You might have noticed the kids’ weighted blanket on our product page - made to fit your preschooler or a smaller child, and weighted down with 2.2 kg of glass microbeads for perfect weight distribution. If you haven’t seen it, make sure to check it out right here.
Please note, our weighted blankets are not recommended for children under 2 years due to the risk of SIDS and other safety risks. Please read on to learn more about the safe use of weighted blankets.
Weighted therapy for kids has been in use for decades. It’s mostly recommended for children on the autism spectrum, or those who have been diagnosed with ADHD and similar disorders. Basically, the theory behind the use is simple - kids (especially toddlers aged 1 to 3) who are diagnosed with any form of sensory disorder will have a tough time falling and staying asleep. Their sleep patterns will potentially be even worse than those in adults with a similar condition because they can’t self-soothe when going to bed.
A weighted blanket for toddlers can turn out to be an excellent solution for small children who have problems sleeping. However, sleep experts and pediatricians have clearly stated that weighted blankets for infants and babies should not be used under any circumstances.
We can’t stress this enough - if your child is under the age of one, you should never put anything in the crib with them while they are sleeping. In fact, to be on the safe side, our Calming Blanket for kids is recommended for children over two years of age, even though we generally refer to toddlers as being kids between the ages of one and three.
Read more to find out when, why, and how we recommend the use of weighted blankets for toddlers.
Weighted Blanket For Toddlers - Why, When & How
As we already mentioned, weighted blankets can help toddlers settle down and sleep better, especially if they suffer from ADHD or other sensory issues. In fact, a comprehensive review of studies done on weighted blankets (another form of weighted therapy) concluded that deep pressure stimulation can calm children down and help them relax, as well as be used to treat inattentiveness and hyperactivity.
During sleep, a weighted blanket also helps reduce tossing and turning (which often results in the child waking up). This particular study, conducted by an occupational therapist Tina Champagne et al, observed lower electrodermal activity (EDA) in adults sleeping with a weighted blanket. Low electrodermal activity is a relatively firm indicator of true, restorative sleep taking place.
That said, a toddler weighted blanket is not a cure-all that will absolutely and without doubt solve your child’s sleeping problems. It also can’t be used as a pacifier for children whose sensory issues are preventing them from sleeping. We strongly believe that a weighted blanket is a sleep aid that requires the toddler to buy into it and want to sleep with it.
That’s the main reason why we don’t recommend (and will never advocate) the use of a sensory blanket for toddlers if they can’t voice their opinion about it. A two-year-old is old enough to want to do something because it helps them achieve something or just makes them feel better.
Consider buying a Calming Blanket for your child if they are:
While it’s true that there are no specific studies done on weighted blankets in the context of toddlers, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have enough information about their benefits. Experienced occupational therapists will often recommended them to parents of restless children with or without disabilities.
Are Weighted Blankets Safe for Babies?
We have to give a firm, unequivocal NO for an answer here:
Weighted baby blankets are definitely not safe, and should NEVER be used to cover up children that are under the age of one.
Pediatricians causing against using them, sleep experts caution against using them, and we caution against using them. If your child is not one year old yet, you should not put anything in the crib except them and a regular, light sheet.
Although weighted blankets have not been directly connected to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), experts note that that a baby needs to be unobstructed when sleeping. Wedges, heavy sheets, or toys all present a hazard when in a crib. A baby can’t regulate its body temperature that well, they can’t more freely, and they can’t turn - putting anything in the crib puts them at risk of overheating and dying.
Dr. James Kemp, a pediatric sleep expert, says the following about using baby weighted blankets:
“No one would recommend them for a 7- or 8-month-old - to put on anything that impedes their freedom to move when they’re in the prone position is a problem.”
If your baby has problems sleeping, a weighted blanket can’t help them. Their first year of life will be very much a hands on experience, where you will have to get up several times during the night to check on them, swaddle them, and turn them on their backs (for the umpteenth time). That’s just how it goes.
SIDS does not occur after the age of one, but even then, we don’t recommend weighing down your baby during sleep. Instead, try to figure out what’s bothering them - is it something sensory or are they just being...well, a baby. After the age of two, and when you’re certain that your child will benefit from sensory input, it’s definitely appropriate to get them a weighted blanket for toddlers.
Closing Thoughts On Weighted Blankets for Toddlers
A weighted blanket might just be the solution you need if your toddler has trouble sleeping. However, before you buy, ensure that your kid is capable of lifting and carrying something of an equivalent weight (around 2.2 kg). If they are, we invite you to check our weighted blanket for kids!Even if your child is not sleeping longer when weighted down, they are still getting the benefits associated with sleeping with a weighted blanket. They might be calmer, wake up less often, or feel more energized in the morning. Make sure to keep tabs on how they sleep, however, to know if the blanket is making a difference (keep in mind that it takes a week or two for kids to get used to it). If you have any questions don’t hesitate to send us an email or contact us over Facebook!