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DIY Incubators / Incubadoras Artesanales

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I was wondering if anyone has come across a good/realistic design for a DIY incubator to be used in a rural low-resource setting to transport premature newborns to a 2nd or 3rd-level neonatal ward. 

Similarly, could anyone share a link for a low-cost DIY incubator to be used in a neonatal ward (not for transport).  Specifically for preterms 33-34 weeks in their first 72 hours of life or for more premature babies (26-32) who are several weeks old and already weaned off respiratory support, and receiving hospital kangaroo care. Basically a design for a safe, heated low-cost DIY incubator design where a stable premature baby can avoid hypothermia while their mother is getting something to eat or getting much-needed rest. Needless to say, it needs to be able to be built  with materials easily found at a good hardware store. I’m open to any ideas. 


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Dear Philip


I guess the main problem for preterm babies weighing below 2000 grams is temperature control.

There are many alternatives for temperature control and Kangaroo care: Bambi beltBEMPU TempWatch, and many others.

Even I designed the chullo-belt for preterm babies as a garment with intelligent technology, which is composed of a hat connected to a belt, including systems and sensors that allow the continuous identification of the position and well-being of premature babies using the kangaroo strategy (However, the chullo-belt still is just a registered idea (file 2362, year 2017), and it is not in production).

Thinking outside the box (incubator), I wonder if there are possibilities for a "preterm sleeping bag" including heat control and something else ...

What do you think about such an idea ?

Kind regards,


Carlos A. Delgado

Lima, Peru


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I believe mom-incubators are made for this setting.


But an incubator could become an oven in the wrong hands, kangaroo-care is a safe alternative.

I was told about a project as a student, where worn out incubators where transported to a rural setting in a warmer part of Africa, but the children got overheated and it became a death trap.

Maybe the best people to hear with is MSF? I’m sure they thought this through.

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