How Skin-To-Skin For Dads Benefits A Newborn (7 Vital Reasons)
It’s no secret that skin-to-skin (aka kangaroo care) is so important for a mother and her newborn baby. But what about dads? They need some love too! Skin-to-skin for dads is just as important bonding time with their newborns as for moms.
Studies show dads can pass on the same benefits as moms do to help a newborn regulate their heart rate and breathing, stabilize their temperature, and minimize crying.
My love, Dave, was all about doing skin-to-skin with our twin girls while they were in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and at home for the amazing benefits it provides. Plus, to help me out!
Speaking of amazing benefits…
Here are the seven reasons why skin-to-skin for dads is important to do for both newborns and preemies.
Becoming a parent is a huge adjustment, and it’s normal for dads to feel unsure of themselves at first. If that’s you, it’s ok! Join the group of tons of new dads who feel the same.
Holding your baby close skin-to-skin can help boost your confidence as you learn to care for your little one. As you become more comfortable in your new role, you’ll find that skin-to-skin becomes second nature.
For Dave, it definitely did!
Enhance Brain Development
The bond between a dad and his baby is so special!
Research shows that skin-to-skin contact in the first few months of life can play a key role in a baby’s development, influencing positive brain activity and reducing stress hormones.
So yes, keep those snuggles coming.
Helps You To Bond With Your Baby
This is an obvious one. 🙂
When you hold your newborn close, not you are not only providing comfort and love, but you are building a special bond early on. This type of close contact gives you and your sweet babe a chance to get to know each other. More importantly, it allows you to form that all-important attachment.
I know Dave definitely felt more connected while doing skin-to-skin with our girls, Lua and Lily Mae. When it was time for him to hold them, the girls knew his voice because they immediately calmed down when he held them.
The moral of the story, get your snuggles on!
Improve Weight Gain
When you hold your sweet pea against your skin it helps your baby use their natural instincts and feeding reflexes to begin sucking and swallowing.
These cues may help accelerate premature infants or full-term newborns to gain weight by improving feeding effectiveness.
Reduce Stress Levels
We all know that becoming a parent is one of the most stressful life events out there but also the MOST rewarding. But did you know that skin-to-skin contact can help reduce stress levels in both you and your babe?
Research has shown that when you hold your baby close, they experience a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. So not only is skin-to-skin great for babies, but it’s also beneficial for you too!
Another wonderful benefit of skin-to-skin contact is that it helps regulate your baby’s temperature. A newborn’s body temperature is often lower than what is considered normal, so it’s important to make sure they stay warm.
Skin-to-skin contact helps your babe maintain their body temperature by providing them with the warmth they need. It also helps them feel secure and comforted, which further contributes to their overall well-being.
Stabilize Heart Rate and Breathing
When your babe is skin-to-skin with you, it helps their body self-regulate which helps to stabilize their heart rate and breathing.
If you have a preemie…
Many preemies experience dips in their heart rate and oxygen levels (since their body is growing and developing) which is why skin-to-skin care in the NICU is so important to do.
Both our twin girls experienced many episodes of dips in their heart rates and breathing. This was definitely scary to witness and is, unfortunately, a very “common preemie thing” that happens in the NICU.
I noticed when Dave did skin-to-skin with Lua and Lily Mae, their heart rates and breathing did stabilize more. Of course the bigger they got, the better it got!
How To Do Skin-To-Skin
To get your snuggles on the right way, follow these five simple steps:
1. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down.
2. Drape a blanket over you and your baby, making sure that the baby’s head is upright above your heart in between your chest.
3. Keep your baby’s head to one side for easy breathing.
4. Place your baby’s tummy on the upper part of your abdomen while keeping their arms and legs folded.
5. Hold your baby close to your body and relax.
Last but not least, enjoy the bonding experience with your sweet pea! And while you’re enjoying your snuggles, wearing a robe or Kangaroo shirt is super helpful to keep your babe warm and hold them in place.
To Wrap It Up
There are countless benefits to skin-to-skin for dads and their newborn babies. Not only does it help babies regulate their heart rate and breathing, but it also helps keep them warm. More importantly, it provides you with an opportunity to bond with your child from the very beginning.
So next time you’re holding your new babe close, don’t forget to take a moment to savor the experience—it’s something you’ll treasure for years to come. Trust me, it goes fast!
Until the next post, I’m sending all the positive parent vibes!
Thank you for being here today!
What other tips do you have about skin-to-skin for dads? Let me know in the comments below.
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About The Author
Linds is the proud mom of two little miracles, Mono Mono twin girls, and one AMAZING older bro! She is the founder and content creator of the blog Mono Mono Twins, the blog Intensive Therapy for Kids, and Co-Founder of The LENN Foundation (a 510c3 that helps children with cerebral palsy receive grants for intensive therapies to thrive). ♥
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