Last week a light bulb came on in my head. After yet another meltdown, I realized the one thing we hadn’t tried yet with Peanut was a weighted blanket. Knowing these can run from $150-$300, I knew it wouldn’t really be in our budget to purchase right away. So I looked to our Instagram friends for help. I asked for recommendations, but each one still seemed way out of our already tight budget. I wasn’t thinking it would be something that we would be able to do right away. Until I got a DM. One of my followers spoke to her neighbor and sent her my way. She informed me that they tried the weighted blanket with her son a few years back. Unfortunately, it didn’t work with his sensory issues, but she held onto it hoping one day she could pass it on to someone who needed it. I was so thrilled and offered to pay for it, but she said no. She told me to just pay it forward and help another mama out one day. I honestly was almost in tears! Here was this stranger willing to help my baby girl in more ways did she know!! I am honestly floored by how much love that has come Peanut’s way.
So what is a weighted blanket?
The science behind weighted blankets is called deep touch pressure, or DTP for short. DTP is the term for gentle weight distributed across your body. You can get the benefits of DTP from things like massages or hugs.
Deep Touch Pressure has been shown to reduce activity in the nervous system, which helps give a feeling of calm.
It’s also beneficial because a few studies show that DTP can increase serotonin levels in the blood. Serotonin is important for mood regulation, brain development, sleep, appetite, aggression, and sensory processing.
These two benefits combined make weighted blankets a great option as a drug-free way to calm down. Whether that is before bed or after a stimulating activity, weighted blankets can help alleviate anxiety and bring a sense of calm.
Basically, its like being wrapped in a tight warm hug! It helps children focus on just one thing, the blanket, and allow all other senses a chance to calm down. It helps tremendously with children with Autism and ADHD.
I wasn’t sure if Peanut would like it or not. But I felt like we just had to try. When it first arrived, I draped it on her…she laughed and moved away. She didn’t dislike it but I didn’t see it changing her mood. I’ve been trying off an on just to get her used to it. It wasn’t until last night that we finally saw the benefits.
It was getting late, and Peanut’s mood was starting to shift. We had been playing with the blanket with the big kids…(Jojo LOVES it btw) so when Peanut came to sit between Juan and I, we slipped the blanket over her. Almost instantly we felt her body relax! She snuggled with us for about 20 min (which is unheard of normally!!) When she realized she was getting tired, she instantly pushed the blanket off and climbed all over us lol. But it was nice to see her senses calm a little. I put it on her again while she was sitting alone and almost instantly she relaxed. I was so excited to see that the blanket worked! I’m hoping this will give her some focus when she if feeling overwhelmed or having a sensory overload.
Once the weather starts cooling off outside, I plan on taking it with us out, to help when we are in noisy areas. Again, I am so grateful to this amazing woman who reached out to a stranger. Her kindness will always be remembered and I will definitely be paying it forward!