How to Use Weighted Blankets to Help Children Sleep

By C. Giles
Children need plenty of sleep to stay healthy.
Children need plenty of sleep to stay healthy.

A weighted blanket can have a calming effect on children who find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep for a long period of time. The blanket is designed to increase the feeling of comfort and security. Although it can take some getting used to, if you follow the correct guidelines and take all necessary safety precautions, you should find that after your child gets used to the blanket the quality of their sleep is greatly improved.

Work out the right blanket size for your child by measuring the length and width of his mattress; record these measurements on paper.

Weigh your child on the scales, multiply his weight by 0.1 and then add one. This final figure is the weight of blanket you need. It is crucial that blanket weight and size is always be tailored to each individual's weight and sensory needs.

Purchase a blanket to fit your length and weight measurements. A blanket that is too long or wide for your child's mattress may make it feel heavier than is appropriate because it will hang over the sides of the mattress.

Place the weighted blanket in your child's bed when you are tucking her in. Do not tuck the blanket around her body; allow her to pull it over herself of her own accord.

Make sure that your child is able to remove the blanket by himself; if he is not able to do this it is too heavy and should not be used.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Weight scale

Tip

If your child refuses to use the blanket, do not force the issue. Leave the blanket in her bed to let her get used to it; hopefully in time she will change her mind.

If your child has a problem staying asleep rather than falling asleep, gently place the blanket over him after he has fallen asleep.

About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."