Babies & newborns Infographics Women's health

What is Kangaroo Care?

May 15 marks International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day. Kangaroo Care, which can also be called skin-to-skin, is a common practice here in the Women & Babies program. But if you’ve never experienced it, you might be wondering what on earth it is. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the benefits of Kangaroo Care:

What is kangaroo care? - infographic

To learn more, watch one of Sunnybrook’s NICU graduates interview her former caregivers about the benefits of Kangaroo Care, all while dressed up as a kangaroo herself. Pretty cute stuff!


Click here to read a text-only version


“The first time I got to hold her was a sacred moment in my life.” – mom of a Sunnybrook NICU graduate, on doing kangaroo care with her baby.

Kangaroo care, also known as skin-to-skin contact, is recommended by Sunnybrook staff. Holding babies skin-to-skin is beneficial for both babies and  parents. Research shows it helps babies learn to breathe, keeps them warm, soothes their stress and helps their brain develop. It also protects babies in the NICU from infection.

Sunnybrook encourages both mothers and fathers to do Kangaroo care- it enables dad to participate in his baby’s care, and there are clear benefits for the baby, regardless of whether mom or dad is the one doing the Kangarooing.

Benefits for moms:

• Releases hormones that promote bonding & attachment

• Increases breast milk production & volume

• Decreases anxiety & reduces risk of depression

• Helps mom become an expert at interpreting baby’s cues

Benefits for dads:

• Releases hormones that promote bonding & attachment

• Helps fathers cope with stress of baby being hospitalized

• Creates feelings of protectiveness of the family unit

About the author

Sybil Millar

Sybil Millar

Sybil Millar is the Communications Advisor for the Ross Tilley Burn Centre, Critical Care and Infectious Diseases programs at Sunnybrook.

Have a question about this post? Get in touch.