As soon as possible. In fact, if you place baby skin-to-skin on your chest just after birth, he's likely to gravitate to your breast and nuzzle with your nipple all on his own. Babies are born with the instinct to find their food. Ask your birth attendants to let you hold baby to your chest just after birth, as long as there are no medical issues that prevent it. Studies show that babies allowed to be held skin-to-skin and breastfeed in the first couple of hours of life learn to latch more efficiently than babies separated from their moms for a few hours.