Are you ready to splurge on anything to make your restless kid fall asleep? For moms like us, the recent magical weighted blanket bandwagon sure does sound tempting. But is it a pseudoscience or does it really have actual benefits? Here’s a special weighted blanket guide for you to know all about how to squish your kid to sleep.
What are weighted blankets?
Been in the use for several years clinically, weighted blankets have long formed an important part in mental health treatments. They are a form of pressure therapy that helps adults and kids with sensory processing disorders, ASD, ADHD, autism and Anxiety Disorders calm down and relieve stress. These blankets that once adorned therapists’ offices have now garnered popularity and become mainstream as many swear by its soothing effects.
What is inside a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are your regular comforters, but stuffed with accurately measured plastic pellets, glass beads or metal chains. They come in a variety of weights ranging from 3 lbs to over 20 lbs. When you lie down beneath one, the blanket’s weight is evenly distributed over you, making you feel like you are swaddled in a cozy cocoon. Companies that sell them usually recommend that you buy a blanket that is around 10% of your body weight.
Studies on weighted blanket
Many kids do love snuggling under a comfy blanket. We swaddle our babies to help them feel snug and secure. likewise, blankets are the most common ‘comfort objects’ that kids around the world use to ease anxiety and fear during bedtime and are a great transition object during major changes.
Are weighted blankets better? We don’t know. There isn’t a ton of studies or research to back up the claims of weighted blanket manufacturers. However, smaller studies that looked into weighted blankets have some positive news.
- For kids who already love blankets, weighted blankets feel like a luxury. Children describe the feeling as a ‘big hug’ that gives them the sensation of being held and cuddled. (This is a form of therapy used for relaxing people with anxiety and stress. It is called Deep Pressure Stimulation)
- A 2015 study that focused on adults and weighted blankets did find an increase in sleep time and a decrease in restlessness when compared to adults who used a normal blanket. The participants also felt more refreshed and settled down into sleep mode more easily.
- Children with ADHD often have trouble falling asleep and do wake up several times at night. A study of 21 children found that using a weighted blanket helped these children fall asleep quicker and reduced mid night awakening.
- 67 Kids with ASD who were tested primarily showed no improvement in sleep patterns when given weighted blankets instead of their normal ones.
- A study of 31 adults reported that weighted blankets helped alleviate insomnia caused by panic and anxiety. No control groups were used to compare results.
How do weighted blankets work?
Weighted blankets work on Deep Pressure Stimulation. DPS is gentle hugs, squeezing, holding and cuddling to relax the nervous system. This pressure is usually applied with hands, support animals, massagers or products like weighted vests, compression clothing, wraps, hug bags, pea pods and weighted blankets. DPS switches the body from flight or fight state to rest and digest phase, which is essential for thriving and growth.
Are weighted blankets good for kids?
If your kid does love a good blanket, there is no harm in using a weighted blanket. Even if the blankets don’t have any actual benefits and the results are just placebo effects, the experience of feeling rested and better is real.
If you want your kid to check out the experience before laying out the cash, make your kid sleep under a stash of duvets to see how they feel.
What age is appropriate for a weighted blanket?
You should keep off weighted blankets off kids younger than 5. You must never use them on babies.
Who should not use a weighted blanket?
If your child has any medical conditions, sleep apnea, sleep paralysis or respiratory problems, you must not use a weighted blanket on them until cleared by their pediatrician. You must also never ever use a weighted blanket for babies who are less than one year old.
Is it OK to sleep with a weighted blanket every night?
If your kid reports positive effects and wants to continue using a weighted blanket, there is no known harm in sleeping with weighted blanket every night.
Choosing the right weight for you
As a general rule, you must pick a blanket that is 5 to 10 % of your body weight.
- For kids around 20 to 70 pounds, a 3 to 8 pound blanket should suffice.
- For kids around 30 to 130 pounds, a 5 to 15 pound blanket is a good match.
What is the best weighted blanket on the market?
If you want to try a weighted blanket for your kid, look into features that your kid will love/ hate. If breathability or softness is important to them, pick accordingly. There are also cooling weighted blankets that will prevent your kids from waking up hot.
1.Gravity: The Gravity kids blanket is designed for kids aged 7+ and comes with a cover that is easy to clean. There is also a cute weighted dog to carry around in the day for calm days and nights. The blanket costs about $170.
Here is where to get them
Amazon.in ( click on the images below )
2. BlanQuil: BlanQuil junior has a $129 weighted blanket for kids that weighs 7 lbs. the blanket has plush dots on one side with a smooth fur on the other side. There is also a removable cover with ties.
3. YnM: YnM offers weighted blankets at 5, 7, 10, 12 lbs all the way up to 30 lbs starting from $44.90 on amazon. The blanket cover can be purchased separately.
Here is where to get them
Amazon.in ( click on the images below )
4. WONAP: WONAP weighted blankets for kids are made from natural bamboo viscose that offers the cozy comfort with no heating. Starting from $40 for 5 lbs, the blankets are weighed with glass beads, yet are noiseless and machine washable. Perfect for summer.
5. Quility: Quility weighted blankets for kids start from $40.00. Made with micro glass beads, polyester and cotton layers, the blanket has a removable duvet cover.
Most insurance providers will not cover the purchase of a weighted blanket as they don’t accept it as medical equipment, so you are on your own. Also, remember that weighted blankets are not a substitute for professional help for any disorders. If your kid is suffering from stress, panic, insomnia or anxiety, it is best to speak to a therapist who can diagnose and provide help.
In other news, why do I feel like weighted blankets are no new news to me!? Oh, we already have those perfectly cozy and heavy mink blankets! Let us know your experiences with the weighted blanket trend down below!