Can weighted blankets really provide relief for children with anxiety, ADHD, and sleeping issues? This post takes a look at the benefits and the drawbacks of purchasing a weighted blanket for your kid.
Is your child a sound sleeper? If so, then you should consider yourself lucky. Perhaps even start a YouTube channel and share a hack or two about how you get your kid to fall asleep! Because most parents on this planet are constantly struggling to ensure that their children get a good night’s sleep.
If your child has trouble falling asleep or is prone to nighttime awakenings, chances are you spend a big part of your day researching techniques to improve your kid’s sleeping pattern. And if you’ve ever sought the internet’s help for sleep remedies, you’ve likely come across weighted blankets more often than you can count.
Weighted blankets are often projected as a miracle solution that’s going to lure you into peaceful slumber in a jiffy. But like most parents, your mind will go into overdrive every time you think of trying something new for your kid.
Can my child sleep with a weighted blanket? Is it even safe for kids? What if my child doesn’t like using a weighted blanket? What’s the recommended size and weight of a weighted blanket for kids?
These are all questions that’ll come to your mind every time you consider purchasing a weighted blanket for your kid. In this blog, we’ll explore how weighted blankets work and what are the benefits and risks associated with them. Let’s get started.
Weighted Blankets: A Closer Look
True to its name, a weighted blanket is a therapeutic blanket that weighs anywhere between 5 and 30 pounds. It’s filled with glass beads or plastic pellets, which make it heavier than a regular blanket. This, in turn, lets the blanket apply deep pressure stimulation on your body to relax your autonomic nervous system.
Weighted blankets are often used to treat insomnia and anxiety disorders in adults. They’re known to have a calming effect on the body and help control autonomic arousal induced by anxiety. This, in turn, reduces the heart rate, improves your mood, and promotes a sense of wellbeing and happiness.
Also, using a weighted blanket stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin while inhibiting the release of cortisol. This can go a long way to help you cope with stress and anxiety.
But are they just as effective for kids? Should you get a weighted blanket for your kid? And are weighted blankets safe for children? Let’s find out.
Weighted Blankets for Kids: The Good Part
What makes a weighted blanket a good choice for children is that it provides the same warmth and comfort of a hug. Also, when you wrap it around your kid’s body, it creates a sense of emotional security and helps relieve nighttime anxiety. This, in turn, can improve your child’s overall sleep pattern.
A 2014 crossover study found that weighted blankets help manage sleep-related issues in autistic children. Another study found that weighted blankets promote better sleeping habits in children suffering from ADHD.
This isn’t surprising considering that these blankets relax the nervous system, thereby reducing hyperactivity. Moreover, deep pressure stimulation is known to alleviate body pain. So, if your child suffers from chronic pain or general restlessness, using a weighted blanket might help comfort them.
Despite the amazing benefits of weighted blankets for kids, you should tread with caution while purchasing them. This is because not all children are equally receptive to the idea of using a weighted blanket. Also, you need to find a proper way to introduce your child to the blanket.
Weighted Blankets for Your Kid: The Not So Good Part
There are a few downsides to getting a weighted blanket for your kid. To begin with, most weighted blanket manufacturers don’t recommend their products for children below the age of 2 years to avoid the risk of suffocation. This means weighted blankets are a strict no for infants and toddlers.
Moreover, even if your child is of the right age, you should consider whether they’re going to be comfortable using a weighted blanket. For instance, if a child suffers from a physical disability, the extra weight of the blanket will feel more restrictive than relaxing. They’ll have to struggle harder to move in bed, which, in turn, will disrupt their sleep.
Likewise, if your child has a general aversion to blankets and comforters or tends to be a sweaty sleeper, then getting a weighted blanket may not be the right choice for them. Make sure you consider their likes and preferences and consult their pediatrician before getting a weighted blanket for your kid.
How to Introduce Your Child to a Weighted Blanket?
So, now that you’ve brought a weighted blanket for your kid home, you’re looking for ways to get your child to use it. You can’t just plop it on their bed and expect them to wrap it around their body. Also, you shouldn’t force them to use it even if they feel uncomfortable.
Instead, make a gradual start by asking them if they’d be open to the idea of trying it. You can also wrap it around your body and describe how it’s making you feel. It might convince them to give it a go.
Also, instead of simply smothering them with the blanket, try covering their feet and legs first. Ask them if they’re feeling okay and whether they’d like to cover more of their body with the blanket. The key is to let your child get used to the blanket at their own pace.
Would you consider using a weighted blanket to improve your child’s sleep? Share your views regarding weighted blankets for your kids in the comments section below.