Weighted Blankets: All You Need to Know
If you’re in the market for a weighted blanket for your child, you most likely already know all of the benefits associated with it, but you might not be entirely sure about the appropriate weight of the blanket. If you’ve ever wondered how heavy should a weighted blanket be for a child, you’re not alone.
Keep reading to find out what the experts say about the appropriate blanket weight and size for children of different ages. We’ll also cover what a weighted blanket is, the benefits of using one, how large it should be and what materials should it be made from.
What is a weighted blanket?
As you probably already know, a weighted blanket is like a regular blanket but it comes with a unique weighted component. The weight is achieved by choosing heavier materials and sewing pockets into the blanket, into which filler material is then inserted. In general, these blankets are filled with glass beads or poly pellets.
Some weighted blankets even have pockets that allow you to add and remove the amount of weight so you can adjust it accordingly.
How heavy should a weighted blanket be for a child?
Now, when it comes time to choose the right weighted blanket, you have to choose the appropriate weight. You want your child to benefit from a weighted blanket, but obviously you never want it to affect them adversely, so you need to know how heavy the blanket should be. Also, never ever use a weighted blanket for adults on a child.
Babies should never use a weighted blanket.
Although it may sound like a way to keep your infant comfortable and feeling like he or she is being cuddled, it poses potential safety risks just like a regular blanket would.
The general rule for a weighted blanket for children is that it should be 10% of the child’s body weight, but it is slightly different for toddlers.
First, consult your pediatrician to get their input on whether your child is ready for a weighted blanket. Once you get your doctor’s approval, take the 10% rule minus a pound or two, depending on your child’s comfort level.
In the beginning, use the blanket under adult supervision and remove it if your child is showing any signs of discomfort or distress.
Preschool to teen
The general rule for a weighted blanket for individuals 3 and up is 5 to 10% percent of your body weight.
So, for instance, if your child weighs 40 pounds, you would want a 4-pound weighted blanket. Every individual has different comfort levels, so it is generally believed that you can add or subtract up to 2 pounds to reach the perfect comfort level.
Benefits of weighted blankets
Weighted blankets have several benefits for children.
For kids who have trouble falling and staying asleep, the pressure of a weighted blanket can reduce tossing and turning and help them sleep for longer periods of time.
Restless leg syndrome can be alleviated with a weighted blanket, and children with insomnia can also benefit from this product as they might feel less anxious and more relaxed while using one. In fact, these are sometimes referred to as anxiety blankets.
Weighted blankets are especially useful for kids with autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADHD and sensory processing disorder. If you feel that your child may be struggling, talk to your pediatrician or an occupational therapist.
Specifically, these blankets are ideal for children who need or benefit from pressure and touch.
The main principle behind the weighted blanket is that it is similar to deep touch pressure therapy, which is used to calm the nervous system.
How big should a weighted blanket be?
Weighted blanket size is important; you don’t want it to be too small or too big. If your blanket is too small, it will not distribute weight evenly over your child’s body and be effective. If it’s too big, it runs the risk of hanging off the bed, where gravity will eventually pull it off completely.
Ideally, a weighted blanket will fit from the bottom of your child’s neck to just over his or her toes. As g good rule of thumb, you’ll want to buy a weighted blanket that is at least one size smaller than your bed, so if your child is sleeping in a queen bed, they should have a twin-sized weighted blanket. If your kid is in a twin bed, don’t worry, they make kid-sized weighted blankets with this in mind.
What materials should it be made from?
The good news is that the material doesn’t matter very much; as long as the blanket is properly weighted, it will do the trick. That being said, one thing you will want to think about is if the material is safe for your child. Most blankets are hypoallergenic, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
Also, make sure there are no removable parts that could pose a choking hazard for young kids. Finally, you want to make sure that the blanket is machine washable, as kids are not always kind to their bedding.
Is a weighted blanket right for my child?
The decision whether to use a weighted blanket for your child comes down to whether you and he or she are comfortable with it, but there are many clear benefits to sleeping with a weighted blanket. If your son or daughter has trouble falling and staying sleep, or falls asleep but then wakes often, this may be a great tool to help him or her get much-needed rest.
Before you take the plunge, you can let your child try laying under a heavy blanket or two to see whether he or she feels comfortable and is responsive to the deep touch effect.
Now that you how heavy a weighted blanket for kids should be, there’s no worry that you will go too heavy.
Remember to consult a physician and monitor young children with the blanket, especially the first few times you use it.