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A hot water bottle to relax the baby

Written by Paul Musset, Doctor in Pharmacy | published on | updated on 17/04/2024

A hot water bottle to relax the baby

Between colic and the cold, conditions for an infant to fall asleep are not always optimal. However, in newborns, proper sleep is essential for their physical and mental growth. The hot water bottle can turn into a very useful accessory to help baby (and parents) get a peaceful night's sleep. How is it a good ally for parents? What type of hot water bottle to choose and how to use it?

What is the use of a baby hot water bottle?

Baby’s sleep: a priority

While sleep is important at any given age, it is all the more the case for babies. It should be noted that an infant under the age 3 months, sleeps between 14 and 17 hours a day on an average. Following which, the recommended minimum sleeping time is between 11 and 15 hours, until the age of 2.  Just like adults, babies aren’t all the same when it comes to their sleeping needs. In any case, it is essential for the proper development of the child on many levels: cerebral, hormonal, and mental.

For example, sleep favors the production of growth hormone, a substance that ensures the normal development of tissues, bones, and all body parts.

Baby's sleep: the number 1 ally of immunity
An epidemiological study organized by INSERM researchers has made it possible to establish a link between the quality of sleep and the one of the immune system. People who make the most of the night to recover would be less susceptible to virus and bacterial attacks. Therefore, resting moments for babies favor in properly strengthening its immune defenses..

Reasons why it’s difficult to fall asleep.

While adults experience major disparities in the quality of sleep, the same applies to infants as well. Some will be able to quickly find a good biological rhythm, other young children have major difficulties while falling asleep. This can last from a few months to several years.

There are several factors which can affect a baby’s sleeping patterns. Here are a few examples:

  • Anxiety
  • Pains (colic, gastroesophageal reflux disease, ENT discomfort, teething …);
  • Cold.

How a hot water bottle promotes the baby’s sleep.

When a newborn has difficulty falling asleep or wakes up regularly at night, the cold or discomfort related with colic can be the reason for these disorders.

The is when the hot water bottle  can quickly help. It is true that it’ll be able to provide the baby with warmth that shall have a soothing effect. With pains triggered due to colic, the hot water bottle for the baby will help relax the muscles, and limit spasms.

Which hot water bottle to choose?

The term hot water bottle can be compared to an unsightly object that one puts at the end of the bed, to keep one's feet warm. However today, this accessory has changed. In addition to the traditional water bag, one can now find dry grain filled versions.

The water classics

It is most often made of rubber or a material which is compatible with humidity, this type of hot water bottle works like a traditional model. Just fill it up with hot water, close the cap tightly, and place it where you wish to provide heat.

Dry hot water bottles

For people who wish to avoid using water, there is a dry version such as the flaxseed hot water bottle. It has the same principle as the liquid version, the heat is stored in the dry elements, which is then diffused through the envelope.

Several varieties of seeds can be used, such as wheat, spelt, rice, etc. Some models are also made of cherry stones.

The stuffed toy hot water bottle: combine the useful with the pleasant
The hot water bottle has been presented in the form of a rectangular pocket for a long time, which is not very aesthetic. But now, to please the little ones and provide a decorative touch, the stuffed animal versions exist. Rabbit, sheep, frog, cat, dog... there is something for everyone, and today it has turned a practical and original birth present.

How to warm up and relax the baby during the night?

The right conditions to ensure quality sleep for your baby.

Besides the assistance of a hot water bottle to warm up the bed, other good reflexes favor in providing the baby with quality sleep.

  • The bed must be suitable for the baby’s size. If the bed is too big, a baby may quickly feel lost and anxious. It needs to be reassured by feeling safe.
  • The room temperature should not be too high: the ideal level is 18 °C;
  • The bedtime ritual is very important when it comes to falling asleep. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the same habits in a predetermined order. It helps pacify the baby.

Choosing and using a hot water bottle: tips

Depending on whether it is a hot water bottle or a dry hot bottle, it’s important to note that the effectiveness time varies. The liquid versions generally favor retaining the heat a little longer.

Both the models can be used to warm up the environment around your baby, but also to relieve pain such as colic. All you have to do is place it on the painful area and let the heat do its job as the muscle relaxer.

Depending on your choice, here are a few tips for properly using your baby hot water bottle.

Hot water bottle

The water should not be too hot. For a baby, a temperature of 40°C is enough to spread and diffuse effective heat. The accessory’s condition should be checked during every use to avoid leaks.

This type of hot water bottle is generally used to warm up the bed, before the baby goes to sleep.

Grain filled hot water bottle.

The lack of water makes it much easier to use. Most often, all one needs to do is place the hot water bottle in the microwave, for a few seconds, so that the grains can heat up. The temperature and the heating time depend on the models.

Just like its liquid version, it is important to make sure that the hot water bottle is not too hot, before placing it on a baby or in his bed.

Last but not least, the dry hot water bottle is available in various sizes. Make sure you choose a model which is in keeping with your baby’s size.

Due to the heat, it diffuses, the hot water bottle pacifies the baby and makes it feel comfortable. Through optimized sleep, the entire family will be able to enjoy their days and nights, in the best possible manner.

The three key points to remember for a baby’s hot water bottle:

  • A baby's nighttime environment can be stressful. With the help of gentle heat diffusion, the hot water bottle is an effective accessory to soothe and relax baby;
  • To relieve the baby during colic, a hot water bottle can be placed directly on its tummy. This will relax the painful areas for the baby and reduce the intensity of spasms.
  • There are two models of hot water bottles for babies: the hot water bottle, most often made of rubber, and the dry hot bottle, generally made from grains.
Regarding the author
Paul Musset
Paul Musset
Doctor in Pharmacy
Certificated of a pharmacy doctorate at Reims University (French University), Paul Musset is passionate by natural medicine and in sport nutrition. He accompanies you in "My well-being and beauty journal" by providing you his health and well-being advices.
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