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What is it?

A Kangaroo-a-thon (Kangaroo Care Marathon) is one of many ways to commemorate Kangaroo Care Day (May 15).

It operates akin to a fundraiser, but instead of gathering funds, teams accumulate kangaroo care hours.

This friendly and enjoyable event monitors kangaroo care sessions over a set duration, aiming to maximize the time babies spend in kangaroo care, ensuring it occurs as frequently and uninterrupted as possible.

It also provides a snapshot of your kangaroo care program, facilitating analysis and continual improvement with each tracking session.


It is fun and effective, and we all love a friendly competition. Some benefits include:

A Kangaroo-a-thon provides a snapshot of your kangaroo care program by documenting the frequency and duration of kangaroo care during a specific period.

It helps identify roadblocks for implementation in your unit.

It is a great opportunity for training.

You join a community dedicated to improving the practice of this evidence-based practice for babies.

Who participates?

A Team can be a hospital unit, a parent organization, a group of friends, etc.

Create a contest for your teams, or join the Global Kangaroo-a-thon.

Any one may hold the babies as long as the parents give explicit consent. Think grandparents, family members, etc.

Who wins?

Kangaroo-a-thon is a win-win for all!

Your winners may be determined (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, all the duration of the contest) by various criteria such as:

The longest duration of baby holding

Raffle prizes for babies and kangaroo care coaches

Recognition for the most supportive coaches

Babies or Teams with the highest Kangaroo Care Average (duration per baby per day) over a specific period.

How to Track Kangaroo Care Sessions:

  • Manually

    • This is how we managed Kangaroo-a-thons up to now.
    • Using the welcome packet and tracking cards when you register for the kangaroo-a-thon.
      Print the cards, distribute them, collect them, and calculate the average with the Excel file provided.
    • Use may also use your own method to track and calculate the duration and average of the babies in the team.
  • Your own system and charting

    • If your charting system includes duration and average of kangaroo care, you may use it.
    • Usually this is tracked by a coach (nurse, therapist, etc) and not by the parent.
  • The Zaky® mobile and web APP (New)

Your Kangaroo-a-thon or Ours

We're thrilled to introduce The Zaky® APP for kangaroo care analytics and managing Kangaroo-a-thons.

The manual calculations were becoming too time-consuming and cumbersome for the teams and for us so we developed an app funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Nurtured by Design, Inc.

Whether you are new to kangaroo-a-thons or not, or you join the global kangaroo-a-thon or not, you are invited to use The Zaky APP. We will support you through the process!

The Zaky APP is free for Kangaroo-a-thons. It has streamlined our processes and it will do the same for you.

The Zaky App is a crucial component of Nurtured by Design, Inc.'s comprehensive strategy to enhance Kangaroo Care globally, inspired by Zachary Jackson:

The Zaky ZAK ensures babies' safety during kangaroo care.

Kangaroo Care Day (May 15) elevates training, awareness, and practice.

The Zaky App provides kangaroo care analytics and manages kangaroo-a-thons.

More about The Zaky APP