the-importance-of-skin-to-skin-contact-with-your-toddler

Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), is a method of initiating skin to skin contact the babies by holding your newborn chest to chest. One of the methods by which your child adjusts to being outside the womb is when his delicate baby skin is against his mother’s. Kangaroo Mother Care is ideally done immediately after the birth, often and continuously during the first few weeks of life. There is no age at which skin to skin contact is no longer needed as the baby’s skin welcomes this, almost anytime. As much as you might want to try Kangaroo Mother Care with your toddler, there are the certain ways to get the most out of contact with your baby’s skin. Skin-to-skin time with dad can also do wonders.

Why is it called Kangaroo Mother Care?

The reason why skin-to-skin contact between the baby’s skin and the mothers is called Kangaroo Mother Care is that a baby kangaroo when a newborn, latches onto his mother. The newborn learns to communicate through the skin to skin contact. The baby’s skin is sensitive and extremely receptive and enables your newborn grasp information about the outside world. Hence, engaging in Kangaroo Mother Care is essential.

Kangaroo Mother Care at birth

Doctors generally encourage contact with the baby’s skin and your bare chest, as soon as you deliver. Kangaroo Mother Care is therapeutic and welcome – whether it is a caesarian delivery or normal delivery. It is an amazing experience from the mum as well, fresh from the pain of delivering, she experiences ecstasy. The baby skin goes a long way in reducing physical pain and calms down the mother.

Baby skin and the mother

The baby skin is extremely sensitive and can differentiate the mother’s touch from that of others. When the Kangaroo Mother Touch is administered, happy hormones like oxytocin are released, relaxing the baby. Any distress can be deterred with just a simple touch of the baby skin. The birthing process ensures that the skin area near the mother’s chest is a notch warmer to incubate the baby’s skin. Since the baby is coming out of a protected environment, anything that sounds familiar like a heartbeat comforts them. This is why it is essential to keep the baby’s skin close to your chest.

While in the first few months, the baby’s skin is extremely sensitive to chemicals, perfumes, and other products, you cannot even indulge in frequently bathing them. Kangaroo care, however, can be administered all through these crucial months to comfort the baby.

How to do Kangaroo Mother Care with your toddler

Once your child is a little over one year old, you no longer need not indulge in Kangaroo Mother Care time. However, the baby’s skin still craves for your touch albeit in different ways. Your touch is now associated with comfort by your child and the baby’s skin requires to be caressed on a frequent basis.

As a toddler, the Kangaroo Mother Care strategy is quite different, you do not have to keep aside time to indulge the baby skin to your skin contact but can incorporate in through everyday activities like when you dress your baby up, or you tuck your kid into sleep, or while giving your baby a bath. You just need to steal those few moments to hold hands, tickle your baby’s back, give high fives or engage in a sport for the sake of ensuring that the baby skin gets enough of yours. So ensure that there are no excuses in this department.

Importance of Kangaroo Skin Care

1. Contact with the baby’s skin makes him or her more comfortable

The most important reason for baby’s skin to be in contact with yours is to make your baby happy.

2. Skin to skin contact promotes bonding

Touch is essential for mammalian survival, and maternal skin to baby skin contact enables mothers and children to establish a loving relationship.

3. It is healthy

If there is one way to take care of the health of your child and yours at the same time, it is by exposing baby skin to yours. Apart from reducing depression and stress, it boosts metabolism through secretion of hormones. Maternal skin to baby skin contact is one way to get the right hormones pumping into the system.

4. Boosts Cognition

Toddlers with maternal skin to skin baby contact have better brain functioning compared to those kids that haven’t been exposed to Kangaroo Mother Care.

5. Benefits of cuddling for baby skin

Cuddling often reduces stress and pain as cuddling is calming. It makes the child feel calm and safe. KMC is the first step in the direction of any human contact and is vital.

6. Helps in milk production

Here is good news for mothers breastfeeding their children, the touch of the baby skin is quite essential to boost relevant hormones in producing more milk!

7. Helps in better sleep

As the toddler uses a lot of energy during the day exploring the environment, he or she needs maternal skin to baby skin contact at night to fall soundly asleep.

8. Reduces instances of the baby crying

When the child feels calm and safe, he or she is less irritable and cries less.

9. Touch boosts early childhood development

Many children who have not had ample physical and emotional attention are at higher risk for behavioural, emotional and social problems as they grow up. Studies conducted on orphans have shown that the level of stress hormone, cortisol is higher up to 6-8 times in them than in children who have been exposed to parental care.

1. KMC: http://www.healthynewbornnetwork.org/issue/kangaroo-mother-care/

2. the baby’s skin is sensitive: http://www.parenting.com/article/baby-skin-tips

3. as soon as you deliver: https://www.tinystep.in/labor-symptoms-everything-you-need-to-know

4. caesarean delivery: https://www.tinystep.in/blog/4-myths-about-csection-you-must-not-believe

5. normal delivery: https://www.tinystep.in/blog/5-things-nobody-tells-you-about-a-normal-delivery

6. happy hormones like oxytocin: http://www.motherforlife.com/pregnancy-and-maternity/giving-birth/progress/8367-oxytocin-s-role.thtml

7. better brain functioning: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/features/brain-foods-kids#1

8. Benefits of  cuddling: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-369379/Lifelong-benefits-cuddling-baby.html

9. mothers breastfeeding their children: https://www.tinystep.in/blog/10-secrets-revealed-by-breastfeeding-moms

10. fall soundly asleep: https://www.tinystep.in/blog/pregnancy-sleep-cycles

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