September 09, 2020
Why Weighted Blankets For Toddlers Aren’t Safe
When is it safe to start snuggling under weight? Our weighted blanket for kids, the Nappling, is only suitable for kids aged four years and older. Let’s learn more about why it’s not safe for toddlers to use weighted blankets.
Many deemed weighted blankets another fleeting fad, but these natural sleep supporters are steadily becoming bedroom staples. And because sleep is a whole family affair, questions about how to safely use weighted blankets for kids are often asked.
As with all things kid-related, safety first! Our best weighted blanket for kids, the Nappling, is safe to use for kids aged four years and older – younger children will, unfortunately, have to wait their turn when it comes to sleeping under weight.
Let’s provide a few explanations why sleeping with a weighted blanket isn’t safe for toddlers and babies, and look at how to safely use a weighted blanket for kids aged four years and up.
Are weighted blankets safe for toddlers?
No, we don’t recommend that children under the age of four years old use a weighted blanket. Here are three key reasons using a weighted blanket for toddlers and babies is unsafe.
1. Too heavy
Toddlers aren’t yet strong enough to remove a heavy blanket from their little bodies. If the blanket somehow covers their face, it means they won’t be able to take it off and this can end up causing breathing difficulties. Weighted blankets are too heavy for toddlers.
2. Too hot
Although our knitted weighted blankets leave lots of space for natural airflow, young children aren't yet fully capable of regulating their body temperature, meaning a toddler body can easily overheat under a too-heavy blanket.
3. Too risky
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is a major reason weighted blankets for babies are never recommended. A vast majority of SIDS cases occur before infants reach 6 months of age, however, increased risk persists in the first year. While it’s often associated with under-developed breathing regulation, environmental factors can also highly influence the occurrence of SIDS with overheating and heavy blankets being tow well-recognized risk factors. Fortunately, the occurrence of SIDS in children older than one year is extremely rare and happens almost exclusively due to severe medical conditions.
There are an array of weighted sleep sacks and swaddlers tailored-made for the youngest members of the family. If you’re considering one of these, we recommend checking if the products adhere to safety standards and thoroughly familiarizing yourself with how to safely use weighted sleep accessories for babies.
Can a four- or five-year-old use a weighted blanket?
Absolutely! The Nappling, our best weighted blanket for kids, is perfect for kiddos of four years and up. This 8 lb weighted blanket captures all the comforts of a cuddle, and lovingly cocoons your little one with calm and quiet rest.
While weighted blankets aren’t safe to use during the earliest years of a child’s life, once your little one reaches preschool age, sleeping under weight can be very beneficial.
How can you best use the Nappling? Picture an overtired preschooler struggling to wind down, or an anxious elementary school kid feeling overwhelmed from a full-on day of learning. A natural way to help your kiddo out, is to pull up a Nappling. Gently drape it over your child’s body and see how a sense of calm and relaxation helps them drift off to sleep.
When first using a weighted blanket, pull it up slowly from the lower half of the body, up to the shoulders. Ask your child how it feels and be sure to check for any signs of discomfort the first few times they’re using it.
If you want to make sure you're choosing the right blanket weight for yourself and for your kids, the general rule of thumb is that a weighted blanket should be around 10% of your total body weight, ideally even a pound or two more.
How heavy should a weighted blanket ideally be?
Our 8 lb weighted blanket is best suited to children between the ages of four and fourteen.
Ultra soft, calm cuddles
Made from all natural organic cotton
Helps little minds to switch off & restSounds Dreamy
For adults, here’s a handy weighted blanket weight chart to guide you:
What are the benefits of weighted blankets for kids?
The Nappling is an organic cotton weighted blanket for kids that naturally harnesses the therapeutic benefits of deep touch pressure, or DTP, to help children feel less anxious and ultimately sleep better. The health benefits babies experience from swaddling and cuddling have long been recognized – weighted blankets for children draw on these principles to help them experience the same sense of comfort and safety.
For children who have a hard time calming down at bedtime, a weighted blanket is a drug-free tool that can help them wind down, ushering their bodies and minds into restful sleep. Kiddos who are prone to frequent night-waking can also benefit from the “grounding” effect a weighted blanket mimics.
For children with ADHD, weighted blankets are can help calm down their hyperactive bodies and minds as well as coping with sensory processing difficulties.
An added benefit of our 8 lb weighted blanket is that it contains zero artificial fillers, plastic or harmful synthetics. Our kids weighted blanket is made from 100% GOTS-certified cotton and carries a STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® safety certification. This means parents can rest assured their young ones are finding rest under an all-natural, super-soft, sustainable weighted blanket.
Read more about all the ways a Nappling can help your child in our deep dive into the benefits of weighted blankets for kids.
How to wash a children’s weighted blanket
Good news for parents! The Nappling is machine washable. Because we don’t use any pellets or beads to give our weighted blanket for kids its weight, you can easily clean it at home when those inevitable spills happen.
Here are a few tips for washing the Nappling so it stays fresh and feeling great:
- Wash on the delicate cycle in cold or lukewarm water (max 90F)
- Use mild, eco-friendly detergent
- Skip the bleach and fabric softener
- Tumble dry on low heat (note: the Nappling may take two cycles to fully dry)
- Don’t line dry the Nappling as this can stretch out the hand-knit weaves
What materials do you use to make the Nappling?
Our Nappling is hand-knit from GOTS-certified organic cotton. All our Napplings are hypoallergenic and also carry a STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification which means there isn’t a trace of any harmful chemicals or pesticides at any point of the manufacturing process – and peace of mind that your little one will be sleeping under all-natural coziness.
And because we’re passionate about preserving the planet for future generations, we’ll deliver your Nappling in an organic cotton bag sitting in a biodegradable box, without any single-use plastic packaging in sight.
I’m looking for a weighted blanket for a 4-year old – should I get a Nappling?
Our organic cotton Nappling was designed to help kids aged 4-years and older feel calmer and sleep better. To make our Nappling, we used the same breathable knitted design as for our adult-size weighted Nappers but with a less chunky yarn and slight tighter weave, so that little bodies can sleep even snugglier.
The Nappling weighs 8 lbs and harnesses the therapeutic benefits of deep touch pressure (DTP) to help reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
Is Bearaby’s weighted blanket for kids machine washable?
Yes! We understand that parents need natural products that can help kiddos rest easier – and convenience! Our Nappling is machine washable and we recommend tumble drying. Remember to wash in cold water on the delicate cycle, use mild detergent and tumble dry on low heat to keep your Nappling in the best shape.
• Weighted blankets aren’t safe for infants or toddlers. We recommend using our weighted Nappling for kids aged four years and older.
• The ideal weighted blanket weight is around 10% of your body. For older children, teenagers and adults, it’s safe to even go a little bit heavier.
• A weighted blanket is a natural way to help young bodies calm down and settle-in for soothing sleep – with ease.
Did you know?
Toddlers need about eleven to fourteen hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Wouldn’t it be great if us grownups could spend all that time snoozing too?!