You must have noticed that when babies are born, the hospital staff or the worried grannies, swaddle them into a cloth to help them retain the warmth of the womb. However, there are times when the babies are born before their due date or term – they need special care and this is called ‘Cuddle Care’ or ‘Kangaroo Care’
What does Cuddle Care mean?
Some babies when born early need more sensitive care and attention than those born at full term. With Cuddle care the expert doctor/ nurse will guide the cuddler (either parent or both or even grandparents) to hold and stimulate the baby to enable their growth.
Experts opine that it requires you to:
- Hold the baby in a way that doesn’t hamper their growth
- Talk to the baby in low soothing voice
- Sing to the baby
- Provide positive and comforting touch therapy
Cuddle Care benefits the babies since they take shorter time in hospital care than other babies. Research shows that cuddling:
- Is vital to a child’s emotional well being
- Helps babies maintain developmental and social milestones, such as self-esteem development, increased learning ability and greater self-esteem
How much of Cuddle Care is appropriate?
It is researched that 2 hours in 2 shifts or 1 hour of 4 shifts can help the babies be normalized into the environment and give them greater coping skills. However, each baby is born differently with his/her own set of problems so the NICU doctor prescribes the Cuddle Care according to the baby’s coping patterns
What is Kangaroo Care? Is it the same as Cuddle Care?
Kangaroo Care is a kind of Cuddle Care. However in Kangaroo Care we go a step ahead and ensure that the mother’s/father’s skin contact is there with the baby in a way that the baby can hear their heartbeat. Positioned on the chest, the baby is able to recognize heartbeat and the chances of survival is higher due to warmth and soothing heartbeat sounds. Cuddle Care can be given by anyone, including a trained NICU nurse.
Can normal babies be given Cuddle Care?
Of course! There is nothing wrong in giving benefits of Cuddle Care to any baby.
Remember that, whatever stimulating ways we enrich the babies’ experiences with the world helps the baby’s overall development. Have a talk with your doctor how to provide care and touch therapy and not overdo it. Babies can get irritable too.