Can a Weighted Blanket Help your Child Sleep Better?
This article is geared towards helping you learn whether weighted blankets are beneficial for your child. Read on and find out the answer to the query below!
Do you belong to those parents who have a hard time with their toddlers that couldn’t sleep, particularly at night? Well, this seems to be a common issue for most parents out there. And these parents are looking for the best way on how to deal with such matter.
In the middle of dealing with such predicament, here come weighted blankets as a proposed solution. However, how sure are you that weighted blankets could really help children to sleep better? Well, let’s get to know more about weighted blankets.
What Are Weighted Blankets and How They Work?
Weighted blankets are simply blankets with some additional weight into them, usually 8% to 12% of the user’s body weight. Some feature a cover that is made of soft material such as minky fleece intended for added tactile input.
The additional weight comes from the filling. Weighted blankets are filled with various materials including micro glass beads, sand and rice, and some would come with covers for easy washing.
Since it’s a blanket with additional weight, it provides deep pressure therapy once draped over the shoulders or lap, or covering the body. This pressure will activate sensory systems that affect the brain. This causes the brain to release neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin – which has the effect of improving one’s mood and inducing a calming effect too.
Are Weighted Blankets Right for Your Kids?
Children with sensory processing disorder, autism, ADHD and other special needs may find weighted blankets beneficial.
On the other hand, you should be aware of the signs of whether weighted blankets are useful or not.
Some of the signs telling that your child might respond well with a weighted blanket are the following:
• They like to sleep with piles of stuffed toys, pillows or blankets
• They are fidgety and have difficulty keeping still or even relaxing
• They have high energy levels
• They enjoy climbing into tight spaces
• They cannot fall asleep without excessive help
• They like wearing heavy sweaters or sweatshirts
And some signs that weight blankets might not be effective for your kids include the following:
• They don’t like sleeping under blankets
• They are very sensitive to touching different textures
What Weight Should a Weighted Blanket Be for A Child?
First and foremost, keep in mind that you must not use a weighted blanket for a child under two. Also, speak to professionals before using a weighted blanket.
For children with ages 2 to 6, a small size weighted blanket (90 x 120 cm) is recommended. In order to calculate the appropriate weight, use the 10% of the child’s body weight.
And for children over 6 to pre-teens, the medium weighted blanket (102 x 152cm) could be used.
How to Choose the Right Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets could easily be found and purchased these days. But there is a need to be cautious about some factors once buying one for your kids. Take note of these tips:
• Pick a fabric that your child will surely enjoy. Most weighted blankets are made from fleece material or a soft one. There are also some made from bamboo which are suitable for summer or hot sleepers.
• There is a need to pay attention to the weight. The blanket should usually weigh between 8% to 12% of the body weight of the child.
• And of course, you should choose a size which would work for your kid. The sizes could range from a small lap blanket up to ones that are large enough to cover the bed.
Are Weighted Blankets Safe?
Of course, weighted blankets are safe both for children and adults once adequately used. If you are picking weighted blanket for kids, make sure that they could lift the blanket off of themselves without any help. You also have to follow the directions from the manufacturers to avoid any risks of weighted blankets or accidents and also, never swaddle or wrap children with a weighted blanket.
Indeed, weighted blankets could be a great help for some kids for them to sleep better. Nevertheless, make sure that you have chosen the right blanket for them and they are responding well to the use of such kind of blanket.
We'll like to hear about your experience with weighted blankets. Leave your comments below!