The Must-Read Weighted Blanket Guide For Kids
In 2017 when I was diagnosed with Epilepsy, my sister made me a weighted blanket. The blanket helped me so much with my anxiety and helped me sleep better at night. So when my daughter was diagnosed with anxiety, I immediately thought of getting her a weighted blanket as well. Knowing all the benefits that the weighted blanket had for my health and mental well being, I knew that a weighted blanket for my daughter would probably have the same advantages. So here is everything you need to know about weighted blankets for children with anxiety, children with autism, and all of its benefits.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are just what they sound like, heavy blankets. A weighted blanket has extra material inside of the blanket to make it heavier. Typically it consists of either glass beads or plastic pellets. But this is not to say they can’t be filled with other material as well. Many DIY’ers have begun making these blankets and sometimes use rice or different types of beads. Most weighted blankets come in multiple weight options based on the user’s height and weight. Weighted blankets can be used by both adults and children and have many positive impacts on a person’s entire physical, mental, and emotional well-being. They also improve healthy sleep and relaxation in adults and kids.
Weighted Blankets and the Sensory Connection
Weighted blankets have many benefits that are positive for the mind, body, and soul. Because the weight in a weighted blanket is evenly distributed through the blanket, it creates “deep pressure touch stimulation” according to Medical News Today. The blankets almost copy a hug because of the pressure that it puts on the body. When a person receives a hug, the body releases oxytocin, which is used to aid in helping reduce blood pressure, slow heart rate, and provide feelings of relaxation.
The weighted blanket mostly resembles the warmth and security that a hug offers. Both the blanket and hug use a gentle, firm pressure that goes deep within the body, giving a sense of peace that allows the body to relax.Research has also shown that putting pressure on specific areas of the body can trigger the release of chemicals such as serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that triggers a decrease in stress while improving mood.
Melatonin is a hormone that aids in sleep and helps regulate the sleep cycle. Melatonin is known to be linked with the production of serotonin, so when using the blanket and triggering serotonin, melatonin will also be produced, leading to the ability to sleep better.
A weighted blanket creates a sense of being swaddled, just as a baby feels when we wrap them up in a blanket. The physical connection that a person feels with a weighted blanket gives a sense of calmness and security. As a result, the mind and body can relax.
How do Weighted Blankets benefit children ?
Weighted blankets were initially created to aid in the anxiety tendencies in people diagnosed with autism. However, most recently, people have started using them to help with many other health problems as well. Some of the benefits are listed below:
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Fights against stress
- Improves focus for ADHD
- Eases restless leg syndrome
- Improves sleep quality
- Encourages focus in classrooms
- Eases anxiety
- Addresses symptoms of PTSD
- Panic Disorder
- Manages Autism symptoms
- Recreates a “hug” feeling
- Boosts your mood
Where to Buy Weighted Blankets
I highly recommend that you purchase your weighted blanket from Fortivo Blankets. When I bought the weighted blanket from Fortivo, I was delighted with it, but most importantly, my daughter loves it. Fortivo offers several styles of weighted blankets, including the one that my daughter uses. All of their blankets are 5 lbs and are intended to be used with children aged between 4 and 9 who are between 40 to 100 pounds. The weighted blanket insert is made of 100% organic, breathable cotton, and a full duvet cover (non-toxic and odorless) with one side of a fuzzy Minky dot pattern. My daughter absolutely loved the dot pattern and said it helped calm her and get her to sleep faster. The grey toddler blanket insert is made of premium quality small glass beads sand technology (instead of poly pellets) with high strength sewing & stitching which provides equal weight distribution and gives your child a soothing hug sensation.
Recommended Weight for Weighted Blankets
A big question that a lot of people ask is, “how heavy should a weighted blanket be?” The size of a weighted blanket will depend on many factors, including your weight. However, with that being said, the weight of a blanket will also rely on one’s comfort level and preference as well. According to Sensacalm, to calculate the appropriate weight for a child between the ages of 6 and 12, you should calculate 10% of the child’s body weight and add 2 pounds. Although, again, this can vary depending on the comfort level and preference of each child.
According to Sensacalm, to calculate the appropriate weight for a child ages 13 and up, you should calculate 10% of the child’s weight and add three pounds. It is important to remember that weighted blankets should fit the body of a person and not their bed.
“By utilizing a blanket that is roughly 10 percent of your body weight, you feel like the blanket is hugging your body, giving you a sense of calmness, which can reduce stress, as well as help you to stay asleep so your body can go through the necessary stages of sleep to allow you to wake up fully rested.” This is according to Bill Fish, certified sleep science coach and co-founder of Tuck, an organization designed to improve sleep health and wellness.
How to Use the Weighted Blanket
The Fortivo Kids Weighted Blanket can be used in many different ways.
- Use it while reading a book,
- Cuddle with it watching TV
- As a weighted lap pad or throw
- While sleeping
- Elderly lap blankets
- Dog relief and can be used as a dog blanket
- Use with the weighted blanket cover during winter (or for cool sleepers) and use the removable & washable grey insert made with organic cotton for summer (or for hot sleepers)
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