1. Basic Setup


Find a container, bedding, and a heating pad

You must slowly warm the baby before offering fluids or formula.

You can begin warming the baby in your hands or against your body. Or you can make a "Rice Buddy." Fill a sock with 1 cup of dry uncooked rice or beans and microwave for 30 seconds. Squish the sock to ensure there are no "hot spots." Place next to baby and cover him; reheat every 2 hours. NOTE: This won't keep the baby warm all night. You must use a no-auto-shutoff heating pad.

Use the exact setup pictured below. Do not change anything! If you use a cardboard box it will dehydrate the baby. Towels or terrycloth will catch his nails and injure him. He will chill and die without a heating pad. If you place the heating pad under the whole container, or inside the container, it will cook him. Heat lamps will dehydrate him. Reptile warmers don't get warm enough.

Place baby on the bedding and cover him with one flap. Once the baby is warm, go to Step 2.

The Perfect Setup:


The ABC's of Baby Care

"First you warm them, then you hydrate them, then you feed them."

Whenever the baby isn't doing well, go back to the ABC's. Ask yourself:

  • Is he warm?
  • Is he hydrated?
  • Is he being fed properly? (not too much or too little; not too often or too infrequently)

Then address those issues in that order!

For more help, go to The Squirrel Board.


  • Keep lid securely on container at all times.
  • Use plenty of bedding so the baby can get away from the heat if he gets too hot, and can burrow down for warmth if he gets cold.
  • Keep household pets and small children away from the baby.