A newborn baby is wet from the amniotic fluid and can easily become cold. Newborn babies don't have the ability to control their temperature well, so it's very important that they be kept warm and dry. The baby is dried, as wetness will cause heat loss. Immediately after drying, baby will be wrapped in warm clothes, and is ready to be handed over to the mother. Drying the baby and using warm blankets and heat lamps or open incubators helps prevent heat loss. Often a knitted hat is placed on the baby's head. Placing a baby skin-to-skin on the mother's chest or abdomen also helps to keep the baby warm. This early skin-to-skin contact also reduces crying, improves mother-infant interaction, and helps mothers to breastfeed successfully.
The most important thing post birth is the cry of the baby, which establishes the baby’s own respiration and makes the baby independent of the mother’s oxygen sustenance. Gentle suctioning of the nostrils and mouth may be required to suction off the excess secretions to establish airway potency, ensuring a smooth and unhindered passage of air in to the baby’s lungs, when it cries. Crying helps him get rid of any excess fluid that may still be in his lungs, nose or mouth. Doctors will often encourage a baby to cry for this reason. The umbilical cord is clamped with a cord clamp and the excess length of the cord snipped off to leave a stump, which will spontaneously shrivel and fall off along with the cord clamp in 7-10 days, depending upon the weather. It will fall off earlier in hot, dry weather, as the shrivelling will occur faster. Cord care is done by application of spirit to it twice a day, till the cord falls off. It is advised that the baby be given a whole body bath after the cord has fallen off, so that it does not become wet, which will retard the process of its falling off. In the beginning, a sponge bath with a warm, damp washcloth is all your newborn needs. Before giving your baby her first tub bath, wait until her umbilical cord falls off.