When I was younger I took my stuffed panda bear, Domino, everywhere. He was my best friend, my confidant.
Stuffed animals - or things like blankets, pillows, or other toys - are known in psychologist circles as "transitional" or "comfort" objects. They help a child experience new or unusual situations, liking sleeping alone for the first time, or spending the night in a new house. They ease the stress in children because they provide a sense of familiarity or comfort.
What's interesting is that new studies show that the "magic" doesn't really wear off. Adults can relieve their stress and anxiety with comfort objects as well.
Intelex is going one step further with their microwavable stuffed animals, called "Warmies". Filled with specially treated millet grains and dried lavender, the animals give off a stress-reducing scent when heated.
Their pressure and warmth help alleviate stress, menstrual cramps, sinus pressure, and many other ailments. Those with sensory disorders or autism may also find benefits.
You can shop the various styles here.
While recommended for their warmth as a substitute for a heating pad, the website says that they can also be great cooling packs when placed in the freezer.
Heating and cooling pads are not a new idea, but they have been wildly successful for generations. Warmies go even further, by adding the extra psychological comfort of a favorite stuffed animal.
I would never have put Domino in the microwave, but there is something nice thinking about cuddling up with something warm and fuzzy.