Kangaroo Care: What it is, Benefits & How To Do It
Kangaroo care, also known as skin-to-skin care, is a way where parents hold their baby directly against their bare skin. It encourages bonding with babies and helps support their emotional and physical development, mother and their partner – as well as the baby – can benefit from kangaroo care.
The baby is held erect with its head on one side between the mother’s breasts or alongside the partner’s chest. The parent should support the baby’s head with one hand and the other over the bottom. Often, a blanket is placed over the top of the baby to help keep them warm.
Why Kangaroo Care?
Kangaroo care is excellent for mom, dad, and baby in so many ways. Here are some of the benefits of s kangaroo care
- The mother makes more milk for the little baby
- The baby feels warm and body temperature is better
- Improved heart rate and breathing rate
- Baby gains weight
- Baby cries less and has lower stress
- Improved sleep
- Baby and parent bond more
- Decreased pain and risk of infection
- Better brain growth and development
When to do Kangaroo Care?
Kangaroo care can be initiated as soon as you are able to do it. Just let your nurse or doctor know at what time you are ok or ready to do it. If you are not certain, take the nurse’s help to start in a more comfortable way.
Parents should start kangaroo care once or twice a day for at least one hour each. The more you hold your baby, the better. Any amount of time is good, but it is most excellent to try for at least 1 to 2 hours each day.
Avoid doing other activities during kangaroo care, like rocking the baby fast, talking on call, or watching TV. Kangaroo time is meant to be quiet time to be enjoyed by you and your infant. Soft talking to your baby so sing a lullaby or read a book that helps your baby's brain grows.
Preparation For Kangaroo Care
Kangaroo care can be done while you sit relaxed in a chair or an adult bed can be brought in if needed.
Steps for Kangaroo Care
- Pick a time when you are not in hurry and feel relaxed. Just focus on the joy of holding your baby.
- Wear a cloth that easily opens down the front, or wear a front-opening hospital gown.
- Have a pillow for support - and also have a blanket to place over your baby.
- Keep a tape handy to secure any tubing connected to your baby.
- Don’t use strong perfumes or anybody wash or talcum powder. It’s important your baby can smell you.
- Use a comfortable chair with armrests and a high which helps you to be comfortable. Take a footrest if you want one.
- Go to the toilet in advance, have a drink beside you, and be totally comfortable.
- Talk gently to your baby and tell them what’s happening.
Enjoy the time with your baby.