Nurture Information Hub
Kangaroo care or skin-to-skin care is a special way both mums and dads can spend time holding their baby and it is an experience parents remember fondly during their hospital stay.
Babies wear only a nappy and are placed in an upright position directly on their dad’s bare chest or between mum’s bare breasts. The baby’s head will be turned to the side and then a blanket is placed on top.
Depending on your baby’s medical condition, you may be able to have your first cuddle the day they are born. Other times, you may need to wait days or weeks before their condition is stable enough for you to do so.
It is a good idea to ask your baby’s nurse when would be a good time, as some days may be better than others depending on how your baby is feeling, how you are feeling or what is going on in the nursery.
Kangaroo care can be done with both premature and full-term babies and is known to have many benefits, such as:
Parents should not apply strong perfumes and deodorant or smoke before participating in kangaroo care time with their baby. If the doctors feel that cuddling would be too much for your baby, you can still provide them comfort by offering your finger to grasp, talking or singing to them.
"I visited my son an average of 12 hours everyday and spent most hours next to his bedside. The time I treasured most was our daily Kangaroo cuddles; we would spend 2 hours snuggling together, often with the both of us drifting off to sleep. Though there were lots happening around us it often seemed that we were the only two people in the room". - Naomi, Mum to Caden born at 29 weeks.