The wonderful benefits of Kangaroo Care

You may have heard that skin-to-skin contact—or Kangaroo Care—is hugely beneficial to babies born preterm, but these benefits are just as important not only for full-term infants but for parents as well. Read on to find out just how wonderful this bonding method is and how to practice it.

What is Kangaroo Care?

According to the Royal Children’s Hospital, Kangaroo Care refers to the method of holding an infant in an upright position, skin-to-skin, on the parent’s bare chest for a period of time. Clothing or blankets are wrapped around the infant to provide a secure kangaroo-like pouch. Skin-to-skin care can be provided to both premature and term babies, and can also be performed by fathers or other non-birth caregivers.

What are the benefits of Kangaroo Care to newborn babies?

  • Better adaptability outside the womb (your skin is the same temperature as the womb)
  • Boosted brain, cognitive, and motor development
  • Promotion of healthy weight gain
  • Physiological stability (temperature and blood pressure regulation, heart rate and respiratory stability)
  • Easier breastfeeding (your baby can easily smell and seek out your nipples)
  • Improved immune system function
  • Reduced fetal stress and pain
  • Increase in levels of oxytocin for greater bonding and decrease in crying
  • Better sleep due to the reduction in stress

What are the benefits of Kangaroo Care to parents?

  • Attachment and bonding thanks to the increase in oxytocin
  • Increased milk supply and greater success in breastfeeding
  • Promotes bonding with non-birth parent
  • Decreased risk of postpartum depression
  • Confidence in providing care and transitioning from hospital to home

How do I practice Kangaroo Care?

Kangaroo Care can be practiced from birth (preferably within the first two hours), and you can do it for as long as you and your baby enjoy and benefit from the experience. If your baby fusses, it might be time to give it a short break and come back to it again in a day or two. Make sure that you remain awake to reduce the risk of infant falls and SIDS. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Wearing a stretchy or button-down top and no bra, sit comfortably in a quiet, calm, and dimly lit room. A chair with armrests and a high back works well, and you might prefer to use a pillow and footrest. Ensure everything you need is in reach, such as a bottle of water and a snack.
  2. Position your baby, dressed only in a nappy, on your chest. For extra warmth, your baby might need a hat and a blanket.
  3. Kangaroo care can take place every day for as long as you like. It’s a special experience that has hugely beneficial effects, so enjoy—the more the better!


X click to search