If you are expecting a baby or have a new baby, the chances are that you’ve heard of something called kangaroo care. This method of holding your baby involves skin to skin contact, something that’s very important to the health and well-being of your baby. With a skin to skin kangaroo shirt, your baby is naked except for a nappy and a piece of cloth that covers their back. Your baby sits in an upright position against your bare chest, snuggled and secure as in a kangaroo pouch – hence the name.
Where did kangaroo care originate?
Kangaroo care got its start in Colombia in the late 1970s, when the death rate for preterm infants was exceptionally high. Preterm babies died of respiratory problems, infections, and general lack of attention on a regular basis. Researchers learned that preterm babies who were held close to their mothers’ skin for prolonged periods throughout the day didn’t just survive – they thrived. Now, kangaroo care isn’t just recommended for preterm babies; it’s well-known that all babies benefit from this close contact.
What are the advantages of kangaroo care?
A kangaroo wrap offers numerous benefits for babies and parents alike. Babies experience stable heart rates, improved breathing patterns, increased oxygen saturation levels, better sleep, healthy weight gain, less crying, and earlier hospital discharge, on average. Parents enjoy closer bonding with their babies, increased supply of breast milk, more confidence as parents, peace of mind that their babies are well looked after, and a stronger sense of control over their babies’ well-being.
Why does it work?
The health benefits listed above have been proven in multiple studies. Skin to skin contact stabilises baby’s heart rate, regulates body temperature, conserves calories, and more. When you provide kangaroo care, your baby is snuggled up against your bare skin, which helps regulate temperature for optimal comfort. This, in turn, helps baby sleep better, which benefits energy conservation, growth, and weight gain. Kangaroo care also has a positive effect on brain development.
Get Started with a Kangaroo Baby Wrap from Vija Design
To take advantage of all kangaroo care has to offer, start with a kangaroo shirt from Vija Design. Wearing nothing under the carrier, place baby (wearing only a nappy) against your bare chest inside the shirt or wrap facing you in an upright position. Cover baby’s legs and back with the piece of fabric designed for this purpose – then just relax and enjoy the bonding experience. Hold your baby this way, using a kangaroo baby carrier, at least an hour each day for optimal results; however, you can hold your baby as much as you want, up to several hours each day. Simply let your baby rest against your skin as you relax or go about your daily activities.
Remember that fathers can provide kangaroo care as well as mothers. Always check the proper instructions and safety notes on any kangaroo product you use. Contact Vija Design or peruse their website to discover a range of kangaroo clothing for mums and dads.