Kangaroo Care


Understanding kangaroo care
“Kangaroo care” is a method that allows the caregiver (usually the parent) to have close (skin-to-skin) contact with the baby. In kangaroo care, the baby is placed, skin-to-skin, on an adult’s chest, mostly the mother. It is a suitable method for both premature and full-term babies weighing less than 2 kilograms. Since the baby snuggles inside the pouch of their parent’s shirt, which resembles a kangaroo’s pouch, the term “kangaroo care” was coined to describe this type of care. When held like this, babies fall asleep very quickly. Moreover, it’s been noticed that the mother’s breasts will adjust their temperature to help warm or cool down the baby — this helps the baby save energy, which can be used for growth instead.


Advantages of kangaroo care
The technique of kangaroo care is beneficial to both the baby and the parent.

Benefits to the baby

Benefits to the parent

Stabilizes baby’s heart rate

Improves bonding with the baby

Improves breathing pattern

Improves breast milk supply

Increases sleeping time

Increases a sense of control

Causes rapid weight gain

Increases confidence in their ability to care for their baby

Reduces crying and helps in more successful breastfeeding episodes

Increases confidence that their babies are receiving good care

Getting started with kangaroo care
The general steps to perform kangaroo care are as mentioned below:

Fathers can also provide kangaroo care, and the different feeling of the father’s body will deliver a different stimulation to the baby.

Thus, kangaroo care is an efficient way to fulfil a premature baby’s special requirements for warmth, protection from infections, frequent breastfeeding, stimulation, safety and affection.

  1. Cleveland Clinic. Kangaroo Care. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/childrens-hospital/health-info/ages-stages/baby/hic-Kangaroo-Care. As accessed on: 20/4/2016.
  2. World Health Organization (WHO). What kind of care do preterm babies need? Available from: http://www.who.int/features/qa/preterm_baby_care/en/#. As accessed on: 20/4/2016.