Holding your baby close to your chest is a special experience that can help build the bond between you and your newborn. This method, also known as Kangaroo Care, can have medical benefits for your baby as well. When your baby is wrapped on your chest, it looks very much like a mother kangaroo holding her baby in her pouch, which is where the term originates.
The skin-to-skin contact between a newborn and its caregiver helps to better regulate the baby’s body temperature, which conserves calories. It can also stabilize the heart and respiratory rates, soothe the infant, and encourages bonding.
Mothers are not the only ones that can, or should, practice Kangaroo Care. A baby can also benefit from skin-to-skin time with their fathers. The feeling of the father’s body will provide a different stimulation to the baby. Seeing the baby self-soothe and relax during Kangaroo Care helps further increase the happiness parents feel in their new roles as parents.