A few months back my husband and I discussed how we both were having trouble falling asleep – and staying asleep. We had tried lots of things to help our sleep. Room darkening shades. Putting our phones in another room (so we wouldn’t be tempted to look at them). Warm showers before bed. Lowering the temperature of our home at night. Nothing seemed to be helping. Then a friend suggested we get a weighted blanket.
I figured what did I have to lose and decided to purchase one for us. Amazingly, after just a few nights of using it, I noticed that I was falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer. My tossing and turning were decreasing, and I felt more rested in the morning. My husband noticed the same thing. We’ve been believers ever since.
One afternoon, my son went up to watch television in our room, and when I went to grab him for dinner, he was all nicely snuggled under my blanket and sleeping soundly. When I woke him for dinner, he said, “That blanket is awesome. I felt like I was getting a hug and I must’ve just fallen asleep.” This from a kid who never seems to rest.
It’s then that I had to do some investigating on weighted blankets for children. And here are some of the most common questions and answers that I found about weighted blankets for children:
What is a weighted blanket? A weighted blanket is just what it sounds like – a blanket with tiny weights in it. The weights are “sandwiched” between the fabric and evenly distributed between the two layers.
How does a weighted blanket work?
The theory behind weighted blankets is that they offer firm, deep pressure stimulation. This stimulation, in turn, calms the person like a gentle hug might.
Why would a child need/want a weighted blanket?
Just as with adults, weighted blankets are great for children who may have trouble falling asleep. Additionally, they may be beneficial for children with autism, sensory disorders, anxiety or ADHD.
Take a moment to think about your child’s current sleeping habits. Does he enjoy sleeping under layers of warm blankets? Or, does she prefer to sleep with little to no covers at all? Does she have difficulty calming down before bed? Or, does he find it easy to relax and go to sleep?
While there’s no guarantee a weighted blanket will help with sleep, if you have a child who loves layers of blankets or may find it difficult to calm down, it just might help.
What type of weighted blanket should I buy my child?
Most people agree that weighted blankets are safe for children over the age of one, as long as certain guidelines are followed when choosing a blanket.
The standard guidelines say that the weight of the blanket should be based on the bodyweight of the person. A blanket should be 10% of a person’s bodyweight plus 1-2 pounds. (1 pound for children. 2 pounds for adults.)
Where can I buy a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are readily available these days, but let me share a few of my favorites:
This blanket starts with a weight as low as five pounds and goes all the way up to 20 pounds. The true child’s blanket is available at the 5 and 7-pound weight and comes in two adorable prints. You can choose from Sleepy Animals or Sleepy Dinosaurs – both with a minky dot cover - making them both cute and functional.
Mosaic is another fantastic maker of weighted blankets for kids and teens. With several different patterns available and weights beginning at five pounds, your child will love these. (The Star Wars blanket is awesome!)
These handmade blankets are gorgeous, and the fabric choices are out of this world. These blankets start at a weight of 2 pounds and go up from there. Red Barn Blankets can be machine washed (in front loading machines), and you can tumble dry them, too – great for kids who may get them dirty! (I know! Crazy, right? Kids getting things dirty?!)
Weighted blankets aren’t for every child. But, if you have a child who has trouble sleeping, you might want to discuss this option with your physician and see what she has to say. This could be something that helps your child (and you) get a better night’s rest.