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For some parents, weighted blankets have become another popular item to add to their crowded shopping list of nursery items. With manufacturers' claims to improve a child's sleep, any parent could be forgiven for thinking that a weight blanket is worth trying.
However, when it comes to placing an object on, around, or near a sleeping child, it is best to verify its effectiveness and safety. And there is a lack of weighty research behind weighted blankets.
What are weight blankets?
Weight blankets are sometimes referred to as sensory, calming, or anxiety blankets. They are a heavy quilt with pockets filled with sand, glass beads, barley, or plastic weights evenly distributed across the quilt.
The weight of the blanket is said to calm and soothe a child - similar to a tight hug. Prices range from $ 150 to $ 200 for a single bed to $ 300 for a queen bed.
Weight 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 has a positive, calming effect on a child who experiences overexcitation of their nervous system.
However, what was only intended as a temporary, calming instrument under close supervision has now become something completely different.
Although intended for certain children, some adults claim that using a weighted blanket will help them feel less anxious and calm down quickly when they feel stressed out. Others with insomnia and other sleep disorders feel that using a weighted blanket can be helpful for them.
Many parents are increasingly interested in whether a weighted blanket is useful in improving the sleep behavior of their young children.
It is important to understand that while healthy adults can safely use a weight blanket, young children can become trapped under their weight.
Most manufacturers claim that weighted blankets should not be used on children under the age of 4. But there isn't enough evidence to say they are safe for any age or stage of childhood.
Are weight blankets safe to use during pregnancy?
Pregnancy can be an extremely exciting and special time in every woman's life. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most stressful. Not only does your body go through psychological changes, but the hormonal fluctuations and everything that happens during pregnancy can cause you to lose the ability to sleep well.
That's right, one of the most common problems pregnant women face is not getting quality sleep due to a variety of issues. These problems can make a good night's sleep nearly impossible. The 1998 National Sleep Foundation survey found that 78% of women surveyed had more sleep disorders during their pregnancy than at any other point in their lives . It's no wonder so many pregnant women are looking for cures to solve this problem.
After all, sleep is important to almost every body process. In fact, women who do not get enough sleep during pregnancy have been shown to be at increased risk of pregnancy complications
Can I use a weight blanket if I am pregnant?
Sleep is crucial for pregnant women, but it can be harder to come by. A recent study confirmed that pregnant women experience a decrease in night sleep, especially in the final trimester.
The good news is that your weight blanket can help and is perfectly safe for pregnancy. As always, if you have any doubts or concerns, we recommend speaking to your doctor.
The benefits of using a weight blanket while pregnant can include:
Relief from anxiety and stress. Hormones, as well as physical and life changes, can all lead to increased anxiety in pregnant mothers. The feeling of weighted blanking provides a therapeutic way to calm racing thoughts, slow your breathing, and help you find calm and serenity.
Reducing inflammation. Swelling is another uncomfortable side effect of pregnancy that is due to a dramatic increase in the amount of fluid in your body. A weighted blanket can actually help reduce swelling and inflammation of the legs, hands and feet.