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What is the Kangaroo Zak (KZ)
Instructions/Features/Warnings/Comparison

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  •      What is it?

  •     Instructions  

  •     Features/
    Benefits/Warnings   

  •    Comparison
    vs. others

What is the Kangaroo Zak?


 

 

The Kangaroo Zak™ is the only innovative device ergonomically designed with the sole objective of facilitating safe, prolonged, and effective kangaroo care sessions in the NICU and Post-partum. Parents may use them at home only after proper training from a professional knowledgeable in kangaroo care.

It provides comfort, proper positioning, and sense of security to the baby, it reduces the risk of accidental falls during kangaroo care. and unplanned movement that causes dislodging of medical equipment. It also facilitates immediate access to the baby in case of emergency and it is the only device in the market that facilitates hands-free holding while sitting, with babies up to 10 lbs.

During this continuous contact the baby can reach deep sleep necessary to heal, grow and develop the brain. Parent may rest while in kangaroo care only while supervised by another adult.

The Kangaroo Zak™ (KZ) is a soft, breathable, stretchy and strapless top made with natural fibers that wraps around the torso of the adult and closes on the side with a zipper.

Two adjustable sizes are available: Size 1 adjusts to Small / Medium / Large (size of the mother's blouse) Size 2 adjusts to XL / 2XL / 3XL.

The Kangaroo Zak is patented and successfully incorporates ergonomic principles with the philosophy of the Kangaroo Care Method to provide the most effective environment/habitat for the baby and for the parent so that the sessions are safe and prolonged and the benefits and results maximized.

Made for babies in the hospital in any unit with neonates: NICU, Post-Partum.

Results achieved by the consistent Kangaroo Care:

  • Support neurobehavioral organization and physiologic stability of the preterm infant.
  • Improve maternal breast feeding outcomes.
  • Reduce infant and maternal stress.
  • Support family centered care

The Kangaroo Zak ™ was designed by Yamile Jackson, a PhD in ergonomics and human factors engineering and a kangaroo mother herself. Since 2010 she is certified as a Kangaroo Caregiver Professional and is an instructor for the Kangaroo Care Certification Course offered by the United States Institute for Kangaroo Care.

Kangaroo Zak

Instructions: How to Wear and Use the Kangaroo Zak (KZ)

Wearing and using the Kangaroo Zak (pictures)

Brochure - Kangaroo Zak for NICUs (PDF)

Laundry Protocol: Place the Kangaroo Zak inside the washing bag that is included with each Kangaroo Zak, and follow the same laundry protocol used for the clothes of the patients. This is also the laundry protocol for The Zaky.

How to select the correct size of Kangaroo Zak™ (KZ)

 

Please read this before continuing.

photo

Please note that the mom in these instructions has a brown Kangaroo Zak to be discreet for the pictures but disregard it and do not use anything under the Kangaroo Zak.

  • Parents must wear the Kangaroo Zak with NOTHING underneath leaving the zippers on the side to avoid pressure points on the back of the baby.
  • The baby is always moved using both hands: place one under the baby’s buttocks and the other around the back of the neck and with the fingers on his/her mandible (you need to help with the medical equipment, if any)
  • Below these instructions is how to size the Kangaroo Zak
  • In a standing position, always hold the baby over the Kangaroo Zak as the KZ is not a baby carrier or sling.
  • Use with babies up to 10 lbs.

 

To wear the Kangaroo Zak (KZ) opening the zipper
open   around   zipper   closingZipper   closed
1. Open the KZ.
Decide if you want the zipper closing from the bottom to the top, or, turn it around so the zipper closes from the top to the bottom. It depends on your needs and preference.
  2. In this example we are zipping it from bottom to top.

Wrap it around the parent's torso.
Nurse can assist if parent is on a wheel chair or on a bed.
  3. Select the size that is comfortable for the parent and close the zipper. The KZ will stretch to fit the size of the baby.   4. Close the zipper all the way.   5. Parent is ready to start Kangaroo Care.
                 

 

 

To wear the Kangaroo Zak (KZ) with zippers closed
open   closed   photo

1. Close the KZ zipper in the correct size before wearing it.

 

2. Decide if, once worn, you want the zipper closing from bottom to top, or, turn it around so the zipper closes from the top to the bottom. It depends on your needs and preference.

Lift your arms and put the KZ like a tube top. Leave the zipper on the side.

 

3. Parent is ready to start Kangaroo Care. The Kangaroo Zak has the following imprint:

"While you hold me, we bond and I heal, grow, and develop my brain"

 

 

 

To transfer the baby (Sitting or Standing)

transfer1   position   photo   photo    
1. Lower the Kangaroo Zak to expose the chest.   2. transfer the baby and place the baby in proper kangaroo position before covering him/her.   3. Lift the Kangaroo Zak over the baby (securing the correct Kangaroo Position) covering up to the lobule of the ears.
  4. You can always see the position of the baby by the contour of the baby's body. Effective Quality Control.    

 

 

 

Transfer the baby standing reduces transfer time/distance & exposure time

photo   photo   photo       photo
1. Wear the Kangaroo Zak. Lean over the baby and lift him towards the chest with both hands. Place the baby over the Kangaroo Zak(to minimize mother's exposure of breasts).   2. Make sure the baby is in the correct Kangaroo Position and lower the KZ and lift it covering the baby. Nurses or therapists need to help with any medical equipment.   3. Cover the baby up to the ear lobe securing the baby in place.       4. Once the baby is safe inside the KZ with the zipper fully closed, then the parent can sit down with the help of the hands. While standing always keep the hands over the baby (the Kangaroo Zak is not a sling or a baby carrier)

 

 

Accessing the baby during Kangaroo Care

photo   photo   photo   photo
To minimize loss of temperature, you may assess the baby's skin color, etc by stretching the KZ.
The KZ does not restrict movement of the baby.
  To access the torso of the baby, fold the KZ down as necessary.

The ZK can be folded down as much as needed. Warning: the baby will not be secure unless s/he is fully covered to the ear lobe with the KZ.
  To access the bottom half of the baby, for heel sticks, change of diaper, etc., fold the KZ up and provide extra containment with the double layer of the KZ over the baby's back.
             
photo   photo   photo   photo
Parents can wear the KZ under the clothes. You may warm it up in the towel warmer or a dryer before wearing it.   Each Kangaroo Zak is adjustable to 3 sizes. Select the zipper that makes the KZ more comforable to the mom. The KZ will stretch to fit the size of the baby.

  If the baby has a numerous leads on the bottom half of the body, you may open the zipper, place the leads through the bottom, and close the zipper.
Also, you may also partially open the zipper to access the baby, breastfeed, or pump.

 

 

In Case of Emergency

Photo

Power/Generator Outages
Loss of Power to Incubators
Emergency Evacuations,
Etc.

  photo  
The Kangaroo Zaks are a must-have devices in the NICU's Emergency Kit.

In case of emergency, the staff wear the Kangaroo Zak to kangaroo the babies and still have hands-free to help other babies or do other tasks.


  IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE BABY FROM KANGAROO CARE:

You may lower the Kangaroo Zak and release the baby immediately.
  IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE BABY FROM KANGAROO CARE:

Or, you may also open the zipper and release the baby in less than 2 seconds.

 

 

Resting / Sleeping during Kangaroo Care Sessions

IMPORTANT: We do not recommend parents sleeping without using the Kangaroo Zak because of the risks of accidental falling or sipping down dislodging any equipment. Kangaroo Zak must be fully closed and baby fully covered before the parent can sleep.
photo   photo   photo   photo
1. Parents naturally want to sleep while in Kangaroo Care. Make sure the zipper is fully closed and the baby is in proper kangaroo position.   2. Parents can recline and sleep or relax while in Kangaroo Care.
The safety, proper position, contaiment, and boundaries are provided by the Kangaroo Zak.
  3. Parents can place the hands on the baby.   4. Check the position of by looking at the countour of the baby through the Kangaroo Zak.

 

 

Other Considerations and Features
     
For warmth if needed, place a blanket (included free with each Kangaroo Zak) on top of the Kangaroo Zak™ or around the shoulders of the parent
Stabilize the mom's head with The Zaky™ while she scents it.
  Since the mom has her hands free, she can interact with other family members/staff.
The KZ holds babies of any size even if the NICU does not have recliners.
Also, parents can read, knit, watch movies, text, work on the computer/tablet/phone, because they can use their hands while holding.
  Scent The Zaky by placing it on the skin of the parent. Leave The Zaky(s) with the baby when the Kangaroo Care session ends.   Fathers use the Kangaroo Zak and feel more comfortable holding the baby, thus holding more often and for prolonged time.
By design the shoulders of the parents are exposed so the parent can cover or not depending on his/her own temperature and of the NICU's.
   
     
The Kangaroo Zak is also ideal for postpartum. It virtually eliminates the risk of accidental falls when used properly.   Every baby that qualifies for Kangaroo Care can be held hands-free with the Kangaroo Zak.   The Kangaroo Zak is the only ergonomic device for kangaroo care that is centered on the family and that guarantees prolonged sessions.   Rule of Thumb: preemies kangaroo for 6 months.
Parents should kangaroo at least 80% of the time they are in the NICU.
   
MultiplesKZ      
Hold multiples safely with the Kangaroo Zak. This mother is
scenting The Zakys to leave with the babies after the Kangaroo Care session is over.
  Full-term babies kangaroo for 3 months. The Kangaroo Zak is made specifically for babies in the hospital and staff must teach the parents before the baby's discharge on how to kangaroo at home.   The Kangaroo Zak holds the babies in place so the medical equipment is not dislodged. We do not recommend tying or securing the equipment with strings or hooks as it prolonges the access time to the baby in case of emergency.


  We offer money-back guarantee to hoepitals. Request information here.

 

 

 

 

 

To select the correct size of Kangaroo Zak™ (KZ):

Only two sizes are needed to fit 95 percentile of the NICU moms.

Each Kangaroo Zak™ adjusts to 3 sizes as follows: 
- Size 1 adjusts to fit S/M/L (size of the mom's blouse)
- Size 2 adjusts to fit XL/2XL/3XL

To select the proper size and its adjustment, the Kangaroo Care professional must consider your size and that of the baby and assist with proper fitting. The Zangaroo Zak must fit snug to provide boundaries but not so snug as to compromise the baby’s respiratory effort.

Rule of Thumb: use the mother's for the current size of her blouse (the Kangaroo Zak will stretch to fit the size of the baby). For the father is the comparable size of the woman's. Adjust as necessary.


Contact us if you need smaller or bigger sizes: We have them available in non-adjustable (closed with a stitch with no zippers) sizes from XS to 6XL.

For information about the Kangaroo Care Method and what parents should know before the session, click here

 

MultiplesKZ

Skin to Skin contact instructional video (subtitles in English)
Institute of Neonatology, Belgrade, Serbia
This Institute uses the Zaky and Kangaroo Zak as Standard of Care
  Since that video was produced, the Institute of Neonatology of Serbia uses the Kangaroo Zaks to hold every baby including multiples.

Features and Benefits

Features

Warnings about the Kangaroo Care Method

  • Always follow all guidelines as described in the Kangaroo Mother Care Method literature.
  • Kangaroo Care must be practiced only under the supervision and/or training by a healthcare professional with specific knowledge about the Kangaroo Mother Care Method.Parent must sit up straight or recline (i.e., avoid horizontal, prone, or sidelying) so that the infant is never horizontal.
  • Do not bath the infant in Kangaroo Care.
  • Do not disturb an infant sleeping in Kangaroo Care, and avoid excessive handling.
  • Do not bottle-feed the baby if a successful lactation is desired .
  • Avoid any contact with sick people.
  • As with any other intervention to be performed at home, nurses must ensure that by the time the baby is discharged, parents know how to do Kangaroo Care at home.
  • The Kangaroo sessions should be no less than 1 hour and last as long as possible. Repeat every day of the week, if at all possible.
  • Baby must wear a hat and a diaper while in Kangaroo Care.
  • Make sure the baby is correctly positioned at all times and that parents learn when to call for help.
  • Very low birth weight preemies may need a blanket for warmth in addition to the Kangaroo Zak.
  • Kangaroo Care is not recommended with a mother with extreme obesity, epilepsy, or who is under antidepresive treatment or sleeping drugs.
  • As with any other medical/nursing intervention to be continued at home (i.e., NG tube, oxygen, etc.) healthcare professionals must make sure that parents learn about Kangaroo care, the benefits, correct positioning, learn warning signs, contraindications, and how to use the Kangaroo Zak properly, before discharging the baby. Developmental care must not end at discharge.
  • Kangaroo care is different to the practice of babywearing. In Kangaroo care, the adult and the baby are with bear chest, skin-to-skin and chest-to-chest, using the Kangaroo Zak for safety and comfort. In Babywearing the adult and the child are fully clothed, the child may be in the front or back of the adult, can be done with many different types of carriers and slings, and is commonly practiced with infants and toddlers and while standing up.

Warnings about the Kangaroo Zak

  • All the warnings above.
  • The baby is only secured in place when the zipper is fully closed and the Kangaroo Zak covers the baby up to the earlob
  • The Kangaroo Care professional must train the parents on how to do Kangaroo Care and how to use the Kangaroo Zak at the hospital prior to discharging the infant so that the care is not interrupted.
  • Zippers of the Kangaroo Zak must be positioned away from the skin of the baby to avoid pressure points.
  • Do not cover the face or head of the baby with the Kangaroo Zak or with any fabric.
  • To select the proper size and its adjustment, consider the size of the parent and the baby and assist with proper fitting. The Kangaroo Zak must fit snug to provide boundaries but not so snug as to compromise the baby’s respiratory effort.
  • Kangaroo Zak is NOT a sling or baby carrier, so parents must use their hands to hold the baby (over the Kangaroo Zak) if in a standing position.

Product Comparison of Kangaroo Care Garments

 

Company Name (*) Nurtured by Design®
(Texas, USA)
n/a BabyBloom Healthcare
(Netherlands)
NüRoo Baby
(Rhode Island, USA) 
Precious Image Creations, Inc.
(Georgia, USA) 
Product Name (*) Kangaroo Zak™ Open Shirt + Blanket Benjamin Kangaroo Sweater Nuroo-pocket Sling Wrap Kan-go Wrap Kan-go Wrap with 3/4 Sleeves Kan-go Wrap - Unisex Second Skin Swaddle Miracle Cami  Skin-to-Skin Carrier-Made for Twins
  16923e0a9909f37f9809f9ab3ece8c24 photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo
photo

Design and Intellectual Property

Designed by  a PhD in Ergonomics and Human Factors Engineering, leader in family-centered Developmental Care, Kangaroo Mother of her preemie. Inventor of
The Zaky
n/a

NICU Nurse, Preemie
/Kangaroo
Mother

2 mothers of healthy babies NICU Nurse and mother of healthy babies
Intellectual Property Designed and Patented in the US n/a Product from The Netherlands Unknown Patent Process. Designed In the US Patent Pending
Developed for:  for Kangaroo Care, safe for holding NICU neonates of all sizes with any medical equipment n/a NICU babies. Adult reclined.  Not hands-free while standing or sitting up with small preemies home use Post-Partum and home use Post-Partum and home use
Also Appropriate for:  Any hospital unit with infants and home use after proper training from a Professional knowledgeable Kangaroo Care n/a NICU babies with minimal use of medical equipment
Made for constant use, from birth (including NICU 3) and after hospital discharge for any baby Yes No
NIDCAP friendly (Recommended by International NIDCAP Trainers to Provide Kangaroo Care in NICUs) Yes No Unknown No Unknown
Used by a female adult Yes Yes
Used by a male adult Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Number of babies that can be safely held at same time 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2
Award winning for ergonmic design Yes No
Product Name (*) Kangaroo Zak™ Open Shirt + Blanket Benjamin Kangaroo Sweater Nuroo-pocket Sling Wrap Kan-go Wrap Kan-go Wrap with 3/4 Sleeves Kan-go Wrap - Unisex Second Skin Swaddle Miracle Cami  Skin-to-Skin Carrier-Made for Twins

Features

Skin-to-skin area exposed skin from baby's head to toes, except diaper area exposed skin from baby's head to toes from baby's head to toes upper body only (has a pocket) upper body only (has a pocket) exposed skin from baby's head to toe
Supports sitting and standing transfer for micro preemies? yes, quick transfer of any baby of any size, with supervision of a KC professional. no sitting only for small preemies, if standing takes more time to achieve kangaroo position and have hand free to sit down not designed for micro-preemies
What is over the baby's back? 1 layer of natural fabric with no seams or pressure points blanket and hands of parents at all times several layers of fabric and seams several layers of fabric that close with Velcro several layers of fabric and seams several layers of fabric and seams
Pressure points on the baby if adult holds while sitting up (for babies without medical equipment) none, as zipper is closed and placed on the side, away from the baby adult uses hands to hold the weight and positioning since it crisscrosses, pressure is not constant and belt adds to the uneven pressure seams on adult's breast area one large seam vertical on the middle
Pressure points on the baby if adult holds small preemies with critical medical equipment none, as zipper is placed on the side, away from the baby adult uses hands to hold the weight and positioning Not for standing hands-free with small preemies Not for standing hands-free with small preemies
Hands-free while adult is reclined, sitting up NICU 3: Yes
NICU 2: Yes
Post Partum: Yes
Home: Yes
no NICU 3: if adult is sitting reclined only
NICU 2: if tightly secured by strap

At Home: Yes

but not true skin-to-skin as baby is inside a pocket

NICU 3: No


NICU 2: depends of size and condition of baby


Post Partum:  if adult is reclined only

How the garment goes on the adult Adult sitting or standing or reclined

1. Close Zipper, then slip it over the head as a tube or,
2. Open Zipper, wrap KZ around the torso and close the Zipper.
Must fit snug as the fabric will stretch to fit the baby's size
n/a Adult standing only.

Wear like a robe and close the velcro after the baby is in place
Adult standing only.

Wear like a robe and close with Velcro while placing the baby in place
Adult standing only.

Wear like a robe and
1. close the belt while placing the baby in place
2. close the belt then slip baby down
Adult sitting or standing.

1. slip over the head. full set of instructions on how to wear it. See website
Adult sitting or standing.

slip over the head
Adult sitting or standing.

slip over the head
Can be easily put on and used hands-free by an adult while sitting in a wheelchair yes, open the zipper and help by wrapping the KZ around the torso, then close the zipper it is too long, all instructions are from standing position it is too long, all instructions from manufacturer are from standing position slip over the head slip over the head
Can be easily put on by an adult reclined unable to stand up place the KZ open on the bed under where the adult will recline. Parent lays over the KZ and nurse helps by wrapping the KZ over the torso and closes the zipper.  Adult may not be totally horizontal while doing Kangaroo Care. it is too long, all instructions are from standing position it is too long, all instructions from manufacturer are from standing position slip over the head slip over the head
Product Name (*) Kangaroo Zak™ Open Shirt + Blanket Benjamin Kangaroo Sweater Nuroo-pocket Sling Wrap Kan-go Wrap Kan-go Wrap with 3/4 Sleeves Kan-go Wrap - Unisex Second Skin Swaddle Miracle Cami  Skin-to-Skin Carrier-Made for Twins
Way of holding the baby it contours the body of the baby with a constant pressure, facilitating skin to skin contact from head to toe.  No straps or excess fabric/seams that create pressure points Parent holds the baby with the hands crisscross the garment over the baby and tying the straps to hold the baby's weight Baby is placed in a pocket only allowing skin to skin contact in the baby's upper body. Baby's weight is partially held by strap crisscross the garment over the baby and tying the straps to help hold the baby's weight Adult slips on the two straps in "x-shape" and places the baby baby is slipped under the shirt. Requires over manipulation to position baby correctly baby is slipped under the shirt. Requires over manipulation to position baby correctly
Quality Control of baby's kangaroo position  (arms, hands legs, feet, ankles, hips, neck, etc.) Since the KZ does not restrain movement, it is important that the caregiver can see the contour of the baby's body at all times through the Kangaroo Zak without any disruption to the baby.  If adjustment is needed, access the baby with minimal disruption uncover the baby to view baby's position   see the contour of the baby and if need adjustment, lift the garment (cons: air flow and extreme disruption to baby)
Access to baby's upper body for medical/nursing intervention  while in kangaroo care fold the KZ down to expose baby's upper body leaving the baby secure covering the rest of the body or partially open the zipper of the KZ uncover the baby untie the strap and open the garment fully open garment to access baby untie the strap and open the garment fully uncover the baby from the bottom or pull/stretch the garment out from the top up to the point that straps allow it
Access to baby's lower body for medical/nursing intervention  while in kangaroo care fold the KZ down to expose baby's lower body leaving the baby secure covering the rest of the body uncover the baby untie the strap and open the garment remove the baby from the pocket untie the strap and open the garment fully uncover the baby from the bottom only when parent is reclined and holding the baby's weight
Coverage of the baby's head (placement of medical equipment such as C-Paps or Ventilators front and back of the head of the baby is uncovered by the KZ to allow flexibility of placement of medical equipment   Baby's head may be covered and the garment crisscrosses on the baby's back of the head the garment gets close to front and back of the baby, even covering the baby's back of the head  the garment crisscrosses on the back of the neck of the baby front and back of the head of the baby are uncovered but straps don't allow flexibility of placement of medical equipment
Release in case of emergency if using critical medical equipment such as a ventilator or in NICU 3 Fold KZ down or open zipper for instant access to the baby uncover the baby untie the strap, carefully release all equipment previously secured to the garment not designed to be used with critical medical equipment
Wash/dry in washing bag provided. No disassembly required   disassemble according to instructions and wash wash/dry garment and belt wash/dry without disassembly
Product Name (*) Kangaroo Zak™ Open Shirt + Blanket Benjamin Kangaroo Sweater Nuroo-pocket Sling Wrap Kan-go Wrap Kan-go Wrap with 3/4 Sleeves Kan-go Wrap - Unisex Second Skin Swaddle Miracle Cami  Skin-to-Skin Carrier-Made for Twins

Thermoregulation - Adult must be comfortable to ensure comfort of the baby

Thermoregulation for the adult if cold: wear an open sweater/gown on top, or use the blanket that comes with the KZ.
If hot: wear only the KZ
n/a if cold: wear blanket;
if hot: no option but to remove or open the garment, No option to remove sleeves or uncover back of the adult
if cold: wear blanket;
if hot: no option but to remove or open the garment, No option to remove sleeves or uncover back of the adult
if hot: no option but to remove or open the garment, No option to remove sleeves or uncover back of the adult

if cold: wear an open sweater/gown on top, or use a blanket;

If hot: wear only the garment

Thermoregulation for the baby KZ is made of natural fabrics, breathable, adjustable. 
If cold: use the blanket included, especially for babies weighing less than 1500 grams
If hot: ask the parent to remove all covers except the KZ
if cold: use a blanket;
If hot: uncover baby

if cold: wear blanket;

if hot: no option but to remove or open the garment,

No option to decrease number of layers of fabric over the baby

if cold: use a blanket;


If hot: wear only the garment

Product Name (*) Kangaroo Zak™ Open Shirt + Blanket Benjamin Kangaroo Sweater Nuroo-pocket Sling Wrap Kan-go Wrap Kan-go Wrap with 3/4 Sleeves Kan-go Wrap - Unisex Second Skin Swaddle Miracle Cami  Skin-to-Skin Carrier-Made for Twins

Breastfeeding / Pumping

How to access the breast for breastfeeding partially open the zipper to expose the breast and leave baby in skin to skin. uncover baby being careful of air drafts from the bottom remove baby from Kangaroo Care lower baby, move top fabric over the baby's head and expose breast between layers of fabric
How to access the breast for pumping partially open the zipper to expose the breast and leave baby in skin to skin. uncover baby being careful of air drafts from the bottom remove baby from Kangaroo Care lower baby, move top fabric over the baby's head and expose breast between laryes of fabric
Product Name (*) Kangaroo Zak™ Open Shirt + Blanket Benjamin Kangaroo Sweater Nuroo-pocket Sling Wrap Kan-go Wrap Kan-go Wrap with 3/4 Sleeves Kan-go Wrap - Unisex Second Skin Swaddle Miracle Cami  Skin-to-Skin Carrier-Made for Twins

In case of emergency (loss of power to incubators and/or ventilators)

 
What the staff can do each staff member can use a Kangaroo Zak to Kangaroo a baby.  All babies may be held this way with the Kangaroo Zak.  Since it is hands-free and adjustable,  staff may use  the hands to attend other babies or do other tasks such as bagging n/a Staff may kangaroo whith this garment but needs to sit down  n/a Staff can kangaroo whith this garment but needs to sit down and select from multiple sizes that may not be enough in stock.