8 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Weighted Blanket For Your Child

What is a weighted blanket, and why should you buy one for your child?

A weighted blanket is made to improve sleep. They are supposed to be a hug in textile form and improve the quality of sleep at night. Here, the saying "only the inner value matters" is completely true because these blankets hardly differ from the average blanket on the outside. In fact, their additional weight is provided by beads, which are incorporated into an inner layer of the blanket. 

Various scientific studies have investigated whether the use of therapy blankets really works and whether positive effects occur. They concluded that the weighted blankets could actually improve the sleep patterns of the subjects and were well received. 

A weighted blanket is also used synonymously with the term "therapeutic blanket". Therapy blankets are encountered in the medical field, especially in hospitals, where they are intended to give patients a healthy sleep. Especially in the care of the youngest patients, i.e., children, weighted blankets are often used to help them rest and recover.

In this article, we will discuss how weighted blankets work; we've also listed the weighted blanket benefits for young children, the features to look for in the best weighted blanket, and how to choose a good weighted blanket for kids that will have a calming effect, reduce anxiety and give your child a good night's sleep.

8 Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket for Kids

Who is a weighted blanket suitable for?

"Weighted blanket" is another word for a sensory blanket. The first term refers to weight, the second to senses. Both are correct because the blanket with its weight exerts a uniform deep touch pressure, which acts on the receptors (senses) responsible for body perception. This is where all the benefits of using weighted blankets come from.

The weighted blanket is beneficial in the following situations when a child, for example:

  • Cannot fall asleep
  • Cannot stand sitting still in one position until, e.g., a school task is solved
  • Screams in public or is overexcited and aggressive
  • Seeks haptic impressions, e.g., by intrusively touching other people or objects, sometimes destroying them
  • Is absentminded or angry
  • Has problems solving multiple, sequential tasks
  • Has central nervous system disorders

The same is true for adolescents and adults. For them, too, a weighted blanket can provide peace of mind.

Deep Touch Pressure

The desire to feel pressure on the body occurs especially in children and adults who suffer from hypersensitivity, overstimulation, urge to move, or disorders of tactile perception. This group includes autistic children anywhere on the autism spectrum, children with Down's syndrome, Asperger's syndrome, or Tourette's syndrome.

The medical benefits of using weighted blankets extend to helping both children and adults decrease anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Sensory Processing Disorder Relief

According to various manufacturers, a weighted blanket for kids is supposed to help with sensory processing disorders, stress, sleep problems, and panic attacks, among other things. This principle works by the weighted blanket exerting pressure on joints, muscles, and tendons, which in turn has a relaxing effect on the body.

Depression Relief

The deep touch pressure of weighted blankets is also used in the treatment of depression. Furthermore, it is said to boost the release of the hormones serotonin and melatonin. Seratonin, popularly known as the "happy hormone," has a positive effect on the state of mind and can be converted into the sleep hormone melatonin, while the melatonin produced makes you sleep or relax faster and deeper.

Improves rest at night, relaxation during the day

Parents of children with psychomotor development disorders usually notice an almost immediate improvement in the quality of their children's sleep when they are covered with a weighted blanket before falling asleep. Another benefit of having a child with weighted blankets is that children fall asleep faster and easier, sleep longer, and sleep is either not interrupted, or the number of breaks is visibly reduced. As we mentioned previously, weighted blankets improve the quantities of the so-called happiness hormone serotonin, which is often particularly low or absent in people with psychomotor disorders.

Serotonin makes an important contribution to the functioning of the human organism throughout the next day.

Important: Children do not need to sleep under the weighted blanket all night. About 20 minutes is enough.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Relief

If the ability to concentrate noticeably decreases, inner restlessness grows, and everything becomes too much for one, a weighted blanket can provide relief. A weighted blanket is perfect for a short relaxation, whether rest between classes, reading books in the evening, short meditation, etc. This precious resting time spent under the weighted blanket is enough to make you feel comfortable in your own body again, better able to concentrate, and more easily cope with the challenges that each day brings.

Central Nervous System Therapy

Weighted blankets and other weighted products (such as weighted vests or collars) are used successfully in occupational therapies for individuals with disorders in the central nervous system. The deep pressure applied to the muscles, tendons, and joints improves the central nervous system's interpretation and processing of sensory impulses.

Because of their therapeutic properties, weighted blankets are also used in schools, occupational workshops, and clinics around the world. Many parents who have decided to purchase a weighted blanket report that the therapy has an immediate effect by improving the child's body awareness, calming them down, and helping them to concentrate better.

Weighted blanket for kids with sleep disorders

A weighted blanket especially helps children who suffer from sleep disorders and have a bad sleep routine. Often these are responsible for bad moods during the day: many children are whiny and frustrated only because they are tired and have slept badly or too little. It is common for children to wake up several times during the night due to restlessness or nightmares and therefore not be able to reach the deep sleep phase, which can cause further problems. However, difficulty or slowness in falling asleep is also a common problem.

Body Awareness Improvement

Weighted blankets can improve body awareness. This is because the deep pressure created makes it easier for the nerves to interpret and process sensory perceptions. Among other things, the blankets provide relief for autistic disorders such as Asperger's syndrome. But sensory integration and developmental difficulties can also be influenced by weighted blankets. This is because children often find it particularly difficult to feel and accept their own bodies.

Deep pressure on the body can also help with hypersensitivity, overstimulation. The same applies to children with obsessive-compulsive disorder who often suffer from a strong inner restlessness. Especially here, it has been shown that the weighted blanket can help the children not only during sleep. Even during the day, the child can put on the blanket when he feels stressed at home - there are even some schools already working with weighted blankets.

6 Features You Want in the Best Weighted Blankets for Kids

Now that you know the benefits of using heavy blankets, here we will talk about the features to consider when purchasing weight-enveloping products like balls and wraps and blankets that will make using a weighted blanket much better and more successful in terms of health improvements.

The special filling of weighted blankets

So, among the first features to look for when buying weighted blankets for kids is the filling.

To make a heavy blanket, manufacturers use a very special filling to achieve the weight and especially the precise distribution of this weight on the body.

Depending on the supplier, the filling of the weighted blanket consists of glass beads, plastic pellets, or ceramic granules.

For this purpose, many small glass beads are sewn into a fabric often made of cotton. The glass beads adapt to your body and enclose you evenly, and this promises optimal comfort.

Some suppliers also use other fillings instead of the standard glass beads, such as a patented ceramic granulate (SCM), which differ only slightly in comfort. For the most part, these are differences in manufacturing.

In fact, a weighted blanket feels completely unfamiliar at first. It weighs more than a standard blanket and continuously exerts light pressure on the body.

Even though it is hard to describe, once your child gets used to it, they will find it a very pleasant feeling.

The weight of a therapy blanket

The weight of a therapy blanket should be about ten percent of your child's body weight. It is important that the child can still move well under the blanket and that they can get out from under it on their own. You can also ask your child if they are comfortable with the weight of the blanket.

If you are not sure at first whether you have chosen the right weight, test the blanket during the day when your child is awake, for example, while you are reading a story to them. If the movements and breathing remain calm and relaxed, you can be sure that the blanket is not too heavy. If it is too light, it will not affect the receptors of the body, and your child will remain restless despite the blanket.

The length of a therapy blanket

As for the length, the blanket should not be more than 20 cm longer than the body height of your child. If it is, then the excess length will result in a heavier blanket, and your child might not be comfortable with it.

If you are working with a physiotherapist or occupational therapist, ask what size and weight will suit your child best.

The material of a therapy blanket

The difference between a weighted blanket and a standard blanket lies mainly in the filling. However, the fabric surrounding the micro-beads made of glass, plastic, or ceramic is also very important.

The covers are usually made of cotton or other natural fabrics, which are air-permeable and breathable. Thus, they are appropriate even for irritable skin and can independently regulate the temperature when it gets very hot in summer or cold in winter. In addition, the fabrics of therapy blankets are mostly hypoallergenic.

The cleaning of a weighted blanket for kids

Most blankets can be cleaned at 30 degrees in the washing machine. Pay close attention to the respective manufacturer's instructions and note whether the washing drum can withstand the weight of the blanket. Often it is enough to wash only the cover instead of the whole blanket.

A dryer should not be used because it can damage the weighted blanket.

Easily transportable

A weighted blanket gives the child the feeling of firm, comfortable, and even pressure on the body. This is similar to a hug and can provide relief when the child is restless or sad. In addition, the pressure activates deep-seated receptors (proprioceptors), which provide greater awareness of one's own body and thus more relaxation, attention, and concentration. It can also reduce autostimulatory behaviors. The deep pressure can also help children with feelings of insecurity and anxiety.

But a therapy blanket is not only beneficial at night. It is also good for breaks that the child wants to take from the world during the day. It can help with resting as well as calming down and coming down after exciting experiences. Older children can also use a weighted blanket to help them concentrate better on homework, for example.

The 4 Steps to Choosing the Right Weighted Blanket for Your Child

If you want to switch to a weighted blanket, you will find the best ones right here.

What type do you want?

The truth is, the range has grown steadily over the past few years, and as a result, there are many types of therapy blankets to choose from in a wide variety of price categories. In terms of variation, they differ from each other mainly in terms of weight and material.

Do you want the plastic or poly pellets, or you'd rather go with the ceramic filling or the glass beads sewn into the fabric? No matter what you choose, make sure that the filling is made of hypoallergenic microbeads of the same size, which are evenly distributed throughout the blanket. Even though the filling isn't visible, it is just as important as the fabric covering it.

Choosing this will get you one step closer to picking the right weighted blanket.

Also, if your child has a hard time accepting their new blanket, look for modern patterns that match any bedroom decor.

What size do you need?

As a rule, therapy blankets are offered with a weight of four to ten kilograms. The rule of thumb is that the weight of the blanket should be about 10 percent of your own body weight. This formula is not magic, but still, this weight calculator can prove to be quite useful. For children, the recommended weight should not be exceeded, while adults may be a little laxer in this regard.

Look into the age range

Weighted blankets are not assembly-line products; they are made with your child's size and age in mind. Each blanket is customized to the individual needs of the customer and sewn to measure. Especially people with sensory integration disorders appreciate these weighted blankets, as they can perceive their surface, color, or even scent differently than less sensitive customers.

Before purchasing, always consult with the seller or manufacturer on which size would be the right one for your child.

Consider the right materials

Among the most popular material is undoubtedly cotton, but many other skin-friendly textile fabrics are also suitable for this purpose. Consult the seller to make sure that you choose the right blend of materials. Also, we recommend going for beads made of glass instead of plastic beads.

When choosing fabrics, most people opt for fabrics that feel comfortable against the skin. Smooth and slippery fabrics come in second place; rough fabrics are not particularly liked by most people. This is what the statistics say, but every person has different preferences.

When choosing this blanket, make sure it is made of certified fabrics of the highest quality. If it is lighter, it should be machine washable, but if it is used by adults with higher weight, then you should only wash it by hand or take it to the dry cleaners. Regardless of the size, always check how much weight your machine can handle before washing it.

Additionally, make sure the fabrics are air-permeable, hypoallergenic, and feel comfortable against the skin.

Weigh your options before making a purchase

Always pick carefully when it comes to weighted blankets to ensure the blanket never poses a safety risk. However, with a blanket that is quite a bit heavier than the average, it is by no means wrong to point out a few points.

For example, children should not use a weighted blanket that weighs more than ten percent of their own body weight. In case of doubt, you should rather go for the lighter option. As a rule, it is even enough to cover children with a weighted blanket only until restful sleep arrives. As soon as the toddler slumbers peacefully, the blanket can be put aside after a short time.

People with a physical condition such as advanced type 2 diabetes or scoliosis should first seek medical advice before using this type of blanket. As a general rule, people with a weakened circulatory system should refrain from using it. After all, being able to remove the blanket independently is essential for safe use.

Conclusion: Consider Investing In A Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are a great way to help children sleep better and develop good body awareness. Because therapy blankets are made with high-quality materials, most of which are breathable and hypoallergenic, they offer no disadvantages over traditional blankets.

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