It doesn’t literally involve giving your child to a kangaroo.
What is it?
Kangaroo care is a method of holding your baby involving direct skin-to-skin contact.
The baby is naked except for a diaper and is placed in an upright position against the parent’s bare chest.
Why is it important?
Many research studies have found that having skin-to-skin contact with the baby makes him/ her healthier in many ways.
- Kangaroo care stabilizes the baby’s heart and respiratory rate.
- It improves the bond of love between the mother and the baby.
- It also improves oxygen saturation rate.
- Kangaroo care regulates your infant’s body temperature.
- It conserves the baby’s calories in a better manner helping him gain weight.
How to get started?
You should give skin-to-skin care to your child at least for an hour. Do it four or more times a week.
- Find a quiet, private and comfortable place where you can lie down with the baby.
- Wear a shirt or a blouse that opens in the front.
- Your chest should be bare.
- Baby should be wearing nothing except a diaper.
- Place the baby on your bare chest in an upright position.
- Cover your baby with a comfortable blanket.
- Relax. Let your baby rest.
Ten reasons to give Kangaroo care to your child.
#1 Beneficial for both mother and the child
Benefits of kangaroo care are not limited to the babies, mothers enjoy equal benefits as well.
Giving kangaroo care gives warmth, a feeling of love and a sense of belonging to the child.
Holding the baby close to your bare chest can calm him down and ensure that he is happy and satisfied.
Kangaroo care can drop the stress levels down in both mother and the child. Mothers that give Kangaroo care to the child sleep and feel better.
#2 Reduces stress and helps your baby sleep better
If your baby finds it hard to sleep and wakes up anxious and uncomfortable after a short nap, kangaroo care is something that you should definitely try.
Hold your baby close to your bare chest and caress him to sleep. Relax and watch the magic happen as your baby falls into a deep and peaceful sleep.
#3 Stabilizes your baby’s temperature
Kangaroo care can give your baby the same kind of warmth as in your womb.
Newborns haven’t mastered the skill of stabilizing their temperature.
Skin to skin contact with your baby will keep him warm and stabilize his temperature.
#4 Stabilizes your baby’s heart and respiratory rate
Kangaroo care works like magic for the babies that suffer from respiratory or cardiac distress.
A study suggests that heart rates for infants given skin-to-skin care were more regular than babies not given it.
If your baby is anxious and with an increased heartbeat and has trouble breathing, kangaroo care can soothe and stabilize him.
#5 Improves immunity
Premature babies have weak and underdeveloped immunity.
Skin to skin contact with the mother can improve the baby’s immunity and make him healthier.
#6 Boosts the baby’s mental development
Kangaroo care stabilizes the heart rate and improves respiratory functions, the baby breathes more and in a better way.
More oxygen is available for tissue nourishment and healthy development of the brain.
#7 Improves breastfeeding
A happy baby feeds better.
Skin to skin contact can help the baby feel closer to the mother making him satisfied and happy.
Being close to the chest, he will adapt better and latch properly to the breast.
#8. Can help you lactate better
Skin to skin contact while breastfeeding regulates and improves the hormones that promote lactation.
Holding the baby close to the bare chest and having more skin to skin contact can make the milk supply better, helping the baby feed for a longer period of time.
#9. Improves Weight gain
Babies who are given kangaroo care are warm and happy.
Mothers produce more milk and the babies feed more.
When kept close, the babies don’t burn extra calories stabilizing their body temperature. Instead of warming their bodies they use this energy it to grow and get healthier.
#10. Improves the bond between father and baby
Giving kangaroo care isn’t an option limited to mothers. Benefits of kangaroo care can be enjoyed by the father as well.
Fathers that give Kangaroo care to the child form a strong bond with the baby.
The baby learns to identify his father’s loving touch and slowly recognizes his smell and heartbeats better.
Fathers can give Kangaroo care to their babies and help them calm down the same way as a mother does.