Kangaroo Care

by WCE

When I read this article on kangaroo care for premature babies in poor countries, it gave me joy. The world is a better place because premature babies in developing countries are receiving good care from their parents. My first three children were 37 and 35 weekers and I remember the hours spent fighting jaundice, helping them eat, and, once they were six weeks past their due dates, spending hours calming their reflux-y selves. What has recently brought you joy?

Saving Babies’ Lives by Carrying Them Like Kangaroos


88 thoughts on “Kangaroo Care

  1. Looking forward to responses. This is one of those days when I literally catch myself saying “I hate my life” under my breath.

  2. S&M – I have had many days when I felt like that. I take several deep breaths and keep saying – Nothing lasts forever, not the good nor the bad and the good in my life more than outweighs the bad.

    My children and husband have brought me my greatest joy. I get great joy when I sit down and pay my bills without a second thought. When our businesses went downhill the worst part was paying bills and not being able to just write the checks but having to plan who to pay when, Another great joy is when a new baby is born into the family, even if it isn’t my grandchild. I think how pleased my parents would be with the family they created.

    Look for the joy in the little things – a beautiful day always brightens my spirits

  3. Thanks Old mom. It surprises that it should work, but it does help to force myself not to say that, and to say “Life is good; I am good; I will do good” instead.

  4. What has recently brought you joy?

    Sunny days. My MIL about to celebrate her 90th birthday. Having a delicious lunch at an Indian restaurant in our village where most of the other patrons looked to be Indian. :)

  5. Thank you for sharing that article. It also made me smile. I have heard of Kangaroo Care for premature infants, but I didn’t know the backstory at all.

    What has recently brought you joy?
    Going for a long bike ride in February (!) on a lovely day off of work yesterday. A nice date night with DH that made me feel connected. Spring Training starting again. Walking to school with DS & him making me laugh.

  6. The school science fair gave me joy. One kid overcame fear to participate. One kid placed in the same year his mom passed away. One adult volunteer taught kids how to do the projects. One winner was a minority, and no one really noticed that fact.

  7. In the realm of cheesy fun, last night DH was playing “mean bull” in the living room with all of the kids. He would “charge” them, pin them down and tickle them. Much rougher than mommy play and the kids were eating it up. It was just scary enough to be exciting and their squealing laughter made my evening. DS1 got to practice his wrestling moves on the “bull” and proudly pinned it. DS3 (11 months now) would crawl up to DH, flop down on his back and submit himself for his turn of tickling. I acted as a safe haven on the couch and soaked it all up. It was some very welcome levity coming off of a rough last week – DS3 has roseola and it was a pretty miserable time for everyone.

  8. What has recently brought you joy?

    Vacation planning! I love having something to look forward to. I have a countdown timer app on my phone that counts down the days until our next trip.

  9. What has recently brought you joy?

    The sun came out and the rain stopped.

    Through all the chaos and evacuations (no longer identifying because the entire Central Valley has been under an evacuation warning), most of the stories were about people finding refuge with friends, neighbors and strangers. The Sikh community opened their doors to everyone, which was viewed with gratitude, but not surprise, because they are an integral member of the larger community. The police acted with sense, courage, dignity and respect. The politicians focused on getting out needed information.

    Maybe there is hope for us after all.

  10. Joy – when my kids say to each other “I love you”. (Ignore that they were hitting each other 5 minutes before!)

    Also, the recent big snowstorms made me happy. I don’t like it when it is warm in winter bc it reminds me of global warming. :(

  11. I cleaned out closets yesterday and going upstairs to less stuff and order is making me smile today (now I need to tackle the play room again). I took the kids to the zoo this morning )and let DS skip school today to go) and watching them excitedly run around the reptile exhibit was cute. The zoo also has a bald eagle now and my DS is obsessed with bald eagles so that was a happy surprise. And reading good books, doing yoga and going on hikes has been making me happy with less computer/phone time.

  12. Fitting into my skinnier pants and weaning off my Whole30 diet. Yay – chocolate!

    Otherwise, not a lot of joy lately. Work is stressful, the kids are driving me bonkers, DH is not co-parenting as much as I would prefer, and we owe a bunch in taxes. Really struggling to find joy these days.

  13. My mouth doesn’t taste so much like death and cough drops anymore. Joy seems like too strong a word for my feelings, but that development at least brings me some measure of contentment.

    It’s disturbing the way my vision keeps going gray at the edges during coughing fits, though. I’m starting to feel a lot of sympathy for Mimi and Violetta.

  14. Rhett – where are you going?

    Recent joys – Goats of Anarchy on Instagram and Twitter (thanks to this group). The fact that my DD now comes to yoga with me a few times/week and we have such fun in the car to/from, and then that precious silent hour or two together in the studio, practicing side by side. Calls/texts from DS who is far away but keeps himself close this way. The silly little minpin and her stuffed piggy, whom she murders violently several times each day.

  15. Another fun animal-related social media account is Esther the Wonder Pig. I follow her on Facebook.

  16. Risley, I mentioned the reversed hoodie / animal carrier to my daughter when it came up before, and she finds that the beta bunny quite likes being carried around that way.

  17. Kerri, congrats. I might have to try the Whole 30 after this vacation. The waiter just gave us complimentary chips and guac with lunch. Too good to pass up, but I said the same thing at breakfast about some pastry.

    I’m happy today because at least 50% of the people disappeared from our hotel pool. It’s so peaceful here now. It was very crowded during the holiday weekend.

    I am happy that we’re all healthy for this vacation week. We’ve had a long winter with nasty coughs and the stomach virus. My relationship with the school nurse moved into first name territory, I happen to really like her, but I dread when her phone number appears in my caller ID.

  18. Joy:

    Driving with the top down twice last week. Then discovering that I basically get to do that *all* week this week.

    Watching the TOH Rhett mentioned and discovering that he was right and they did not, in fact, paint all of the beautiful paneling.

    (I feel somewhat pitiful that I am not making that second one up).

    Other joy I am just determined to fight for: it is my birthday, and DH got called out of town last-minute, and then my Starbucks “free birthday drink” coupon (that I specifically went to the store for) wasn’t accepted (apparently the store was attached to a hotel and didn’t “count,” even though they had all the signage, a separate street entry with no obvious hotel connection, and were able to charge the drink to my app just fine). And DS lost his basketball playoff game on Valentine’s Day, which means I get to spend tonight at yet another game. But it’smybirthdaydammit, and I am going to be happy if it kills me. So I am going to look forward to the dinner my mom is making, the appetizer DS is making, and the dessert they have promised me. And prezzies!! And I survived a horrible running Crossfit this morning, and everyone even said happy birthday (I assumed they wouldn’t know, but clearly it is noted in their records). And I’ve lost 3 lbs, which isn’t a lot for three solid months of Crossfit, but it’s better than nothing, and I set three PRs last week, so I know for a fact some of that is muscle. And, you know, maybe I’ll just go home early (top down!!!) and watch the most recent episode of Victoria on the DVR this afternoon, since the evening is basketball. :-) Plus we still have the arts and crafts fair Saturday (a/k/a “birthday present of my choice from DH”) and my real birthday dinner Saturday night, and I just got an email from the restaurant with some wine recommendations, so I can happily dither away some time on that.

    So, joy. Dammit. :-)

  19. After watching for a few months, I finally made the plunge and bought tickets to go to Japan this summer. So, now vacation planning. The idea of taking the kids someplace completely foreign is really exciting. This is the first big trip we’ve done where they are interested and excited in the planning process. So, that is bringing me a lot of joy.

  20. Also bummed that I finished The Americans thru Season 3 and now have to wait (or pay for) later seasons. Sorry I’m such a downer today.

    Happy birthday LfB!

  21. Happy Birthday LfB !

    Spring flowers have appeared that bring me joy.
    I discovered that many of DD’s friends have February birthdays – constantly ferrying her to birthday parties on weekends.

  22. Happy birthday LfB!

    On joy – There is a woman I have long, long admired, but would never in a million years expect our paths to cross. By pure fluke, I sat next to her at an event recently. It was a joy to tell her how much I admire her.

  23. Happy Birthday LfB! If you call or email Starbucks customer service, they will credit your account and probably give you some extra money in your account. You may need to emphasize how they started your Bday off on the wrong by foot, but they will give you something. I have much better luck with the phone reps.

    We did pay for season 4 of the Americans, but I wonder if it will be part of Prime as soon as season 5 starts on the 7th. I can’t wait…just two more weeks.

  24. @SM — That is the funniest thing I have read in a long time, so thanks for that serious day-brightener. And thanks for the good wishes, all. :-)

    My favorite text exchange — from some book DD got about stupid things parents text — was along these lines:

    Mom: What did you get on your chem test?

    DD: 98%!

    Mom: WTF!!

    DD: . . . .

    DD Mom, what do you think “WTF” means?

    Mom: “Wow That’s Fantastic”?

    I have totally stolen that and love to text DD Wow That’s Fantastic as appropriate.

  25. I am also very excited for The Americans to come back! And Survivor. I have also been really enjoying the 24 reboot without Jack Bauer. It’s just fun.

  26. @Lauren — yeah, first thing I did was email them, assuming they’d come back with a “oh, we’re so sorry, let me credit your account for that $3.” Nope. Cut-and-pasted generic explanation of how some stores are licensed and can happily take my money through the app but can’t give me the rewards that are on that same app. But, hey, my coupon is good for the rest of the day, so enjoy!

    Which, of course, just pissed me off — why would I give a $%#! about their corporate business arrangements? I’m just working really hard to hang onto the happy today (I really hate DH being out of town, but my inner grownup recognizes that after about the age of 8 you’re not allowed to pitch hissies about your bday, so I can’t actually admit to anyone that I really hate DH being out of town). And getting my effing free drink was part of my effing happy plan, and I just wanted a human who acted like he actually cared that it didn’t work — and now I’m doubly annoyed that I have wasted so much more headspace on this than it deserves.

    I should’ve called, but it’s totally not worth it. Whatever. I’m cutting back on Starbucks anyway, so it’s not like I’m a valuable customer.

  27. LfB – A Starbucks near me recently wouldn’t let my 9 year old use their bathroom even though it was clearly desperate. Pissed at them myself lately. How do they not have a bathroom for customers?

  28. Most of yesterday was awesome. To make up one of our five snow days, the boys had school, so Mr WCE and I hung out with Baby WCE, did stuff around the house and organized the playroom. We then went to an indoor soccer scrimmage where the twins got to join DS1’s team and Baby WCE wandered around the bleachers being cute. The only downside was that Baby WCE made a giant poopy mess when she asked to go potty after bedtime and Mr WCE was frustrated that she hadn’t stayed on the potty. I took her for cleanup while Mr WCE cleaned up the bathroom, but even that brought me joy because a) he wasn’t in Europe so we could divide and conquer and b) since this is the first kid where I wasn’t the SAHP during potty training, he is having to do way more co-parenting in the potty training department than with the first three.

  29. Laura, I think Kerri’s got you beat there, but of course you can say that you hate it that he’s out of town!

  30. Also, Laura, you are fully within your rights to shoot laser estrogen beams out of your eyes at them and disintegrate them. Even on the phone.

  31. The laser estrogen beams line made me think that wasn’t a text exchange with a real 13 year old girl.

  32. I know you don’t want to take the time to call because I’ve been there with Starbucks and I get it.

    It’s the point, and that’s not the type of company that they’re pretending to be in their marketing. The emails from them are always canned, but you can call any day to get that birthday drink back.

  33. DS2 proposed yesterday with the custom hypoallergenic palladium white gold ring made by DIL1, soon to be DIL2 said yes, wedding in Nov, Deo volente more grand babies in a few years. And it is a beautiful day at thr Biosphere of University of Arizona.

  34. “Cut-and-pasted generic explanation of how some stores are licensed and can happily take my money through the app but can’t give me the rewards that are on that same app.”

    This is a major flaw of the Starbucks free drink thing. It doesn’t work at any of the venues I find myself in. And the employees get really tired of having to explain that unhappy truth to their customers.

    But happy birthday anyhow!

  35. after about the age of 8 you’re not allowed to pitch hissies about your bday

    Oh! Perhaps you can clue my Au Pairs in on this (I’ll bake you a cake, I’ll take you out to dinner and give you a certified local sports team hoodie, however, I am not taking the day off work so that you can have a day off work).

  36. As a December baby, I often had exams on my b-day. Ada – tell your au pair to “suck it up buttercup”! (My newly revived favorite family saying.)

  37. Mémé, having recently seen parts of Fiddler on the Roof again, I’m wondering, is this an appropriate time so say Mazel Tov?

  38. Meme – I can’t remember how old your oldest granddaughter is, but I’m wondering if you’ve thought about doing some of your travels with the companies that cater to families & do Meme + grandchild. Tauck, etc. I’ve just gotten the latest Austin Adventures catalog and am drooling.

  39. “I often had exams on my b-day”

    Is there any ideal time of year for a birthday? Mine was in the summer, so I never got to take cupcakes to school. But I love celebrating a person all day, in big & small ways.

  40. Congrats, Meme! Such happy news. Maybe your granddaughters will be flower girls at the wedding!

  41. Happy birthday, LfB, and congrats to Meme :)

    My birthday is a holiday. I’ve gotten used to it. Mostly. On the bright side, I wouldn’t waste any time calling customer service on my birthday, since no one would be there….

    WCE, I had small 38 week babies and remember that all too well. Even now, many years later, they object to being put down. Their ideal world involves having mom follow them around hugging them all the time.

  42. Meme, your inclusion of the detail “hypoallergenic” made me smile. Congratulations to the happy couple!

  43. Happy Birthday LFB, and congratulations to you and your son, Meme!

    I was trying to think of something joyful, but my dog just threw up, and distracted me!! She finished up treatment for Giardia a week or so ago, so I don’t know if she got it again or what. Urgggh

  44. What a fun topic today! The daffodils and lenten roses blooming in my yard are bringing me joy today, along with my sweet new to us kitty. Happy birthday to LFB and congrats to Meme for her growing family. And Ivy, I’m looking forward to Survivor also!

  45. Happy birthday LfB! Congrats Meme! Excited to see PTM! This blog brings me joy.

    Picked the kids up from school because DH is traveling for work. Kids requested to listen to Hamilton, so I felt like a proud parent and then I took a detour home to drive around a nearby lake so we could watch a glorious sunset and listen to Hamilton.

  46. Back to the OP, after reading the linked article, I’m wondering if there are benefits to continuing skin to skin contact with babies even after 2500 grams. Due in part to local climate and social norms, DS and I had quite a bit during his first 6 months.

  47. YAY MEME! Awesome!

    So DS made an “appetizer” (two slices of sausage with scrambled egg in-between, on a toothpick), and got me a “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from Star Wars” book. And DD brought me back a miniature violin from Austria that self-plays. She had kept it hidden since the summer, and gave it to me with a note that said “for when I complain.” I just lost it.

    (If I am being too obtuse, I am a big fan of the “world’s smallest violin” response to childhood whining. Now I actually have one to play).

    So kids ftw, I think. 😉

  48. Joy: my azaleas are blooming in the front yard, and they are a vivid and joyful pink.

    My Christmas gift from my brother and SIL arrived today – it is a quarterly wine shipment from a vineyard they visited and really liked, so I texted with him and called my sister, and spent a few minutes dwelling on how much I adore my sibs. They always make me laugh, and I really value having them in my life.

  49. WCE – I read that article through my NICU group. I was thrilled. An interesting note… our boys were birthed in the same gestational weeks – #1 was at 35 weeks and #2 at 37 weeks.

    Joy is something I need to harness again. Being on 24/7 again is tough. But I get such joy when DS#1 asks to hold DS#2 and sits there smiling and snuggling. The big boy will “shush” the baby and rock him in the cradle. The care, help, and love is overwhelming at times.

    I would love to not have to work on leave but that’s not happening. And it’s pissing me off. I’m tracking my hours so I can talk to my boss and ask for some comp time or something. But I like what I’m doing so I don’t mind the work. It’s just not what I want to do now.

    I’m patiently waiting another week so it will be a bit warmer and we can take both boys out. I’m hoping to go to the zoo and my mom wants to bring DS#1 to the beach before the season opens. Being human again would bring me joy.

  50. Not sure why hypoallergenic was considered Totebaggy my son’s intended is one of those people who has a severe contact allergy to nickel, a major component in most commercial ring settings. She assumed a proposal would not include a ring, just plans for a wedding. He worked very hard to create something for her.

  51. Mazel tov, Meme!

    LfB – sounds like your birthday turned out pretty damn fine. Love the mini violin gift!

    Rhode – this may not be the most joy-filled stage of life for you. Good to find the feeling in things like DS1 holding DS2, etc. And just wait — in a year when you feel like you again and they’re that much older, you’ll find it more often.

  52. @Lauren: so after my second kvetch email, I woke up this AM to an apology and $10 credit. So I guess all is right with the world — and hey, it induced me to go back to (a real) Starbucks today on the way to my client meeting, so win-win, I guess. 😄

  53. Congrats Meme !

    Both kids have a writing practice test today. The actual test is in March. It’s one of those things where it shouldn’t be a big deal because they have been doing writing assignments but since conditions mimic an exam room, it is different from doing writing assignments as class work or homework where more time is available. Let’s see how they do.

  54. LfB, I am glad they came through with a credit. It’s your birthday week, so plenty of days to celebrate.

  55. Apropos of nothing, do you have Bob’s Baricades where you are? Dad noticed that all the sawhorses, etc to block off areas for construction–sometimes miles of interstate–where stamped with that, and he commented (several times) on what a simple, effective business model that was. Now I notice them too.

  56. Love the happy news from yesterday! Congrats to Meme’s son, laughing at the gifts from LfB’s kids, a drive around the MPLS lakes.

    Rhode – it’s hard to find constant joy in the most grunt-filled years, although catching couple seconds a day when you are cuddling with the baby and can just enjoy for a second because you are not also NOT dying for sleep/food/a bathroom break/needed by another family member helps. :)

    LfB – did you pick out your wine menu for this weekend yet?

  57. Meme, congratulations!

    LfB, that’s awesome!

    Great for everyone else with their good news!

    My warm fuzzies right now are DD seems to be having a great time in Costa Rica, based on the pics her teacher is sending. While she is gone, we’ve taking DS to all the glutenous restaurants and treats that we have to avoid because DD has celiac. Yesterday, DW took him to Dunkin Donuts and he knew which ones I like. It’s not the donuts, it’s that he’s aware of what everyone’s preferences are.

  58. Meme, as someone who always seeks out hypoallergenic everything, I think getting a ring she can wear is great. It was your use of that detail in writing that made me smile. That’s your style, and it’s a good one.

  59. WCE, thanks for this topic. It was very helpful to me, and I think to other people as well. I’m going to try to use it as a model of how to turn a bad day around in the future.

    One more thing that I am absolutely rejoicing over learning (although I am equally angry at a series of doctors): there is a link between asthma and depression. I never knew that. I’m very hopeful that this knowledge can be a big step in alleviating DS’s depression.
    Last night he was breathing very quickly in his sleep, so I woke him up to give him albuterol. In his first asthma attack, when he was two & too young for that official diagnosis, the quick breathing is what I noticed; he’s never had stridor. Last night, something clicked in my mind: he had had a rough time falling asleep, and a family physician 9 or 10 years ago had explained to me that the chest muscles work so hard during asthma that the body can release adrenaline to keep them going. That’s why albuterol helps him sleep–it opens the airways so the air gets to the bronchi and the muscles relax. Once there’s no need for adrenaline, the levels of it in the blood drop quickly. Being worn out, he falls right to sleep. I knew all of that. The connection I made last night was between that and the role that stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol can play in depression. Google auto completes “asthma depression link”, so I know others have wondered too. Turns out there’s a ton of stuff written on it. I haven’t read it yet, but am excited to do so. Why the allergist, psychiatrists, and pediatricians never mentioned it is beyond me.

  60. S&M – Bob’s Barricades started in Florida and is a very lucrative business.

    My joy from this weekend: went to the boat show in MIami and it was much more organized than we expected. We got to use a water taxi, shuttle bus service and the light rail system to go to and fro despite there being three boat shows and two arts festivals going on. Received survey on our boat and accepted the contract. Found excellent safety vests with tethers for my kids to use on the boat. The MiaMama family will be on a boat by summer! Now just working through paperwork, financing and insurance.

  61. Mia, that sounds like a great summer! Thanks for the Bob’s Barricades link. I sent it to my parents.

  62. Growing up I always wondered who Bob was – his barricades were everywhere we drove in Florida!

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