The benefits and positive impact of Kangaroo Care for premature and sick babies 


With Kangaroo Care Awareness Day held this Sunday 15 May, we're highlighting the importance of Kangaroo Care.

Studies show that the benefits of Kangaroo care or skin-to-skin contact don't just apply to babies, these cuddles also positively impact the mental health of their parents.

What is Kangaroo Care?

Kangaroo care or skin-to-skin contact 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.

When can Kangaroo Care begin?

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.

What are the benefits of Kangaroo Care for babies?

Kangaroo care can be done with both premature and full-term babies and is known to have many benefits, such as:

  • Maintain baby’s body temperature
  • Regulates baby’s heart and breathing rates
  • Encourages baby to spend more time in a deep sleep
  • Increases baby’s weight gain
  • Improved oxygen saturation levels
  • Can increases the chances of successful breastfeeding
  • Longer periods of alertness
  • Helps promote frequent breastfeeding
What are the benefits of Kangaroo Care for parents?
  • Can build confidence
  • Increases your bond with baby and ease feeling of separation
  • Can improve breast milk production, increasing chances of successful breastfeeding
  • Releases hormones that promotebonding and attachment
  • Provides a better sense of wellbeing
  • Decreases anxiety, stress and reducesthe risk of depression
  • Enables Dad to participate in his baby’s care
    Increases confidence to care for babyand understand cues
    aids in a positive hospital experience

Tips for Kangaroo Care

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.

However, it is always important to speak with your baby's medical team if you have any questions in relation to kangaroo cuddles during this pandemic.

Get Involved

Throughout May we're encouraging families to help us promote Kangaroo Care by sharing photos to their social networks. 

Join us oFacebookInstagram or Twitter and share your Kangaroo Cuddle photos and be sure to tag @miraclebabies and use these hashtags: #miraclebabies #kangaroocare #kangaroocuddle #nicu #specialcare #premmie


We also want to hear what skin-to-skin contact means to families and what their experiences have been around it.

Submit your Family Story and share your personal experience of Kangaroo Care with your premature or sick newborn. 

What is Kangaroo-a-thon?

Kangaroo Care Awareness Day also marks the start of our annual Kangaroo-a-thon. The goal of our Kangaroo-A-Thon is to encourage all NICU and SCN Units to actively promote Kangaroo Care and log as many hours of kangaroo holding (including modified holding) in a two week period.

This initiative encourages many hours of brain developing, neuro-protective, attachment building, and immunity boosting good times. 

Recommending Reading

Our Nurture'E' Information Hub is designed to assist you and your family through different life stages of your growing and developing child beyond the baby, infant and toddler years. Nurture - The EEE Impact has been created in collaboration with parents and health professionals to provide you with EvidenceEducation and Empowerment.  

Our aim through this initiative is to leave you feeling confident and empowered to better advocate and assist your child during these exciting and vital development years.  

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