Kangaroo care is when you hold your baby close to your chest, skin-to-skin. It’s often used in hospitals for preemies, but can be done at home too. So how long should you do kangaroo care?
There’s no one answer to this question, as it depends on what you and your baby are comfortable with. Some parents do kangaroo care for an hour or two at a time, while others may do it for shorter periods throughout the day. The important thing is to listen to your baby and follow their cues. If they start to fuss or cry, then they may need a break.
Kangaroo care has many benefits, both for babies and parents. It can help babies regulate their body temperature and heartbeat, and can also help them bond with their parents.
For parents, kangaroo care can be calming and helps promote bonding with their new little one. So if you’re looking for a way to connect with your baby, kangaroo care is worth trying out!
What is Kangaroo Care and What Are its Benefits for Both Parents and Babies?
Kangaroo care is a type of physical contact between parents and their infants. It involves skin-to-skin contact through the parent wearing the baby in a snuggly pouch or having it lie on the chest of the parent, allowing the two to interact on a deeply personal level.
Kangaroo care has been found to have multiple benefits for both parents and babies. These include increased bonding between parent and child, improved sleep for both, increased weight gain for premature babies, and better organization of vital functions such as breathing and heart rate.
In the NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit), Kangarooing is a common thing to see parents doing with their babies. It’s promoted by pediatricians and doctors world-wide.
For parents, kangaroo care leads to reduced stress levels, increased confidence in caring for their child, as well as enhanced identity formation with their role as guardians. Therefore, kangaroo care is an incredibly effective strategy to foster closeness between parents and newborns in a safe manner.
How Long Should You do Kangaroo Care Each Day, and How Often Should You Do It?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents engage in at least 1 hour of kangaroo care per day, although more is ideal.
For shorter periods (between 15 minutes to 4 hours) multiple sessions throughout the day are suggested.
The time frame in which a baby receives kangaroo care can vary greatly depending on individual situations, however, maintaining consistent skin-to-skin contact can lay the foundation for increased physical and emotional health benefits.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Kangaroo Care, and What Should You Do if You Experience Them?
There are some risks associated with kangaroo care. These include the possibility of overheating or dehydration due to extended physical closeness, and certain vital signs, such as the baby’s temperature or respiration rate, should be carefully monitored by medical practitioners when using kangaroo care.
Additionally, mothers need to be aware of their own risk factors when engaging in kangaroo care; for instance, if an expecting mother has any contagious illnesses it’s important that contact be avoided as much as possible for the safety of the baby.
If at any time you feel like either you or your baby are not able to cope with the close physical contact being provided through kangaroo care then make sure to inform your doctor immediately.
What Are Some Other Things You Can Do to Bond With Your Baby and Promote Their Development?
Playing together is one of the most enjoyable ways to bond with your baby and benefit their development. Utilize both physical and verbal interaction; try tapping or clapping rhythms, singing silly songs, making funny faces and talking in funny voices.
Reading books aloud helps your baby recognize familiar words, learn language skills, and even more importantly, sets the foundation for a love of learning. While your baby will not truly fully understand what is being said, the foundation you are forming will have an impact on you and your baby.
Taking routine walks outside provides a calming environment for parents and babies alike; using visual stimulation in nature to describe colors, new sounds from animals, and warm embraces from sunny days will help strengthen your bond as well as promote overall healthiness.
Additionally, try incorporating healthy eating habits into your baby’s diet that are small enough for them to grab but big enough that they can practice feeding themselves.
Not only will it be an important learning opportunity but it’s a great opportunity to catch up with friends or family over mealtime conversations.
Final Thoughts on Kangaroo Care
Kangaroo care is a great way to bond with your baby and promote their development. It’s important to make sure that you do it for the right amount of time each day, and that you don’t experience any adverse effects. There are other things you can do to bond with your baby, but kangaroo care is definitely one of the best options.