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Have you ever had a sleepless night because your kid just couldn’t seem to settle down in bed?
Any parent knows this will happen sometimes. But when it happens every day, it takes its toll not just on you, but on your child as well.
So, what’s the solution? Weighted blankets for kids.
Weighted blankets are precisely that; blankets that come with weights. Over the past few years, the demand for these blankets has grown tremendously. There are a number of therapeutic benefits to weighted blankets and these may include improved sleep, better blood circulation, as well as more stable blood pressure.
Of course, these are heavy blankets, so you need to be careful when choosing one for your child.
So in this article we’ll look at how to choose a weighted blanket for your child or teen – highlighting 3 of the key factors you should focus on.
How To Choose A Weighted Blanket In 3 Simple Steps
Occupational therapists have been using kids’ weighted blanket for some time.
Keri Wilmot, a practicing occupational therapist, says weighted blankets are especially useful for kids who suffer from a sensory processing disorder, autism spectrum disorders and other sleep problems. The reason they prove so useful is because the blankets exert a deep pressure, which for many people feels like a gentle massage. This pressure results in a sense of calm and comfort, which helps many children to both fall and stay asleep.
So how do you choose a weighted blanket that’s right for your child?
Here are 3 essential pointers to get you started:
1 – Choose The Correct Size & Weight
The size and weight of a weighted blanket will be the most crucial determining factor when choosing your kids’ blanket.
As a general rule-of-thumb, the weight of the blanket should be ten percent of the person’s weight. This is known as the 10% rule, although therapists recommend adding an extra pound or two for children.
Make sure you choose the right weighted blanket, because one that’s too heavy will be uncomfortable and one that’s not heavy enough may not exert the therapeutic deep pressure required.
When it comes to the size, the ‘chin-to-feet’ rule also applies. Although you can get twin, queen, king and other sizes of weighted blankets, you’re better off buying the blanket with your child in mind, rather than the bed size.
Also keep in mind whether you’ll use the blanket mainly on the bed, in which case a bigger blanket will be better. If you plan to travel around with it, a smaller and lighter one is likely your best bet.
2 – Choose The Right Thickness
Weighted blankets are significantly thicker than most regular blankets. This is primarily down to the extra weights and fabric used to fill the blanket.
Generally, weighted blankets are filled with pellets, glass beads or rice. The type of filler used will determine the thickness and density of the blanket. However, on average, they’re usually about one inch thick.
The pocketed squares, which hold the weighted filling, will also determine the blanket’s thickness. For example, a blanket that weighs 20 pounds and measures 38’’ by 50’’ will be thicker than one that measures 40’’ by 52’’ at the same weight.
3 – Choose a Blanket Based On Sensory Needs
Make sure you choose a weighted blanket according to your child’s sensory needs. We already mentioned how you should use the 10% rule, plus one or two pounds, to determine the best size for your child’s blanket. However, your kid’s sensory-related issues will also help you decide which size is best.
For example, let’s say your child has ADHD and doesn’t like to have their upper body covered. Instead of investing in a bigger blanket, you could simply buy one that only covers their feet or legs. By doing so, you’re child is much more likely to enjoy the blanket and experience it’s therapeutic effects. You’ll also save money.
On the other hand, kids with a sensory processing disorder, who crave additional sensory input, may prefer having a blanket cover them from chin to toe. This way, they get to absorb the deep pressure across their entire body, leading to improved calming results.
Ultimately, your child needs to feel comfortable, when using the blanket. So it’s best to be guided by them. Never use a weighted blanket as a restraint, or force your child to use one.
Top Tip: Consider A Removeable Cover When You Choose A Blanket
Although weighted blankets generally feature excellent fabric and texture, you may want to purchase a removable cover for your kid’s blanket. If they’re going to use the blanket daily, it’s likely to get messy and washing the whole weighted blanket can be cumbersome, as well as create added wear and tear.
So a washable removable cover will make your work a while lot easier. A cover is easy to remove from the inner weighted blanket and you can wash it as often as you like (always check individual care or washing tags on covers though).
How To Choose A Weighted Blanket: A Final Word
Weighted blankets can come in exceptionally handy, especially if your kid has trouble sleeping or calming down. However, you need to be mindful when choosing a blanket for your child. A wrong choice could mean the weighted blanket doesn’t have the desired effects or even proves dangerous.
So there you have it. The ultimate guide for how to choose a weighted blanket for your child or teen.
With this innovative aid close at hand, you could find nights are a lot more peaceful for you and your child.