NurtureU
A Bottle Warmer Designed for Self-Care
The Project
To design a physical product with a digital component for the topic of relaxation. The final product was a baby bottle warmer for new parents that emphasized self-care through safe heating, audio relaxation, and predictive feeding schedules.
Duration
10 weeks
Group Members
Jay Ma
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Problem Space
With their new bundle of joy as their primary focus, new mothers do not frequently prioritize time to care for their own health, believing that it can be selfish. However, as the mother prioritizes care for herself, she is more able to meet her child's needs. The task of feeding newborns is crucial to a mother-child relationship, as it's a natural time for bonding and nurturing.
How might we encourage new parents to integrate self-care into their newborn's feeding schedule?
Click for Project Process
Persona
Meet Megan & Mia
Megan is a 27 year old new mother with a 3 month old daughter. As much as she loves her daughter, she has found herself to be extremely stressed with all the changes that have happened in her life. Lately, all she wants is some time to herself.
"I know I should [prioritize self-care]. I feel selfish at times if I take time to myself, and that I should be putting more into my child. But I know that when I’m not taking care of myself, I can’t give my best to my child."
“You don’t [prioritize self-care]. It’s 100% not priority...You just work it into the gaps and make sure you’re both attacking full force.”
Competitive Analysis
Existing bottle warmers can easily overheat, especially if the parent is not actively paying attention. While doing a good job of attending to the problem of a hungry baby, current products do not consider the range of emotions between this feeding session and the next one.
Design Principles
Safe Heating
Typical bottle warmers easily overheat without warning or notification, destroying nutrients in the milk and causing an even longer period for newborns as parents wait for the milk to cool down.
Encourages Relaxation
As parents are encouraged to take care of themselves, they are better suited to care for the needs of their children.
Prepared
A new parent's life schedule changes to revolve around the newborn's feeding schedule, which can be unpredictable and hard to manage with the other concerns of newborn life.
Ideation
Initial concepts explored various ways to care for the mother’s health, while also keeping in mind common stressful tasks in taking care of a child.
Prototyping
A rough foam model provided insight into a basic form and size both in the environment and in the hands of a user.
A 3D-printed miniature model informed us of a refined form, as well as the different manufacturing techniques for various parts.
Refinement
The form of the bottle warmer was to be round and friendly. Refined concepts looked further into possible solutions for helping a mother in the task of using a bottle warmer, as a period of time when the mother bonded with the child, but could take time to relax. Concepts explored how the bottle and the user interact with the unit.
NurtureU
NurtureU is a bottle warmer designed to encourage new parents to relax while feeding their newborn. It includes safe heating, audio relaxation, and a predictive feeding schedule for peace of mind.
Song Credits: You Are Mine by Secret Nation feat. Holley Maher

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