Breast crawl is the instinct of mammal (including human) newborns to move towards the nipple and attach to it for breastfeeding all by themselves. In humans, if the newborn baby is put on the mother's abdomen, the movements start 12 to 44 minutes after birth, followed by spontaneous suckling at 27 to 71 minutes after birth.
The infants use their sense of smell in finding the nipple. The areola smells similar to amniotic fluid, the baby recognizes this smell on its hands and begins to move towards the breast. As shown in a 1994 study in which one of the breasts was washed with unscented soap and the baby preferred the other one. They also use visual stimuli (such as the mother's face and the breast's areola) and auditory (the mother's voice).
- Marchlewska-Koj, Anna; Lepri, John J.; Müller-Schwarze, Dietland (2012-12-06). Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 9. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 419. ISBN 9781461506713.
- Desai, Daftary & (2008-01-01). Selected Topics in Obstetrics and Gynaecology-4: For Postgraudate and Practitioners. BI Publications Pvt Ltd. p. 281. ISBN 9788172253066.