Last fall while discussing some of Ella's sensory issues with our OT, she mentioned something to me about weighted blankets and I've been toying with the idea ever since. If you've never heard of a weighted blanket before, basically it's exactly what it sounds like. A blanket with weight in it. Most are made with small plastic beads called poly-pellets that are sewn inside and completely machine washable (think: a bunch of bean bags sewn together). The blankets can be any size, fabric, texture or weight (although they recommend not more than 10-15% of the person's body weight) and are used a lot with kids who have autism. I've heard the blankets can help calm anxiety and provide much need sensory input for kids who need it.
Last week I finally decided to try my hand at making my own weighted blanket and was originally going to just make one for Ella. However, after thinking about it for awhile I realized a certain older child of mine who has a little more difficulty sitting still and focusing might benefit from one as well. Since I didn't want to single him out and make him feel different, I decided the other boy needed one as well (and since he always complains of being cold I used that as a cop-out as to why he needed one). And naturally since Hudson has decided to claim the title of "World's Worst Sleeper," with much wishful thinking I decided that perhaps if he had a weighted blanket as well maybe it would feel more like I was holding him (the only way he'll sleep good).
Visions of a full night's sleep, restful nap times, reduced temper tantrums, and a calm supper table danced through my head as I sewed these blankets. I finally finished them and I will say.. the kids really like them. Whether its because they feel special that I sewed them their very own blanket or because they are benefitting from the weight-the jury's still out. If you don't look too close they turned out pretty good. Here is what the older boys' look like.
I made all the blankets about 18"x21" so they would be lap pads (but mostly because I was being cheap and could get away with using 1/4 yard of material for each the front and back that way). The front I used a cotton print and the back is minky-for a little extra touch of sensory texture. They weigh around 2-3 pounds each. I probably should have sewed some sort of strap on them because they seem to amazingly always fall off their laps at suppertime, leading to much squirreling around under the table..
I wish I could say this guy was sleeping through the night and taking longer naps with his blanket, but not so much yet.
Good thing he's cute.
Good thing he's cute.
And today at lunch while I was thinking about what to write in this post about these blankets Ella got down from the table, ran to the couch and grabbed her blanket, drug it all the way back to the table, and insisted on sitting with it on her lap.
So apparently she likes it.
If you like these and think your child would benefit from a weighted blanket, send me a message or let me know.
A fellow CdLS mom has been making awesome custom ones as a fundraiser to go to Conference.
I can hook you up.