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Parents are increasingly turning to the therapeutic benefits of weighted blankets for kids with anxiety & associated sleep issues.
But what’s with this extra weight and how can it help anxiety? Let’s take a look.
How Can A Weighted Blanket Help Anxiety?
If you’ve ever woken up under a pile of cosy, heavy blankets as a child, you may recall that lovely sensation of security and calm. That’s something called deep touch pressure (DTP) at work.
A bit like a gentle hug or massage, research is increasingly showing how DTP may help calm and sooth the nervous system by:
- encouraging the brain to produce serotonin; a natural mood enhancer.
- reducing cortisol (the ‘stress’ hormone, which can make it hard to relax).
In fact, this study found that DTP successfully alleviated anxiety (PDF) in a dental environment.
Whilst it’s possible to receive the benefits of DTP via massage, gentle squeezing or hugs, a weighted blanket is a very practical way for a child with anxiety to receive the benefits evenly across the body – helping to stimulate reactions that encourage a sense of calm and peace.
You can read more about the science behind DTP and weighted blankets here.
A Weighted Blanket May Also Improve Your Kid’s Sleep
If you have an anxious child, you’re probably no stranger to how stress and anxiety can affect sleep.
Since serotonin also naturally converts to the ‘sleep hormone’, melatonin, many children with anxiety also discover a weighted blanket helps them get a better night’s sleep.
3 Weighted Blankets For Kids With Anxiety
Here are 3 popular weighted blankets for kids with anxiety, stress or sleep issues – picked with quality and choice, affordability and warm sleepers in mind.
Top Choice: Mosaic Weighted Blankets
For sheer choice and quality, Mosaic Weighted Blankets are almost impossible to beat.
Why We Like Them:
- Experienced in making quality weighted blankets for children with anxiety since 2011.
- Huge range of weighted blankets for specific needs, with different sizes and styles available for boys, girls, teens and adults.
- Blankets are handmade in Texas, using quality, durable materials.
- Great customer service with a 30 day returns policy.
Mosaic Weighted Blankets may prove a particularly good choice if you have a sensory child with anxiety, as they offer a wide range of tactile minky dot blankets and visually appealing child friendly designs – from cute monsters to butterflies and monkeys.
In a nutshell, Mosaic combine excellent quality with affordability and choice.
Read full Mosaic Weighted Blankets review.
Top For Affordability: Sweetzer & Orange
Weighted blankets don’t always come cheap.
Historically they were generally handmade on an individual basis, as an anxiety aid for autistic children. But as they’ve gained in popularity, they’ve become more mass produced. Whilst this doesn’t have to mean lower quality, still keep an eye out for how well made a blanket is.
One of the most common reasons a blanket gets returned is leaking beads and that’s not something anyone wants. So check out reviews, as this usually gives you some idea of how durable and well stitched a blanket is.
I’ve researched a lot of kids blankets and Sweetzer & Orange offer a weighted blanket for children with anxiety or sleeping issues that’s affordable, well made and features reinforced stitching to fully secure the weighted beads.
Why We Like Them:
- Sweeter & Orange weighted blankets are specifically made for kids in 5 and 7lb weights.
- Blankets feature reinforced stitching that undergoes thorough testing to make sure it doesn’t leak.
- Beads are evenly distributed evenly across the blanket ‘pockets’, to reduce clumping.
- Comes with removable Minky Dot cover included in price.
Whilst there are cheaper blankets for children out there (YnM is a popular affordable choice), the Sweeter & Orange blanket is a durable weighted blanket that gets consistently positive feedback (and at the time of writing there were no reports of leaking beads).
And since the weight blanket itself is covered in cotton, this makes it ideal for warmer months and in winter you can simply pop on the Minky Dot fleece cover for extra warmth.
Minky Dot fleece is also often a great choice for anxious kids who find tactile fabrics soothing.
Top For Warm Sleepers: Snuggle Pro or Habilife
Is your child a hot sleeper?
Minky fleece weighted blankets are often great for sensory seeking kids, but for anxious children who get hot easily, they’re often not the best choice. As a manmade fibre, fleece doesn’t breath well and so retains heat.
Breathable cotton is a often a better choice for hot sleepers, but another option is a weighted blanket specifically designed with warm sleepers in mind. Usually made from bamboo or COOLMAX fabrics, these blankets work to wick moisture away from the body, aiding coolness.
Here are 3 ‘cooling’ weighted blankets for children to choose from:
- Snuggle Pro Weighted Blanket For Kids – 5 and 7lb blankets with reversible Minky Dot and Bamboo cover.
- Habilife ‘Cooling’ Weighted Blanket For Kids – 6lb child blanket made from 100% Natural Bamboo Viscose.
- Mini COOLMAX – a 7lb version of the best selling COOLMAX blanket from Weighting Comforts.
Weighted Blankets For Kids With Anxiety: A Final Word
Research suggests anxiety in children is sharply on the rise.
Whilst you should always consult a doctor for anxiety related issues, you could find the deep touch pressure of a weighted blanket helps promote an increased sense of calm in children with anxiety, both soothing the nervous system and encouraging better sleep.
NOTE: Weighted blankets aren’t generally recommended for children under 3 & should not be used with a child who can’t move the blanket off their body unaided. In terms of sizing, it’s generally advised a blanket be 10% of a child’s body weight, plus 1 or 2 lbs. If unsure, consult an occupational therapist or doctor for advice.
The information on this page is not medical advice & we recommend you consult with your doctor.