It’s Scientific: The More You Hug Your Baby, the More their Brain Benefits

Kangaroo Care is a method backed by doctors, midwives, experts and parents around the globe for its brain-boosting and baby-bonding credentials.

In the earliest days of parenthood, few things are more primal and perfect than cuddling your newborn skin-to-skin, which is how Kangaroo Care came to be.

While traditionally applied for babies up to three months, New Zealand Karitane nurse and sleep consultant Dorothy Waide stated that it is equally beneficial for parents and in particular, new mums.

Typically, Kangaroo Care is recommended for babies in NICU who weigh less than 2000 grams, however, I have had great success with all ages.

Meg Hutchison, WaterWipes Partner

As a long-time supporter of Kangaroo Care Day, WaterWipes (recommended for newborn, premature and sensitive skins due to its 99.9% pure water with just a drop of fruit extract) hosts a morning tea for parents in the first stages of care at Starship’s NICU ward to share stories, learn and support one another while cluing up on the method.

Here is some info on the method and its reason to be they share:

  • Kangaroo care is the practice of skin-to-skin contact between the parents and their baby, with the baby wearing just a nappy and being held upright
  • Those snuggles release oxytocin to the benefits on babies’ brain development, meaning every day is the perfect day for kangaroo cuddles
  • Research shows that an hour of Kangaroo Care a day provides a bundle of benefits for babies, including accelerated neurobehavioral development, reduced neonatal mortality, temperature control, increased weight gain and more restful sleep
  • The impact is also seen decades after by helping children go on to perform better in school and have preferable behavioural outcomes
  • While many think the method was originated in Australia, it was actually introduced due to a lack of incubators that were in short supply over in Colombia
  • Research has also found that Kangaroo Care can reduce maternal anxiety, minimise and even help prevent postpartum depression, promoting a secure attachment between mother and child
  • Kangaroo Care can be practised with any newborn by taking time each day to rest together skin-to-skin, which may be the best parenting homework ever given