Kangaroo care is the practice of holding your baby against your bare chest for skin-to-skin contact for at least one hour at a time. The practice began in Colombia when high mortality rates in preterm babies prompted change. Now Kangaroo Care is encouraged for all babies - preterm and full term. Here's why.

Benefits For Baby

According to the Cleveland Clinic, babies who experience Kangaroo Care sleep better and cry less. They experience more successful breastfeeding and more rapid weight gain. An infant's vitals also respond. The baby’s heart rate stabilizes and they have a more regular breathing pattern. This leads to improved oxygen saturation levels which is an indicator of how well oxygen is being delivered to all of the infant's organs and tissues. The Cleveland Clinic also reports that Kangaroo Care has positive effects on the baby’s brain development.

Benefits For Mom

Breasts are amazing organs especially when it comes to infant care. Not only can a mother’s breasts create milk for her baby, but when providing Kangaroo Care, a mother’s breasts will increase and decrease in temperature according to her baby’s needs. A baby will typically snuggle in against his mother’s breast and fall asleep within minutes. From here the breasts will warm or cool temperature in response to the baby’s needs.

Moms who provide Kangaroo Care will benefit from experiencing improved bonding and feelings of closeness. Her milk supply will increase along with her confidence in her ability to care for her child. Other caregivers can also bond with baby through Kangaroo Care.

How It's Done

Mom’s chest should be bare. No shirt. No bra. Baby should only be wearing a diaper and skull cap. Place the baby on mom’s chest, upright between her breasts and then cover the baby with a blanket or mom’s shirt. Then let the infant rest. This is not playtime, this is rest time.

Cleveland Clinic recommends Kangaroo Care with mom and Dad for several hours each day. Find Great Kangaroo Care tops right here at Milk & Baby

Source: Cleveland Clinic

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of two and expecting her third. If you liked this posting please follow her on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WriterBonnie for more great info on Raising Kids.