Do Weighted Blankets Help Kids Sleep? | With a Giveaway!
Do you have a kid who refuses to fall asleep? I do! My almost-four-year-old daughter has never in her life fell asleep easily. Which means that I have been stumbling about a fugue state for the last four years or so… I kept hearing about how weighted blankets have been vital tools in the special needs community for years and now they are going mainstream. I was willing to try anything (anything!) to get this kid to fall asleep faster. So, on a whim, I Googled, “Do Weighted Blankets Help Kids Sleep?” and then searched for “Weighted blankets for kids” on Amazon, and bought this one.
My daughter, Ava, is so different than her older brother. After the initial phase of sleep training in the toddler years, he’s never had trouble falling asleep. Like any kid, he’ll always say he wants to stay up later. But once he’s gone through the bedtime routine and fully tucked in, he falls fast asleep. And stay asleep.
Not so for his sister. She’s like the Energizer Bunny. I can barely get her to sit still for a bedtime story. We cut out sugar in the afternoon. We did warm baths, massages with lavender scented lotion, and cozy pajamas. We dimmed lights in the evening, talked in “quiet voices,” made sure she had used the bathroom, had a glass of water beside her, a sound machine on… But nothing could lull this child.
She’d be awake for 2-3 hours after bedtime every night. (And ya’ll wonder why I drink? Kidding… kind of.) Sometimes she’d stay in her room, but be singing and moving around. Most times, she’d keep popping out of bed.
We tried disciplining it out of her. We tried various “consequences” for getting out of bed and I have to admit, I even resorted to spanking her in one moment of complete frustration.
Nothing worked! If you’ve been following MomCave for a while, you may have even seen my daughter’s bedtime resistance in action. Like the night where she yelled, “This is stooopid!!” from her bed for hours.
So I did what any mom would do. I turned to the internet. I read about how weighted blankets can help children sleep.
Weighted blankets have been around for a long time, especially for kids with autism or behavioral disturbances,” says Dr. Cristina Cusin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “It is one of the sensory tools commonly used in psychiatric units. Patients who are in distress may choose different types of sensory activities — holding a cold object, smelling particular aromas, manipulating dough, building objects, doing arts and crafts — to try to calm down.”
The blankets are supposed to work much the same way tight swaddling helps newborns feel snug and secure so they can doze off more quickly. The blanket basically simulates a comforting hug, in theory helping to calm and settle the nervous system.
Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School
Companies that sell the blankets typically recommend that you buy one that weighs approximately 10% of your body weight, which would mean a 15-pound blanket for a 150-pound person.
The weight of the blanket supplies a calmingproprioceptive input and tactile input that is calming, like a reassuring hug.
Let me put this right here: NEVER use a weighted blanket with a baby. And always use the right weight of your child. Generally, the guideline is 10% of your child’s weight plus one pound. (I purchased a 5 pound one for Ava.)
When the blanket arrived, I told her that I had a special present. That night, I unveiled the “magic blanket” and told a story of how this weighted magical blanket helps kids fall asleep faster and stay asleep. She seemed intrigued. She loved the texture. It’s made of that dotted minky fabric that is so fun to “pet.” The texture gave her a new way to self-soothe at night.
So… do weighted blankets help kids sleep?
Over the next week or so, she always asked for her “magic blanket” at night. She seemed to settle easier during bedtime stories and popped up and out of bed waaaay less.
So, do weighted blankets help kids sleep? Did the weighted blanket solve our bedtime problem? I’ll be honest, not completely. This child is a force. But it did make the transition easier. I think this is a problem we will be working on for a long time. But we now have a new tool in our arsenal. Get 10% off with code “MomCaveTV”
Oh, and I bought one for myself! That is heaven.
Would you like to win a weighted blanket of your own? We’re giving one away! Enter below.Win a Weighted Blanket to Help Your Kid Fall Asleep
This post is sponsored by Roore. All opinions are my own.