The light bulb sockets are preferably of the
brass and ceramic type as plastic ones do
not stand the heat well.
Thin gauge aluminium is best for the inner
and outer linings of the heating box, and
for the frame angle iron and square section
steel rod is ideal. Our models had the
horizontal surfaces made of plywood
covered with white laminate.
The whole construction can be simplified
and made cheaper if painted wood is used
and the canopy can be of heavy clear
plastic sheeting on a wooden frame.
The humidifier tray is most easily made
from a sheet of light gauge aluminium or
copper bent to shape over a block of wood
the exact size of the tray. A better method
is to use heavier gauge copper or brass,
soldered or brazed. A spare tray is
advisable so one can be boiled and cleaned
each day to maintain sterility.
The baby tray is made of a sheet of plywood
or hardwood, 14" x 24" with a wooden
edging 1" high by W' wide. The baby lies on
a 1" thick foam mattress covered with
plastic sheeting. Hooks on the tray fit into
loops on the partition so that one end of
the tray can be elevated as necessary.
In the original models the thermostat bulb
was situated over the partition so that the
temperature of the incoming air activates
the thermostat switch. This was found to
give stable temperatures.
Operation: The incubator is switched on
and allowed to stabilise for about half an
hour, then the thermostat dial is set to the
temperature shown by the thermometer.
Then it is set to the required operating
temperature, usually 36°.
The humidifier tray should be emptied,
cleaned and preferably boiled at least once
per week, preferably daily. Only soft, clean
water or rain water should be used in the
humidifier. A depth of about one inch is
adequate and the level should be checked
along with the light bulbs and temperature,
at regular intervals. This is most easily
done by making these three items part of
the regular infant care routine, along with feeding, turning, observations etc.