A descriptive study of eleven healthy preterm infants was conducted in which cardiorespiratory (heart and respiratory rates, oxygen saturation), thermal (abdominal, toe and tympanic temperatures) and state behavior responses to two hours of paternal skin-to-skin contact within the first 17 hours of birth in Colombia, South America were evaluated. Infant physiologic and behavioral state measures were recorded each minute as was paternal skin temperature and behavior. Infant heart and respiratory rates increased during paternal contact as did abdominal and core temperatures. Fathers were able to keep their infants sufficiently warm, and five infants became hyperthermic (tympanic temperature greater than 37.5 degrees C) despite cooling measures while being held in this climate. Infants slept most of the time while being held and fathers seldom gazed at, spoke to, or touched their infants while holding them. When mothers are unavailable, fathers may be an alternate source of warmth and comfort to infants.