours, your little one may sleep several hours due to exhaustion and new surroundings. Later on, they cry inconsolably for sleep, hunger, and soiled diapers. At times, there will be no clear cause for your newborn’s cries. Hence you will need to figure a way out to calm your little baby down. Every new mother learns her own ways to handle her baby’s cries and tantrums. Remember, it is extremely important to pay attention to your newborn’s crying.

Newborn breathing

Another important aspect to note is your newborn’s periodic breathing. Your newborn baby will initially breathe very quickly and then pause for few seconds. Although it can be unnerving for the mother, this is a normal phenomenon in new babies.

However, if you observe the following warning signs, you should rush to the doctor immediately.

  • Flaring of nostrils
  • Heavy noise during breathing
  • Pausing for more than 15 seconds while breathing
  • Grunting
  • Chest retractions


The first 24 hours can be both joyful as well as challenging for both the mother and baby. You and your little one will be under hospital observation for at least 72 hours. During this time, both you and your baby will be continuously monitored for good health. If you notice anything abnormal, contact your doctor or midwife immediately.

What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Written by Yaamini

I am a postgraduate in biochemistry ad well as an MBA in project management. I have around 7 yrs of experience in the corporate sector of life sciences division. Additionally I am a freelance writer having 5 yrs of experience and have written on niches like health, travel, parenting, lifestyle, fashion, and child development. I have written for websites like style craze, style enrich, first cry, trip shelf, and pan India.

15 Pings & Trackbacks

  1. Pingback:

  2. Pingback:

  3. Pingback:

  4. Pingback:

  5. Pingback:

  6. Pingback:

  7. Pingback:

  8. Pingback:

  9. Pingback:

  10. Pingback:

  11. Pingback:

  12. Pingback:

  13. Pingback:

  14. Pingback:

  15. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

What to eat when you are pregnant?

Parental Alienation Awareness Day