Weighted Blanket For Toddlers

Scott Gurfein
Updated: 17, September, 2020

Is A Weighted Blanket Safe For Toddlers?

Weighted blankets are safe for toddlers, provided they're over the age of 2. Some therapists highly recommend them for toddlers because they can help immensely with certain medical conditions, like autism and ADHD. But, they pose a safety risk for babies under 2 years of age.

What is a weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets function as heavier blankets. This is made possible with the inclusion of filler material, which tends to be glass beads, steel shots, or plastic pellets. Brands like Snuggle Pro use premium glass meads due to how smooth and quiet they are. With this filler, some blankets can reach up to 30 pounds.
The cover material is also important to look at when shopping for a new weighted blanket. Cotton is preferable for many kids due to how comfortable it is no matter the time of year. Other potential cover materials include fleece, silk, and flannel.

How does it work?

Many therapists recommend weighted blankets to children because they produce Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS). This therapy involves the application of consistent pressure evenly throughout the body. In children, this can mimic a hug or swaddling.
Pressure causes the brain to release advantageous neurotransmitters. Serotonin and oxytocin are among the most critical as they produce feelings of contentment and well-being.

Weighted blankets help with these medical conditions in children

You should speak with your pediatrician or therapist to see if a weighted blanket could help your child. In the event they've been diagnosed with one of the following, then there's a good chance a gravity blanket can help a great deal.


More than 6 million children between 4 and 17 years of age have ADHD. Kids with this condition are often impulse, overly active, and have difficulty paying attention. This may lead to some children having trouble going to sleep due to how restless they get.
With the release of serotonin caused by Deep Pressure Stimulation, a child's central nervous system calms down. Through this, heart rate and blood pressure decrease. This also leads to an overall decrease in anxiety. It's a great, natural way to make kids feel more relaxed at night.


Anxiety disorders can manifest in children as young as 3. This causes children to feel nervous in situations that wouldn't normally call for that.
DPS is also good for the release of dopamine. This neurotransmitter helps to improve mood and soothe any aches that come about from the mental health condition.
When the body is stressed, it releases cortisol throughout the body. Dopamine helps combat cortisol to help the individual feel more relaxed. Anxiety can keep some kids awake for hours. But with a weighted blanket, your children can wake up feeling rejuvenated.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

According to various studies, roughly 1 out of every 54 children in the United States have autism spectrum disorder. One of the symptoms of autism is anxiety, which can lead to sleeping disorders.
Through any lack of sleep, kids do worse in school. But since weighted blankets help the brain give off dopamine and serotonin, kids with autism can feel comfortable in their beds. They rest peacefully and feel ready to head off to school the next day.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory processing disorders affect between 5 and 16 percent of children in school. This disorder causes kids to feel excessively bothered by everyday noises, feelings, and lights. This discomfort can even border on pain if the disorder is severe enough.
All of these stimuli result in anxiety. Even when trying to go to sleep, kids feel overstimulated and unable to relax. Through DPS, any insomnia or chronic pain the child is in is reduced. These blankets help ground children so that they can finally rest.


School-aged children between 6 and 13 years of age need 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night. However, some kids have insomnia. this is a sleeping disorder common in people of all ages that makes it difficult to go to sleep and stay that way all night.
Weighted blankets and the pressure they provide help your body release melatonin. This hormone regulates your body's natural sleep cycle. If the body doesn't naturally produce enough of it, then it's difficult to feel tired at night.


Kids with obsessive-compulsive disorder have racing, persistent thoughts and behaviors. Such thoughts can keep sufferers up at night, and the need to perform certain actions may make it difficult to stay in bed. Additionally, OCD has been linked with low serotonin levels.
With the help of DPS, serotonin levels increase significantly with a weighted blanket. The extra weight from the blanket also helps the muscles relax.

Other benefits of using a weighted blanket for toddlers and kids

Your children may not have a health problem. But they may still have trouble sleeping at night. There are many other benefits to gain from having your kid sleep with a weighted blanket.

Better Quality Sleep

It's critical for growing children to get at least 9 hours of sleep nightly. Through that rest, kids go through various stages of sleep, such as the REM phase, which is the most restorative. Interruptions can make kids feel groggy when they wake up. Fortunately, weighted blankets make it easier to stay asleep all night long.

Helps Them Fall Asleep Quicker

Many kids simply feel restless in bed. They want to be out and about and don't want to be tied to their bed. A weighted blanket can help them feel calmer. Their muscles relax, and their heart rates decrease. This allows them to slumber more peacefully.

Reduces Tantrums

Some kids throw tantrums when they have to go to bed and they don't feel like it. This can result in injury if the child isn't careful. But by tucking children into weighted blankets, their muscles are weighed down, and they're more likely to stay put.

Calms Them Down

Children can be active without having ADHD. For a litany of reasons, your child may get a burst of energy at night. But with an influx of serotonin and dopamine, your child feels more content and ready for napping.

Why weighted blankets are not safe for babies under 2

Toddlers, adolescents, and teenagers can benefit greatly from weighted blankets. But you should never use one with a child under the age of 2. Even if your 1-year old is diagnosed with autism, a weighted blanket shouldn't be used.
These blankets are simply too heavy for young babies. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a real risk that can affect toddlers who have their temperature regulation and breathing disrupted as they sleep.
A weighted blanket can make it more difficult for babies to breathe probably. This is especially a concern if the blanket moves over their face. It can also make them excessively hot under all of that weight. You should wait until your child is at least 2, has the correct motor skills to maneuver a blanket, and you have the go-ahead from your doctor.

10 percent rule: A guideline to choosing the best weighted blanket for kids

When deciding on the right weighted blanket for child, make sure you get one that isn't too heavy or too light. You want to follow the 10 percent rule. This states that the weighted blanket should be 10 percent of your child's weight. Use the table below as a guide.

Weighted blanket size and weight guide for children

Individual Weight
Blanket Weight
Blanket Size
Toddlers 2+
*It's important to remember that a weighted blanket is not recommended for children under 2 years of age, even if they weigh at least 30lbs.

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