How to use a weighted blanket for kids
Weighted blankets can be used in a variety of ways for children. We’ve gathered up some tips and recommendations to help your child get used to sleeping, napping, or just relaxing with their Bearaby weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets can be used in a variety of ways for children. Try one during nap time, or when your child is relaxing or having some down time in between other tasks like homework or playtime.
They’re also great to apply if your child is feeling some stress or anxiety, to help them calm down. And of course, they’re great for bedtime!
Keep reading for some tips and tricks we put together to help your child get used to sleeping with their Bearaby weighted blanket, plus some answers to the frequently asked questions about our weighted blanket for kids, the Nappling.
How should my child get used to their weighted blanket?
Every kid is different, right? So every child may react in their own unique way to their weighted blanket. Some love to snuggle under it instantly, others may take a little time to get used to a heavy blanket on top of them while they're trying to rest. Here's what we recommend:
- We found that leaving the weighted blanket on a sofa or in a play area can help your child get accustomed to it.
- Try using a weighted blanket with your child gradually, and helping them to understand what the pressure feels like little by little. You can place it over both of your laps during storytime or on movie night, and explain that the blanket is helping their mind calm down and their body feel relaxed.
- During bedtime, you can start with the blanket on their legs at first, to help them get used to it. Your child will hopefully start to catch up on sleep, and have their sleep naturally get better over time.
While we recommend using the Nappling during both naps and nighttime, we suggest not layering too many other heavy covers underneath the weighted blanket, as it might make the experience too heavy. (You want the blanket to give the pressure of a big bear hug, not the constriction of a cobra!)
Using a weighted blanket to help kids stay still, and relax
We know it's hard for kids to calm down, especially in the middle of the day when they're bursting with energy and excitement. When kids are full of energy during nap time, they're more prone to roll and squirm around, which prevents them from falling asleep. (For every parent we know, the struggle is real.)
Under the 8 pound weight of our Nappling weighted blanket, the gentle pressure makes kids stay still—a feeling they do enjoy, as it is closely related to the feeling of being swaddled or grounded. We’ve found that this stillness and quiet time most often will lead to kids falling asleep, or at least staying relaxed (and giving parents a little break as well!) for a good period of time.
How do I know if a weighted blanket can help my child calm down?
If your child has a tendency to be a sensory-seeker and has difficulty sleeping, a weighted blanket may be the perfect tool to help them calm down naturally, and find better sleep over time.
Here are a few things to look for to see if a weighted blanket may work for your child. The deep pressure from a weighted blanket may help if your kid:
- Loves sleeping or laying under piles of blankets or heavy comforters
- Enjoys crawling into tight spaces or behind furniture
- Has difficulty (even after a lot of physical activity) relaxing and sitting still
- Has difficulty focusing or attending to a task
- Likes to play rough, sometimes crashes into things on purpose; is always jumping on the couch of bed
- Can be described as very physical or “wild”
Some other common questions about our weighted blanket for kids
Is a weighted blanket good for sensory processing disorders?
Traditionally, weighted blankets have been used by occupational therapists to help kids with sensory disorders and other special needs find a moment of calm and comfort. The weight of the Nappling swaddling shoulders or even resting on a little lap creates a safe, comforting space. The tactile nature of the knitted loops offers an extra dimension of sensory stimulation when touched or fiddled with.
How do I know that an 8lb weighted blanket is right for me? What if my child has a growth spurt?
While kids enjoy having weight piled on them (think sibling sandwich) we also know that kids have a tendency to grow. Sometimes faster than planned. That’s why our 8lb blanket is a perfect catch-all, and can be used for little ones who love the extra weight, all the way up to bigger kids who need a little extra something to cuddle them to sleep.
Our 8lb weighted blanket for children is good for an age range of 4-14 years old.
My child is allergic to a lot of stuff. Is that going to be a problem?
Our Napplings are all-natural and completely filler-free, meaning that the only material inside and out, is exactly what you can see. Cool, chemical-free and hypoallergenic, 100% organic cotton. Simple as that!
Are your weighted blankets for kids machine washable?
Yes, your Nappling was hand-knitted with love and is machine washable! We recommend that you wash separately in cool or warm water (max 30 °C), selecting either the delicate or permanent-press cycle.
You can then tumble it in a dryer on low. Just take note: Napplings may take more than one cycle to be fully dried. Avoid hanging your weighted blanket to dry, as this can damage its loops.
What materials is your weighted blanket made with?
The Nappling is the only all-natural, filler-free weighted blanket on the market that’s completely safe for children and for the planet. Made of nothing but 100% organic cotton, it’s toxin-free, nature-full and utterly huggable.
With no plastic pellets, fillers, or synthetic materials in sight, the Nappling is a safe, sustainable and incredibly cuddly weighted blanket for children.
How does a weighted blanket help my kid sleep?
The deep touch pressure that kids receive from the heaviness of their weighted blanket activates certain pressure points on their bodies, which leads to an increased production of serotonin, helping them calm down naturally.
Serotonin then leads to the natural production of melatonin (think about how when you're relaxed and feeling zen on the couch, a nap isn't far behind), which is our key sleep-promoting hormone. The science-backed but seemingly magical result? Calm and relaxed kiddos ready to drift off into dreamland. If you want to learn more about how weighted blankets work, check out our article on the benefits of weighted blankets for kids.
Will a weighted blanket help my kid stay asleep longer?
Deep touch pressure helps kids fall asleep, and stay asleep longer. By preventing nighttime thrashing, and rolling around that can potentially wake those snoozing babes, weighted blankets help keep kids still and feel swaddled throughout the night. Plus, since our weighted blankets for kids are made of cool, organic cotton and feature a highly breathable design that allows air to naturally flow, we know there won’t be any disturbed nights, at all for anyone.
• Kids may take time to get used to their weighted blanket. Try acclimating your child gradually by leaving the blanket out on the couch, use on laps during a movie or storytime, and try placing on their legs at night to help them get used to the pressure.
• The deep touch pressure that kids receive from the heaviness of their weighted blanket activates certain pressure points on their bodies, which leads to an increased production of serotonin, helping them calm down naturally.
• Weighted blankets can help your kids calm down, de-stress, and actually get better sleep over time. Our Nappling weighted blanket weighs 8 pounds, and is good for an age range of 4-14 years old.
Did you know?
Naps are good for kids’ brains! One study found that afternoon naps taken during the day at preschool led to those children remembering significantly more about what they learned than kids who didn’t nap.