Nick Baker and his wife Dawn thought they were well prepared for the birth of their daughter Eva. They went to all of the classes, read all of the books. They knew how important it was for Eva’s first experience in this world to be skin-to-skin bonding (aka “kangaroo care”). But the labor was more difficult than anticipated, and there were complications after the delivery. The nurse could not place Eva on Dawn’s chest. Nick could not let Eva miss out on that critical skin-to-skin contact. He went into Super Dad mode, ripped off his shirt and cradled Eva on his chest.
He continued the skin-to-skin bonding at home, but he was not real comfortable going around without a shirt. You never knew who might stop by, or he might want to step outside to get the mail, and there was the matter of his “dad bod.” Besides, there were the times he simply got cold. So he cut big holes out of the fronts of old T-shirts, which looked pretty weird and didn’t solve the problem at all. More important, Dawn was not keen on that look. That was when Nick, Los Angeles-based actor and waiter, went into fashion design.
He created many designs of shirts with an opening in front that did not work, until he hit on the Bondaroo, a high-quality, comfortable shirt with a soft Velcro flap in front that opens and closes to expose the chest for skin-to-skin bonding with a baby. The shirt is made of French terry, 82% polyester, 15% rayon, and 3% spandex to keep its shape. The yarn is sourced from overseas, but the fabric is 100% manufactured and the shirts made in the US. The closure material, Velcro’s High Technology Hook and Loop, is also made in the US, and the rounded Velcro circles ensure that baby’s tender skin will not get scratched. The shirt looks like any ordinary shirt and can be worn anywhere. Nick and Dawn trademarked the name DadWare and secured a US Utility Patent for the shirt!
Like Nick, a growing number of millennial fathers expect to play a larger part in their children’s lives than previous generations did. They take paternity leave. More men than ever are now the primary caregiver. Fatherhood is an essential part of many men’s identity. What better way to start bonding early than with the Bondaroo? Kangaroo care has many benefits, including:
- Making the transition from fetal life to neonatal life easier for a newborn.
- Jump starts the father/child bonding process.
- Regulates baby’s heart rate, breathing and blood sugar.
- Stabilizes baby’s body temperature.
- Stimulates digestion and an interest in feeding.
- Alleviates any pain baby may be in.
- Calms both baby and father.
- Father becomes intuitive to baby’s signs of hunger or distress.