Why Your Child Need a Weighted Blanket
One huge struggle that I’ve seen mamas of autistic kids struggling with is helping them fall asleep easily. It can be hard for their bodies to realize that it’s time to quiet down and relax, and when your body can’t relax your brain certainly can’t!
So what do we do?
Well, friend, your child needs a weighted blanket. They’ve exploded in popularity over the last few years after being peppered into holiday gift guides, blog posts and Instagram influencers’ feeds. Glowing online reviews tout weighted blankets as a solution to insomnia, anxiety, fibromyalgia and more. Parents of children who have sleep issues – whether due to an overactive mind or more serious causes like PTSD – have also revered it an instant miracle-worker.
And here’s the thing, I truly believe that every child could benefit from sleeping with a weighted blanket. They help to keep people feeling grounded and the pressure helps everyone to fall asleep more easily and quickly.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
Designed to weigh 10 to 15% of your child’s body weight, weighted blankets use the same effects of swaddling a baby or a hug from a loved one. The extra weight puts pressure on the nervous system which immediately calms the mind and body. The scientific term for this effect is called Deep Pressure Therapy. Weighted blankets are usually filled with non-toxic glass beads. Best of all, the blankets are soft, comfortable and come in a variety of colors and designs.
The Science Behind Weighted Blankets
The underlying science on weighted blankets is called deep touch pressure (DTP). DTP is about gently applying pressure to the body to increase the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the body that promotes relaxation. What is interesting is that children with autism also tend to be low in serotonin, along with those who have depression, anxiety, aggression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and bipolar disorder. This could be why the effect is much more profound on children with autism, even though deep touch pressure works for most people.
Using weighted blankets on children with or without developmental disabilities is a drug-free way to increase serotonin and elicit a calming effect. Did you know that it can also improve focus? In a classroom setting, students that struggle with attention can benefit from using weighted tools (like a vest or a lap pad) to help them calm and focus – promoting on-task behavior.
Choose the Right Weight for Your Child
You can always use a rule called 10%, that means the weight must be approximately 10% of your body weight plus 1-2 lb. Choosing the wrong size of weight of weighted blankets can pose safety risks to children. A 5 lb weighted blanket is commonly used for children above 2 years of age, where the typical body weight falls between 20lb -30lb. Always ensure that your child has the ability to remove or put on the weighted blanket on themselves.
Use a Weighted Blanket Carefully to Your Child● First and foremost, NEVER force a child to use a weighted blanket. You can demonstrate on yourself and encourage, but remember we’re talking about sensory input and a weighted blanket may actually feel painful to your child.● When first presenting the weighted blanket to your child, pull it up slowly from their feet and lay it down on top of them. Ask them what they think!● If your child could benefit from some calm down time outside of bedtime, try wrapping the weighted blanket around them while they sit on the couch or floor while reading, playing board games, doing homework, etc.● Please don’t use weighted blanket if your kids is under the age of 2.
I strongly recommend YnM Kid’s Weighted Blanket 3.0, the following two unique features which make it stand out among peers.● YnM blanket is made of high-quality breathable cotton with hypoallergenic glass beads sewn in pockets of the inner layer. This gives a smoother sensation and is reasonably quiet compared to plastic materials. The weighted blanket functions well to help reduce anxiety in children and promote better sleep. ● It is a unique 7-layer weighted blanket. YnM’s 7-layer system is designed to comfortably surround your body and form to your shape while you sleep.● MORE glass beads & LESS fiber fill design offers better temperature control.
In addition, YnM is one of the top sellers on Amazon, known for good price and high quality, got 4.5 out of 5 with over 3000 reviews. If your child has sensory struggles for whatever reason, or they just struggle to calm down and fall asleep at night, a YnM Kid’s Weighted Blanket 3.0 will be a game changer for your house!