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For some parents, weighted blankets became another popular item to feature to their crowded shopping list of nursery items. thanks to manufacturers’ claims of improving a child’s sleep, any parent might be forgiven for thinking a weighted blanket is worth a try.
But when it involves putting any item on, around or on the brink of a sleeping child, it’s best to see on its effectiveness and safety. And there's a scarcity of weighty research behind weighted blankets.
What are weighted blankets?
Weighted blankets are sometimes called sensory, calming or anxiety blankets. they're an important quilt with pockets crammed with sand, glass beads, barley or plastic weights, evenly distributed throughout the quilt.
The weight of the blanket is claimed to assist calm and soothe a toddler – almost like an in depth hug. they vary in price from $150-$200 for one bed up to $300 for a queen-size bed.
Weighted blankets were originally recommended by occupational therapists working with children with sensory processing disorders, including ASD (autism spectrum disorder). In theory, the pressure of the weighted blanket features a positive, calming effect on a toddler experiencing over-arousal of their systema nervosum .
However, what was intended only as a short lived , calming tool used under close supervision has now become something else entirely.
Who are weighted blankets for?
Although intended surely children, some adults claim that employing a weighted blanket helps them to feel less anxious and settle down quickly if they’re feeling stressed. Others, who experience insomnia and other sleep disorders, feel that employing a weighted blanket could also be helpful for them.
Many parents are getting increasingly curious about seeing if a weighted blanket would be useful in supporting improved sleeping behaviours for his or her young children.
It’s important to know that while healthy adults can prefer to use a weighted blanket safely, young children can become trapped underneath its weight.
Most manufacturers' claim that weighted blankets shouldn't be used for youngsters under 4 years old. But there’s not enough evidence to mention they're safe for any age or stage of childhood.
What the scientific evidence says about weighted blankets
There is little or no research on the security aspects of weighted blankets or their usefulness in improving children’s sleep.
Although many manufacturers publish positive blog posts from satisfied clients, there's a scarcity of clear evidence to mention they work. In fact, they'll be harmful — especially if used incorrectly.
Safe-sleeping experts, Red Nose, advise against loose bedding for youngsters , particularly when they’re during a cot. this is often because blankets and bedclothes can cover the baby’s head and face, increasing the danger of overheating and suffocation. Young children might not have the mobility or strength to urge out from under a weighted blanket.
The risks of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) is additionally increased when a baby is sleeping prone (on their tummy), and this increases again when they’re under heavy bedding. The weighted beads also pose a choking risk if they shake the blanket’s pockets.
Is it safe to use a weighted blanket during pregnancy?
There’s not enough clear evidence to mention whether weighted blankets are safe for pregnant women.
Sleeping on your side will help to make sure the blood flow to your baby isn't restricted. Either side is ok , but especially from 28 weeks of pregnancy, women should attend sleep on their side and roll back onto their side if they awaken on their back.
What am i able to do about sleep and anxiety?
Speak together with your GP if you can’t sleep due to anxiety or stress.
Relaxation techniques, like meditation, and good sleep habits can make an enormous difference. Avoid using your phone or device for a minimum of 1 hour before bed. Avoid stimulants – like coffee, cola drinks and chocolate – within the late afternoon and evening.