The best way to stabilize a baby’s temperature, is to have skin to skin contact. This works even better than the use of hot water bottles, caps and warm blankets together. Besides stabilizing temperature, skin to skin contact is great for bonding. Oxytocin levels rise and stress hormone levels fall, in parent and infant.
But we’re not always in the position to cuddle for hours with our baby. For these times, we need a back up to keep our baby warm and comfortable. Hot water bottles can be a great substitute for mom and dad.
In The Netherlands, we use metal hot water bottles for infants, because when handled properly, they are more safe than the rubber hot water bottles we use for ourselves. Metal bottles don’t tear all of a sudden, which can happen to the rubber ones. Plus, they can be filled with boiling hot water, keeping their warmth much longer than the rubber ones. However, I could NOT find a single metal hot water bottle on Amazon or other international websites… It seems to be, that other countries use different products.
This is the hot water bottle we work with and the way we fill and check it: (video in Dutch, bullet points with explanation written down below)
Tips for the safe use of metal hot water bottles:
- Check the hot water bottle and the cap for cracks or other irregularities before filling it;
- Place the hot water bottle in a clean cooking pot in the kitchen sink;
- Make sure you have 2 clean tea towels at hand;
- First, pour a glass of cold water in the bottle, then fill it up with boiling hot water until it overflows;
- Wrap a tea towel around the bottle and screw the cap on the bottle;
- Check the bottle for signs of leaking, by rolling it on the other tea towel, everytime before you place it in the crib;
- Make sure that your baby can never touch the hot water bottle directly, and place it on top of or between the blankets;
- Don’t put the hot water bottle underneath the blankets, to avoid burning;
- Always place the bottle with the cap pointing to your baby’s feet – in case of unexpected leaking the boiling hot water is at the bottom of the crib.
How do you keep your newborn warm?
Please tell us in the comment box below. What works for you? What do health care professionals in your country advice?
What is a good temperature for your baby?
For more information about normal body temperature for babies, read this article:
What is a normal temperature for a baby?
Safe hot water bottle at bol.com
Green bag for the water bottle
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