Kangaroo Care with Your Baby :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Kangaroo Care

What is Kangaroo Care?

Kangaroo care, or skin-to-skin contact, is good for your baby for many reasons, like keeping your baby warm. This care was first used to keep babies warm in countries that did not have warmers or incubators. All medically stable babies can be “kangarooed,” even if  they are on a ventilator. Kangaroo care can be done by mom, dad or anyone chosen by mom or dad.

How will kangaroo care help my baby?

  • Many babies that are kanagarooed stay warmer and have better heart and respiratory rates.

  • Many babies that are kangarooed cry less.

  • Many babies that are kangarooed have lower stress levels and gain weight better.

  • Many mothers make more milk when they kangaroo their babies.

  • Many babies that are kangarooed have a better bond with mom and dad.

  • Many babies that are kangarooed breastfeed better.

  • Many babies that are kangarooed sleep better, get more sleep, and use less energy.

  • Many babies that are kangarooed often have better brain growth and development.

How do I kangaroo my baby?

  • Take care of all of your personal needs (go to the bathroom, get something to eat, or make telephone calls, etc.). Pump your breasts right before you start kangarooing.

  • Remove your bra, and open any other clothing that you have on above the waist.

  • Your baby should be dressed in only a diaper. Cover your baby with a receiving blanket once he or she is on your chest.

  • Your baby’s nurse will help position your baby skin-to-skin, between your breasts, with your baby’s head turned to the side. Your baby will be covered with a receiving blanket folded in four layers.

  • Carefully sit back in the recliner beside your baby’s bed. Get comfortable, lean back, and raise the footrest.

  • Relax and enjoy this special time with your baby.

  • Ask the nurse for a handheld mirror, so that you can look at your baby’s face while you are kangarooing.

  • If your baby is able, try to kangaroo for as long as possible each day. This gives your baby the most benefit from kangaroo care.

  • Many moms find that they pump more milk after kangaroo care.

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How to Kangaroo Care
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