What is baby kangarooing and why is it worth using?
Kangarooing is skin-to-skin contact of a newborn baby with its mother. It is not only one of the most pleasant things a mother can experience, but also an extremely important procedure for the proper development and health of the child. Check how you should kangaroo your baby.
What is kangarooing?
There is probably nothing more natural than the direct contact of a newborn's body with the mother's body. Unfortunately, in highly developed societies, this practice was abandoned for various reasons and women were effectively discouraged from following their instincts. It was not until the 1970s that the advantages of kangaroo were discovered by accident.
Back then one of the hospitals in Bogota ran out of equipment and medical personnel. To keep premature babies warm enough, their mothers were allowed to warm them with their bodies. This treatment was to be used only in an emergency, so no one expected such great benefits from it. It turned out that thanks to kangarooing, the mortality of premature babies decreased significantly.
This event resulted in the introduction of many positive changes in maternity wards. Above all, the separation of newborns from their mothers has been abandoned, so that they can hug each other at any time. There was also a recommendation not to take the baby immediately after birth for examination, measurement and weighing. It should be allowed to lie on your mother's naked belly for at least 20 minutes.
More and more hospitals also use kangaroo in the management of premature babies. As soon as the baby's condition stabilizes, mum can hug it against her body.
Research conducted at Bar-Ilan University in Israel among children up to 10 years of age has shown that the benefits of kangarooing do not only apply to premature babies and are much longer-term than previously assumed.
Check out the specific benefits of kangarooing:
1. Reduces stress after childbirth
Hugging his mother's naked body will allow a newborn baby to regain peace and feel safe. Baby and mom will have a unique chance to get acquainted with their smell and touch.
2. Less likely to develop postpartum depression
Even though the baby is already outside the mother's belly, the bond between them will be very strong for a long time to come. Kangarooing has a very positive effect on mom's well-being and is a huge help in overcoming baby blues.
3. We recover faster after childbirth
Kangaroo training accelerates uterine contraction and reduces postpartum bleeding.
4. A restful sleep for your little one
No sleeping technique can replace cuddling with mom. Especially in the first weeks of life, a baby needs to be close to his mother to feel safe enough to fall asleep peacefully. And you know - a child's restful sleep is crucial for his health and proper development. The mother, who has the opportunity to rest, also benefits from it.
5. Less hassle with lactation
A baby hugged to the breast is a subconscious signal to the mother's body that it is time to start "producing" milk.
6. A beneficial effect on the heart and respiratory system
This does not only apply primarily to premature babies - research has shown that while kangarooing, the mother's breath stimulates the baby's breathing by equalizing the rhythms. Therefore, episodes of respiratory distress occur less frequently.
7. Less trouble with colic
While lying on the mother's breast, the baby's tummy is gently massaged in a natural way. This allows the gases to escape from the tiny intestines more easily.
8. Proper development of the nervous system
Kangaroo babies are calmer and more confident and resistant to stress.
Who can kangaroo a baby?
Dad can and should also be a kangaroo. This will create a deep bond between him and your baby. This way dad will feel even more needed and will be able to relieve his partner a bit.
There are also no obstacles for kangarooing to be taken care of by another close relative, e.g. grandparents or siblings or even foster parents.
How to kangaroo a baby?
First of all, remember that kangarooing is always skin-to-skin contact. There must be no T-shirt between the baby's body and yours. Of course, you can cover the baby's back to keep it warm and put a diaper on it, but it should not reach above the navel.
Children with low birth weight or those born prematurely can wear socks and a hat.
The baby should be placed on the stomach in an upright position. Let him choose which breast will be his pillow. If the baby quickly calms down and falls asleep, this is the best sign that he or she enjoys kangarooing.
Kangarooing should last at least an hour. But the longer it lasts, the better. Ideally, it should take place every day until at least 3 months of age.
When kangarooing, it is best to put on a shirt that is unbuttoned at the front or a sweatshirt that is wide enough to wrap your child around. There are also special scarves, thanks to which you can kangaroo and do other things at the same time.
But it's best if you can afford it, to sit or lie down with your baby. Take a nap, read a book, listen to music. Kangarooing is a great experience and great pleasure. Use it as much as possible while you can.