Invitation - 2022 Global Kangaroo-a-thon

Welcome to the 2022 Global Kangaroo-a-thon 

STARTS ON MOTHER'S DAY: 12:01 am CST on May 8th, 2022 (find your local time here)

ENDS ON KC DAY: 11:59 PM CST on May 15th, 2022 (find your local time here)


Get your team together and join us
and celebrate Kangaroo Care Day (May 15th) 

Please read this page in its entirety.

The Zaky® is hosting a Kangaroo-a-thon to raise awareness, safety, implementation, and focus on the importance of kangaroo care and is inviting teams to participate. 

With the assistance of a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we developed The Zaky® mobile app for parents to keep track of their kangaroo care sessions, assisting in the calculations needed to determine who the winner is kangaroo-a-thons.

From May 8th (Mother's day) to May 15th (Kangaroo Care Day), 2022, we’ll be celebrating Mother/Baby units, teams, and organizations around the world as we work together to create positive bonding opportunities between parents, babies, and the medical teams who support them.

Please take the time to read through this page to find all the information you need about the event. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us.

What is Kangaroo Care?

Kangaroo care is arguably the best, most nurturing, and healing intervention for you and your baby.  It is also called skin-to-skin contact, skin-to-skin care, or kangaroo-mother-care. 

More and more babies are being held in kangaroo care because the healthcare team understands that the parent's chest is the best environment for the baby to sleep (when the baby heals, grows, and develops the brain). It also promotes bonding and family integration.  

Whether you use The Zaky ZAK® or other device to keep the baby safe, warm, and comfortable, you must follow all the instructions, education, safety protocols, and implementation guidelines your baby's nurse provides before starting kangaroo care.  

How long should you kangaroo care for your baby? 

Each sleep cycle lasts one hour, and babies in the womb sleep 20-22 hours a day.  Give your baby as many sleep cycles as possible, and ensure the sessions last for at least one sleep cycle.    This competition is about the baby and teams that kangaroo care about the longest, so hold your baby and help your team win!

What is a Kangaroo-a-thon?

 The Kangaroo-a-thon is a friendly competition that began as an activity to celebrate the International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day (May 15th since, 2011).

It may be several categories of winners, daily and for the entire kangaroo-a-thon:
  • The baby that is held the longest in kangaroo care 
  • The kangaroo care coach that supported the most babies and families in kangaroo care
  • The team with the highest average of Duration of Kangaroo Care per Baby per Day.
  • The best photo, story, video shared tagging #thesnuggleisreal #kangaroocareday #kangaroo-a-thon  #TheZaky

Why is Kangaroo Care and this Kangaroo-a-thon important?

We are organizing this Kangaroo-a-thon to wake up from COVID-19 and significantly improve bonding and healthcare outcomes for babies and families, celebrating the staff that makes it happen.  It is also intended to be fun, educational, nurturing, supportive, trauma-informed, and without judgment.

Who participates? 

Every baby and coach is invited to participate locally, with other teams, or in this Global Kangaroo-a-thon.  A Kangaroo Care Coach is anyone who supports parents and babies with kangaroo care and works to make it happen.  It may be educators, nurses, therapists, doctors, volunteers, etc.

A Kangaroo Care "Coach" is a person that assists parents and babies with anything related to skin-to-skin contact or kangaroo care. You may be in the healthcare team, a volunteer, an advocate, etc., and are recognized by the parents as "the most supportive coach" after every session.

How do you participate? 

Hold your baby skin to skin for as long as you can, as uninterrupted as you can, and as frequently as you can (recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics), and track every minute of your sessions in The Zaky® mobile app to participate.  See below for instructions for The Zaky® mobile app. 

What is The Zaky ZAK, and when should I use it? 

Many NICUs, PICUs, L&D, and Post-partum units have selected The Zaky ZAK® to support babies during every kangaroo care session. It is the only evidence-based, ergonomic device engineered for holding babies weighing 1 to 15 lbs. in the hospital and then at home.

It was designed by Yamile Jackson, a Ph.D. in ergonomics and safety engineer and the [kangaroo] mother of Zachary, a former micro-preemie that spent five months in 2 different NICUs. (the inspiration of The Zaky®).   

If your hospital does not provide The Zaky ZAK®, you may buy one for yourself or donate it to your hospital. Please click here.

The Zaky®, on behalf of Zachary, will donate 10% of your purchase for prizes towards the Kangaroo-a-thon (no coupon necessary - it cannot be combined with other promotions). 

Click here to learn how to use The Zaky ZAK® to protect your baby during kangaroo care.

Meet Finn Joseph, 24 weeker, born at UCHealth on November 18th, 2016. He is skin-to-skin with his parents using The Zaky ZAK®. Theresa is now the Development Director of Love for Lily, and Finn is a healthy and active big brother.


Share photos, videos, and stories on social media and win!

During kangaroo care, snap a selfie or ask a coach to catch you and your baby in snuggles and post it on social media. Use the hashtags #spreadthelove, #loveforlily, #thesnuggleisreal #kangaroocare #Kangaroo-a-thon #TheZaky and enter our weekly photo contest. 
IMPORTANT: By using the tags  #thesnuggleisreal #kangaroocareday #kangaroo-a-thon  #TheZaky, you agree to enter the social media contest and give irrevocable permission to Nurtured by Design and Kangaroo Care Day to use the content for recognition, education, marketing, or to share.


What happens if my baby is not allowed to be held?

We know how difficult it is not to be able to hold your baby, and we all hope you can keep your baby heart-to-heart soon. 

Talk with your baby's nurse to see if you can do "modified" kangaroo care and track your hours.  Otherwise, follow the instructions about how you may nurture your baby during this time (i.e., read, sing, touch with your hands, etc.) and use the other features of The Zaky® mobile app until you may resume holding in kangaroo care.


What are the prizes? 

The best prize is the connection you experience with your baby and knowing that you and your baby are receiving the best evidence-based nurturing care available for babies.

Check with your team about prices provided to families, babies, and coaches.

The winners of the 2022 Global Kangaroo-a-thon will receive a certificate of recognition and bragging rights for the team, and we will announce the prizes soon. 

How do you register?

Coaches are automatically registered. Continue supporting families in everything related to kangaroo care and guide them in logging the duration in The Zaky mobile app and the manual log. Parents select the most supportive coach, so be there and be counted!

Parents register in The Zaky mobile app, following these instructions:

1- Download The Zaky mobile app, open an account, and register your baby or babies.  Click here to learn more about The Zaky mobile app.

Link for iPhone, iPad users from your mobile device:


Link for Android users 
from your mobile device:


2- After you register your baby in The Zaky mobile app, follow these three steps to register your baby for the Kangaroo-a-thon:

In The Zaky mobile app, invite everyone that will hold in skin-to-skin to your baby's group (top left menu on the app's dashboard) so that everyone will be counted for kangaroo care duration and share it when the kangaroo-a-thon starts.  You may delete this access at any time.

3- Both parents participate in the Kangaroo-a-thon; therefore, when applicable, you may follow the exact instructions to invite the other parent or/and others into your baby's account so they can also log their kangaroo care sessions for the Kangaroo-a-thon and log, as well as other activities and journal. 

4- Start logging every kangaroo care session (manually or using the timer) on The Zaky®  app to get ready for when the Kangaroo-a-thon starts.  Kangaroo care as much as you can, and practice using the tracking option starting today.

5- Some teams may choose to give you a paper log to log the duration of each session so submit it to the nurse on May 15th, 2022, or at discharge from the NICU, whichever happens first. 

How do you prepare for the Kangaroo-a-thon? 

Ask your baby's nurse about kangaroo care, hold your baby skin to skin with The Zaky ZAK®, and download The Zaky mobile app.
Track your kangaroo care sessions, use the other features, and hold the baby until s/he shows signs of not wanting it anymore (you may use The Zaky ZAK until they weigh around 15 lbs.) 

Share your photos, stories, videos, and tag #spreadthelove #kangaroocare  #TheZaky

Prizes donated by:                   

If you would like to donate prizes, please get in touch with