Kangaroo Care is an important way for you to help your baby transition from inside you to the outside world.
How it Works
- Immediately after your delivery, baby will be dried off and placed on your chest.
- You and baby will be covered with warm blankets.
- A diaper and hat will be placed on your baby.
- Your body will automatically warm your baby.
- It is possible that your baby will take the first milk (colostrum) during Kangaroo. This is an important start for your baby, whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle feed.
- You and your baby may rest skin to skin for at least one hour, but as long as you would like.
- Do not hand your baby to family members or friends during this time, or your baby will get cold.
If you choose to stop skin to skin, please inform your nurse so she can assist you to wrap the baby.
You can continue Kangaroo Care throughout your stay at the hospital. Dads can Kangaroo too!
When to Kangaroo
• To warm the baby after it’s bath
• When the baby is crying or fussy
• One hour prior to time to feed the baby
• If the baby is having any difficulties breastfeeding
• During or after any painful procedure
• Any time you want this special bonding experience
Sometimes there are medical reasons that prevent you from holding your baby in Kangaroo. Please understand that we want you to provide Kangaroo Care for your baby. We assure you that we will help you to do that as soon as possible.
We also promote Kangaroo Care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit whenever possible. Be sure to talk to your neonatal nurse, nurse practitioner, or neonatologist for more information.
To help ensure your baby stays warm while you hold them skin to skin, it is important to:
• Keep your room temperature 72-78 degrees F.
• Keep you and the baby covered with blankets.
• Remove the baby’s t-shirt but keep their hat on.
• When you want to stop doing skin to skin, dress the baby and wrap in blankets. Feel free to ask the nurse for assistance.
• Babies should remain in Kangaroo Care for at least an hour before being taken from the chest and wrapped.