I live in an 18 square house (That's a big house. Four bedrooms. Two bathrooms. A sunroom. A sitting room. A dining room. You get the idea) which has 3 gas heaters. Unfortunately only one works, and badly. It smells of leaking gas whenever it's turned on.
It gets cold here in winter, and so we find other ways of keeping warm, especially at night.

The Littles' beds have three wool blankets and a doona each. This is fine for autumn and early spring, but in the deep of winter it's simply not enough.

We started with hot water bottles... but I never feel totally sure on will not develop a leak in the night, and one of my small people wake up with blisters, as I once did.

So we found an alternative.

How to make a Hot Wheat Baby

  • Take some sturdy cotton fabric approximately the size of a sheet of A4 paper, or a little larger if you like leaving wide margins for hemming.
  • Fold the fabric in half along the longer side with the pretty side to the inside.
  • Hem up the sides tightly.
  • If you have children who are prone to bed-wetting, at this point skip to the next step. Otherwise, hem up all but about 10 centimetres of the third and final seam.
  • Turn the bag inside out so that the edges of the hem are inside, and the pretty side of the fabric is out.
  • Fill the bag you have made with wheat until it is nicely fat, but not stretching the seams of the bag. I get my wheat from a local feed-merchant, but I have seen small bags of it in my supermarket, too.
  • Close the remaining seam with hand stitching.
  • How to use a Hot Wheat Baby.

  • Place the Baby in the centre of your microwave. Some people like to put a glass of water in too, to stop the wheat becoming too desiccated.
  • I have found that for Babies of this size it is best to heat them on the standard setting of the microwave for 2 minutes per baby. Multiples are fine; I have tested up to 4 Babies at eight minutes.
  • Remove the Baby from the microwave, and slip it into a bed.
  • Get into the bed.
  • Revel in the warmth.
  • Caring for your Hot Wheat Baby

  • Mostly just don't chuck 'em around so much that their seams burst .
  • In case of them becoming... soggy from sleeping with a child with an improperly controlled bladder, unpick the last sewn seam and get rid of the now nasty wheat. Turn the bag inside out and ensure every last grain is gone. Wash the empty bag in with any load of hot washing.
  • When the bag is thoroughly dry, refill it with wheat and resew the seam.
  • Using Hot Wheat Babies is a very pleasant experience - and as close to a cuddle as you can get without a real, live cuddler.

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