Weighted blanket - What is it & Why is it so good?
Weighted blankets are become more widespread and you are starting to see them being used for adults with anxiety, sleep issues, etc. Weighted blankets are a huge hit in the special needs community and can be used to help children with sensory processing disorder, attention difficulties or ADHD, anxiety, to aid sleep, and even assist with concentration. This is a pretty powerful little blanket.
Addie was born a preemie at 26 weeks and had an IVH (intraventricular hemorrhage or brain bleed) at 2 weeks old. These two things make her have a much higher risk for sensory processing disorder or SPD. There are many factors that could make it a higher risk but what one study found was that 39% of preemies (born before 32 weeks), had an atypical score in at least one section or quadrant of their sensory profile compared the 6% of babies born after 32 weeks. She has always dealt with sensory issues, attention difficulties, and has been seeing an OT privately and through infants & toddlers since she was 6 months old and she is nearly 3.
A few weeks ago, her OT suggested a weighted blanket to help with calming & attention. We recently teamed up with Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC from The Sensory Project to create a sensory blanket for Adeline. Rachel is an incredible OT who works as a therapist and creates weighted vest and blankets for confident kids. She just recently started a podcast, The Sensory Project Show which is all about Sensory Integration, Occupational Therapy, Parenting, Self-care, & Health and Wellness. She was awesome and answered some basic questions parents and caregivers may have about a weighted blanket AND created a coupon code for you guys to use!!
Why Weighted Blankets?
A weighted blanket is a therapeutic tool to help you or your child feel calm with an organized sensory system by providing proprioceptive input. Proprioception is one of your seven senses, (yes, you have seven!) and everyone has to process this input somehow!Proprioception is your sense of body awareness and position in space. What does this mean? You have receptors in your joints and muscles that help your brain perceive your position at all times.
What happens if the proprioceptive system isn’t working just right?
Often times you’ll see kids tripping, falling, purposefully crashing, leaning on walls, bumping into things, pushing or pulling too hard, asking for big squeezes, and so on. Proprioceptive input is important for development because it helps to feel a sense of self, aides in self-regulation and promotes success in both fine motor and gross motor activities. It is also important, as it helps a child to be aware of their “personal space” and how to appropriately engage with their peers without overstepping their boundaries (e.g. hugging without asking) or not engaging enough (e.g. decreased eye contact).
Where do weighted blankets come into play?
That deep pressure they provide sends messages to the nervous system to improve awareness of their position in space, as well as calms and organizes their sensory system.Think about how it feels to be hugged tight. Most of us love and seek that deep pressure input. Well, now you can have it all the time!
who should use a blanket?
Weighted blankets were originally created for people with Autism, Anxiety, and Sensory Processing Disorder, but in reality, EVERYONE can benefit from using a weighted blanket. Whether or not you or your child sleeps at night, if your child has meltdowns, or if they want to be held all the time, try a weighted blanket and see what happens!
What weight & Size do you need?
The suggested weight is about 10% of you or your child's body weight, however keep in mind that everyone's sensory needs are different. I recommend consulting your child's occupational therapist for more information regarding the appropriate percentage of weight for your child.
COUPON CODE: ABLOVE10 for 10% off!