If you have a premature baby, you have likely heard the term “Kangaroo care.” Simply, this involves holding your naked infant, clad only in a diaper, skin-to-skin with you in order to transfer warmth.
However, research has shown many other benefits to this type of care, both for premature and term infants as well. Kangaroo care can stabilize the heart rate and breathing patterns of newborns. It has been shown to decrease crying and increase time in the deep sleep and quiet alert state. Kangaroo care also increases weight gain and promotes breastfeeding. If you have a premature baby in the NICU, this is a great way to bond with your new baby. And this type of skin-to-skin contact is not just for moms — dads can provide Kangaroo care, too!