The aim of the present study was to compare temperatures, metabolic adaptation and crying behavior in 50 healthy, full-term, newborn infants who were randomized to be kept either skin-to-skin with the mother or next to the mother in a cot "separated". The babies were studied during the first 90 min after birth. Axillary and skin temperatures were significantly higher in the skin-to-skin group; at 90 min after birth blood glucose was also significantly higher and the return towards zero of the negative base-excess was more rapid as compared to the "separated" group. Babies kept in cots cried significantly more than those kept skin-to-skin with the mother. Keeping the baby skin-to-skin with the mother preserves energy and accelerates metabolic adaptation and may increase the well-being of the newborn.