A friend told me about Reddit a while ago, but I recently just rediscovered it and finally signed up. Let’s just say: I LOVE IT!!! It is an amazing forum where you can follow different boards based on numerous different topics. I check the posts on the parenting and stepparenting almost daily (in addition to following a board dedicated purely to cute cats). It is a great way to get your own questions answered about all things kids and chime in when other parents’ have questions.
I love it because it shows me that I’m not alone. The problems I am facing more often than not, someone else has gone through the same thing or has faced something much worse and come out the other side. It is a forum that supports each other and sometimes when you feel alone on the island of parenting, it can be really helpful.
I say this though because my first question I posted was about my stepson’s growing pains. He is four years old and I can always tell when he is about to go through a growth spurt. He all of a sudden stops battling us on every meal and eats about four helpings of food. Additionally, he will get these terrible pains in his legs at night. They get so bad that typically he can only sleep for maybe an hour at a time before he ends up knocking on our door crying in pain. We quietly take him back to bed and massage his legs until he falls back asleep. One hour later and we repeat this all over again.
So, I asked good ol’ Reddit if anyone had any hacks. Within minutes, I received tons of suggestions including more water, foods high in potassium, and warm baths. It was a wealth of parenting knowledge from those who have been through the same troubles.
The one thing I decided to try on my own though was to create a heating pad. I’ve always used heating pads to ail my achy muscles from dancing, but I didn’t want something that plugged in all night and could potentially get too hot for a toddler. So, I found a website that allowed me to create microwavable heating pads using rice.
These things are amazing!!! A night or so after I made them, my stepson came knocking on our door in pain. I grabbed one of the heating pads and popped it in the microwave and, while I was waiting for it, I was able to give my stepson ibuprofen and some water. I then took him back to bed where we put the heating pad on his leg. I’m sure the ibuprofen had something to do with it, but he fell back asleep without any troubles in under five minutes. Parenting win!
Not only did they solve my stepson’s problems, but I had some issues with my neck a few weeks later. Popped one of these bad boys in the microwave and it provided just what I needed. Quick, easy, and reusable!
Plus, they were super easy to make. I am not one to sew, but I was quickly able to make these without a sewing machine. See the instructions below!
DIY Microwavable Heating Pads Instructions:
1. Pick your fabric! I just headed to our local craft store where there was a bunch of patterns to choose from. I researched a lot on what fabrics to use, but ended up choosing to use a light flannel. Basically, you want to use a fabric that can hold up to the heat of an iron.
2. Decide how big you want your heating pad to be and cut out two matching size squares. I didn’t measure mine to begin with but it was around 5×7”.
3. Place the two equal size squares back to back (pattern on the inside). I pinned the two pieces together all around the edges to make sure the fabrics didn’t move as I started to sew them.
4. Hand stitch all around the edges, leaving only about two inches not sewn on one side.
5. Carefully, turn the fabric inside out through the small opening so that the pattern is now on the outside.
6. Fill bag now about ¾ of the way up with rice. I strongly recommend a funnel!! I didn’t have one and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t fill my heating pad up the entire way, which allowed it to have more movement to morph around whatever achy body part.
7. Fold the seams of the hole under and hand stich the hole closed. Voila! You’re done!
* Optional: I added a few drops of lavender essential oil, figuring it might help my toddler relax and get back to sleep more easily.