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Children & Weighted Blankets

Are weighted blankets ideal for children? Is there a minimum age that a child needs to be before they can use a weighted blanket?

Does your child have trouble going to sleep and/or staying asleep? A child not being able to sleep through the night can disrupt the whole family’s nightly routine and none can get a good night's sleep. Whether not going to sleep is caused by separation anxiety, nightmares, or other problems, a weighted blanket can help!

Many people swaddle babies to comfort them to sleep. The snug wrapping offers pressure that keeps a baby still and calm. That’s the same concept of the weighted blanket.

The weight of the blanket may help your child’s anxiety by triggering their nervous system to lower their heart rate and breathing. It can also prevent tossing and turning while trying to go to sleep, helping your child stay still and go to sleep quicker. Research shows that weighted blankets may also cause the brain to release serotonin to calm the mind.

Weighted blankets are believed to be able to calm children with autism spectrum disorder who may not be able to sleep due to noise disruption. Children with ADHD may also benefit from a weighted blanket. Studies have shown the weight of the blanket may reduce fidgeting and squirming at bedtime.

Some children can use a weighted blanket, but you should exercise care when making the decision to purchase one. Weighted blankets are not usually recommended that infants, toddlers, and younger children due to health risks. Generally, manufacturers recommend the child be at least 4 years old.  You also want to make sure your child doesn’t cover his or her face with the weighted blanket while sleeping.

When you purchase a weighted blanket, choose one based on your child’s body weight. The standard rule is the blanket should weigh about 5-10% of the child’s body weight.