Using a weighted blanket at bedtime has dramatically improved sleep in our house. Here’s how, and some safety tips for using weighted blankets with kids.
Our bedtime routine with my oldest (now 7) has always gone a little something like this:
Typical bedtime routine (bath, teeth, pjs, books, etc).
Ask a million questions.
Complain about how difficult going to sleep is.
Massage, deep pressure, more cuddles.
Is this familiar for you? Bedtime generally takes somewhere around 2 hours for him. Even if doing calming activities before bedtime, the process of getting himself to sleep is not an easy one for him.
I have always followed attachment and positive parenting techniques as best as I could. And cuddling him to sleep, while not always the popular choice in the parenting community, was the best option for us.
It gives us time to connect, and in a time of need for him, I can be there. Though there are definitely nights that I would love for the process to be a bit shorter.
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Using a Weighted Blanket to Help at Bedtime
I’ve questioned weighted blankets for quite a while. Having a sensory seeker who has a difficult time with transitions, bedtime has never been easy. I’ve often thought to myself, ‘I wonder if a weighted blanket would help?‘.
We recently tried one, and I have to say, I’m a believer. Not only has my son really taken to it, it has helped him go to sleep faster at night (and I find myself trying to snuggle under it with him as we cuddle because it really is calming!).
Our routine above still looks similar, but the difference in his affect and mood once we start the cuddling, is night at day.
The weighted blanket gives him that sense of calming pressure, and he craves that physical touch and heaviness in almost everything he does. The particular blanket that we use is from Harkla. The weight of it is perfect, and the chenille cover is oh so cozy.
My son has a particular affinity for fleece footie pajamas, and even used to wear them inside out because it was softer that way, so the soft fabric of a weighted blanket is essential for him. Bonus: it’s easy to wash this way.
Is using a weighted blanket safe?
I asked this question to Harkla prior to using the blanket, because it was a question I had received before and wondered about myself. Here are a few tips that they gave me to stay safe, and assured me that they are generally very safe to use.
- do not place over the face
- do not wrap child in the weighted blanket
- use of a weighted blanket is only recommended for ages 2+
As a general rule when choosing your child’s weighted blanket, find 10% of their body weight and add 2 lbs. So, for my 65 lb boy I chose the 10 pound blanket. The Harkla blankets come in 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25 lb weights.
I hope this information helps you make a decision on whether or not to try out a weighted blanket with your own child. You don’t need to have a sensory seeker to see the benefits of using a weighted blanket for relaxation and calming purposes. I think we could all use a little bit of that!
The blanket has also made its way into our calm down corner, great for those moments when our bodies just get out of control and need a little help regulating.
Disclaimer: I received this blanket for free to write about on this site. All opinions expressed are my own.
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