Nesting Days and Kanga Kare are sending a joint message to the world of the amazing benefits of skin-to-skin care for premature and full-term newborns, both here and around the world

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We’re so excited to share our holiday special–Buy one, Give one!

Starting Thanksgiving Day until January 1st, 2014, we will donate one Nesting Days Newborn Carriers for every newborn carrier sold online to the Kanga Kare Project, sending a joint message to the world of the amazing benefits of skin-to-skin care for premature and full-term newborns both here and around the world.

My involvement started when Asad Akbany approached me about attending the Art of Nesting Workshop to learn more about my involvement in skin-to-skin, and we realized we have the same mission: To change the way babies are being welcomed into the world.

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Asad is part of a five person team of undergraduate students (including Ian Shain, Lucas Gérard, Gary Duan and Pieter Doevendans) taking a social entrepreneurship class at UC Berkeley. The students are working on a product called Kanga Kare to help premature babies in Lampang, Thailand. They will be receiving the Nesting Day’s carriers on behalf of the Lampang hospital for distribution to parents in need.

“We got the idea of developing an inexpensive, skin-to-skin transport device that maintains the ill/premature infant’s temperature in lieu of expensive incubators and emergency vehicles not available in most developing countries” — said Asad Akbany, who was a born premature, ”when we found Julie’s project, we had to meet with her and get advice on our Kanga Kare Incubator.”

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We decided to donate Nesting Days Newborn Carriers to mothers in need through their group as a way to give back this holiday season.

Nesting Days already has a program to give Newborn Carriers and skin-to-skin education to at-risk babies and mothers at San Francisco General Hospital, partly funded through their recent Kickstarter Campaign. I’ll be hosting another Art of Nesting workshop at Carmel Blue on January 18th, 2014 for expecting parents wanting to learn more about the benefits of skin-to-skin care and safe babywearing. You can read more about Kangaroo Care in the practical guide by the World Health Organization below.

So this season — when you buy one baby carrier – you are really buying two. Share the gift of life, the knowledge of evidence-based science, and the power of skin-to-skin! Give away!

-Julie

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How much is too much?

Miriam, Rowan and family

Miriam, Rowan and family

The youngest attendee at The Art of Nesting Workshop this weekend was a little show stealer named Rowan. He came with his mother, Miriam, and when they first arrived, I hardly noticed the tiny face peeking out from behind the polka-dot ‘wing’ of the Nesting Days Newborn Carrier his mother was wearing.

Miriam settled herself into a comfy chair with Rowan in the carrier, where he slept peacefully for the next hour and a half, demonstrating better than any of my prepared material, what the optimal environment for a newborn looks like.

At one point one of the soon-to-be mothers asked, ‘how much is too much?’

I was relieved that I had research to back me up and could say with confidence, “it’s impossible to spoil a baby by holding or responding to their needs too much”.

In the last decade, neonatologists have come out in strong support of responding to a newborn’s cues and meeting their basic needs, but the question, “am I spoiling my baby?’ still lingers.

“A challenge of the newborn is getting to know that the world is somehow reliable and trustworthy, that his or her basic needs will be met,” says J. Kevin Nugent, director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital in Boston and a child psychologist.

“A spoiled child is one that’s manipulative, but babies don’t learn until they’re about 9 months that they can cry to get you to do something for them,” says Dr. Barbara Howard, assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on psychosocial aspects of child and family health.

Spending lots of skin-to-skin time in the first 3 months in particular, provides the newborn with the sense of security it needs at this early stage of development.

Miriam and Rowan Nesting Days

Miriam and Rowan nesting in Nesting Days

The Nesting Days Newborn Carrier lets you spend the hours of skin-to-skin time your baby needs, frees up your hands so you can get a few things done, and provides the sheltered, warm nest that provides the optimal environment for the newborn birth to 3 months. It really is the ultimate mother-baby bonding experience.

Just ask baby Rowan and his mother.