Promote Rest and Ease Anxiety With These Weighted Blankets for Kids and Toddlers
My kids are cuddlers, which is great when we're watching a movie and not so great when they're trying to fall asleep or I need to get work done. So, I decided to turn to weighted blankets! These blankets — which should only be about 10 percent of your child's body weight — can help your kids feel calmer, regulate their stress hormone cortisol during sleep, and are just super soft to cuddle with. Weighted blankets provide deep pressure stimulation, which is gentle squeezing, hugs, or holding that relaxes the nervous system.
Keep in mind, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies under 1 should never sleep with any blanket, and parents shouldn't use a weighted blanket while holding them. Also, weighted blankets should never be used with a child under age 2.
Parents should use caution when using a weighted blanket with a toddler. "Weighted blankets, though popular among parents to use with their children for sleeping issues or anxiety, are not backed by studies showing that they actually work," said Hina J. Talib, MD, pediatrician and adolescent medicine sub-specialist practicing at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City. Dr. Talib added that there is no exact safe weight approved for a child based on scientific research — only manufacturer's guidelines — so please keep that in mind when you are deciding if you should get one. However, Dr. Talib did say that weighted blankets could help children feel calm, but that these coping mechanisms vary from person to person.
My kids, who are 2 and almost 4, prefer sleeping with their regular superhero comforters, but they do like cuddling up to their weighted blankets while watching TV or reading books — and I still enjoy soaking up all the hugs and kisses I can get!
Different manufacturers have different weight guidelines to help you shop for the best weighted blanket for your kids and toddlers. Shop some of the best weighted blankets for kids and toddlers in the slides ahead, paying special attention to the right size to order from your child. (Note: always ask your pediatrician if you have any questions about weighted blankets before buying.)