Weighted blanket {Nana to the rescue}

I mentioned last week that I was working on a weighted blanket for Little One. For those unfamiliar with weighted blankets, they are often used by therapists to help kids with autism, hyperactivity, sensory processing disorders, ADHD, restless sleep and a variety of other things. Basically, the weight of the blanket provides gentle pressure on the body. It helps with calming and relaxation. After talking with my daughter’s therapist, we felt like our girl would benefit from the use of one.

Well, most weighted blankets run over $100. The weight is based on the child’s weight, so as the child grows the weight would need to be increased. I searched online and found several tutorials for making them. So, I decided to try it.

I failed.

My mom came to the rescue and overnight created the cutest weighted blanket ever…and it can ‘grow’ with my girl!

This is not a tutorial because I didn’t make it. To find online tutorials you can do a google search for “diy weighted blanket”. There are a variety of options out there depending on your sewing skills and needs.

I thought I’d share some pictures of my girl’s blanket for those of you that are pros at sewing.
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Most weighted blankets have ‘pockets’ that are sewn shut with the weights inside them. My mom created this blanket with pockets that are open/folded over so I can increase the weight inside as needed.

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Pull open the pockets and the ‘weight’ is inside. I used poly pellets inside bags for our weights.

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Now….here are some details/disclaimers

* You should talk to your child’s therapist or a trained professional regarding if a weighted blanket is right for your child

* The weight of the blanket is VERY important. It can’t be too heavy. The general rule is 10% of the person’s body weight plus 1 lb.

* Weighted blankets are not meant to be wrapped around a child or used for any form of discipline

* Talk to a professional before making your blanket to make sure you are not creating any type of choking hazard of using ‘weights’ that can mold

flourish

Don’t forget this week Emily and I are hoping you will join us to Embrace the Camera.

Yesterday’s prompt was “SMILES”….here is my picture:

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Today’s prompt is: MAKING MEMORIES (a picture that involves you enjoying an activity with your loved one)

Tomorrow’s prompt is: EVERYDAY MOMENT (you doing something that is a routine part of your days)

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  • Ashley - I hope the weighted Blanket helps! It sure is cute!

  • Shelby - Oh how lovely! Weighted blankets have worked wonders for many of the kiddos that I work with; I hope Little One finds similar comfort! What a clever idea to make pockets so it can grow with her! Would your mother be willing to guest post? ;) If she does have sketches of how she figured out how to make those pockets, would she be willing to share them? I don’t think I could replicate such intricate patterns, but I’m also lucky enough to have a talented seamstress as a mother :)

  • Brandi - Your little one certainly looks content with that adorable blanket!

    You are a selfie inspiration! I’m embracing it!
    http://pickingpeonies8.blogspot.com/2013/10/two-hundred-and-eighty.html

  • BeckyH in MA - Ashley — my son has lots of sensory issues (on autism spectrum). And like Little one, he also used to wear sunglasses all the time. He loved his bean bag chair because it enveloped him more. Weighted blanket helped, too.

    We ended up doing two years of intense occupational therapy for his sensory tactile defensiveness. Best money we ever spent. But every child is so different. I learned to trust and follow my Mom instincts; they were usually right.

    Hugs and prayers for Little Ones journey. :)

  • Jessica P - Lovely blanket. And Little One with that lamb…too scrumptious for words!

  • Megt - My 7 year old has autism and SPD. Weighted blankets and lap pads are a part of our everyday routine. It brings him so much. Comfort and her 6 year old brother loves it too. When he is upset some time alone in a quiet place with the weighted blanket lightens his mood in no time. Thanks for sharing your photos. I hope the blanket brings as much comfort to your little one as they do to mine.

  • Birdy - This is an amazing idea… du you think this might work with adults, too. My best friend in the whole world has often problems to sleep… she is with her head in the clouds… and can´t stop thinking. She always says that she needs something that may hold on to her, keep her down to earth! Maybe this is exactly what she needs ;-)

    Thanks for charing
    Love from Granada and the -fatcatconnection-
    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.com.es/

  • MarthaB - Beautiful blanket! While working with our OT this summer I made 2 weighted blankets for our daughter after looking at the prices on-line, a lap size one that she actually takes to kindergarten with her now and a larger one for the bed that we use as she falls asleep as that is when she is most restless. LOVE the idea of being to increase the wight as she grows, your mom is so clever!!

  • Catherine - Oh, my son could use one of these but I can’t afford it right now. I never even thought to try and make one! Brilliant idea.

  • Mary - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/716497670/tiny-wide-smiles-bilateral-cleft-doll?ref=ending_soon

    Thought this was such a cool idea and thought I would share. I also love your blanket it looks precious!

  • Lynn - I have seen first hand in a school I worked at how beneficial a weighted blanket can be be for a child. I hope it helps Little One…..she sure looks comfortable with her new blanket. Your Mom is very talented!!!

  • Ann - Love the sheet your mom used– my absolute favorite as a tween! I’ve always slept with way too many blankets, likely for this same reason. A friend’s gran crocheted me a blanket that weighed pounds, and we still use it when we’re sick or sad!

  • Tonya - Such a good looking family!

  • Elizabeth Burdette - Such a cute blanket and even more special because it was made just for her! Weighted vests have been great for kids I have worked with in various behavioral health settings. I am a music therapist in Kansas and I would love to recommend music therapy for Little One! I think she would love using music as a means of communication and exploration. If you want more information, you can visit the American Music Therapy Association’s website (http://www.musictherapy.org/). Thanks for sharing so many beautiful, honest stories with readers. I know there are many parents that are comforted by your kind, genuine words. Best wishes!

  • Jessy - Your mother is a genius!

  • Emilie Gate - Hi, I love this blanket. If I had girls (I have 4 boys!) this would be perfect. I have been looking for a weighted blanket pattern and this could just be the think. Would your mother be interested in selling the pattern/letting
    Us know how she made it?!
    She should go into business she would do really well!
    Thank you for sharing! I love reading your blog :)

  • Eva - The colors in that blanket are GORGEOUS!!!! Your mom is so talented. What a blessing she is (and your dad, too!)

  • Rachel - If the pockets of your blanket aren’t sewn shut, what keeps Little One from taking the weights out? That would worry me.

  • danielle - So cute! Joining in to embrace the camera! http://daniellehuddlestonphotography.com/making-memories/

  • mosey - AWWW! your weighted blanket is SO cute! I love it! ours isn’t nearly as cute… I like the design, may need to look into this design in a more manly fabric for my little SPD fellows.

  • Kirsten - Your mom is a genius! What a cute blanket. Will be showing to my seamstress mom to see if she can replicate for my kiddo. :) Thanks for sharing!

  • Long time anonymous - Just wanted to share my experience with the weight as blanket. There used to be a time when I was a full time student and had a full time job also. There were some lucky days when I had few hours bwetween lectures and work. I spent those hours on my sofa, back pressed agianst the sofa and my rottweiler between my arms. I had no idea about the benefits of weight/hugging in that time but I created that for myself. That’s why I know it works! Miss my rottie….

  • Melody Bastin - This is a wonderful thing. As a child I always needed to sleep under quilts that had been made from the wool uniforms of WWI Solders (my grandmother made them). It was because of the weight. They were very heavy. Even now (65 and counting) I still can’t sleep without a heavy blanket on … or several. It’s very comforting and helps me sleep. God bless your Little One under her new blanket.

  • Elizabeth - What a beautiful blanket! Also, I’m loving the Embrace the Camera prompts! It’s so HARD to remember to be in the pictures, but I know one day my twins will treasure these moments captured!

  • Rachel - I’m really curious to hear about how it works for your daughter! My son has been having some difficulty sleeping, so maybe we’ll talk to the doctor about this option. Very cute blanket!

  • Kimberly Dial - Nana’s are awesome like that!

  • AshleyAnn - Rachel – the pockets are very tight…it was hard for me to get the pellets inside the pockets. Also, right now she has no idea how to even get in that area. My oldest kids were trying to help me stuff the pockets and they couldn’t get the weights in or out.

  • Kristin S - Your entire family is so gifted!

    The concept of a weighted blanket reminds me of my grandmother tucking me in SO TIGHTLY when I was little. I absolutely loved it. It was so comforting. To this day, I love weight on me when I sleep. Dead summer, I want a heavy down blanket on me with the A/C at full blast. Even now, my windows are open for a crisp fall night, and I’m about to pull a sheet, down comfortor, and top it all with a heavy cotton blanket. It’s the weight. Sigh.

  • Sara - What a beautiful blanket! Someone asked if these blankets can be used for adults. I remember when I used to work at a Nursing Care Center that some elderly residents would get agitated or restless and we had “weighted” stuffed animals to give them to lay on their chest. It was amazing how it would help calm them. I had never heard of the blankets but it sounds like a similar concept! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

  • Marissa Ramsland - Hi Ashley! I’ve been following your blog for years now and I am inspired daily! Thank you for expressing what’s on your heart and being real with your readers. I am enjoying participating in the Embrace the Camera Challenge. My sister and I just started our own blog, All In Good Twine, and I did a post about the challenge today. Hope you get a chance to check it out.

  • Katherine - Beautiful picture of you and your kids! I’m thankful for women like you who have encouraged me to get in pictures with my own kids. I don’t have a single picture of myself as a kid with my mom, and I don’t want to miss out on documenting my own years of motherhood. I’m certain my kids will appreciate it in years to come.

    http://daysordained.blogspot.com/2013/10/afternoon-garden-party.html

  • Lisa - Such a beautiful blanket.

    Loved seeing all the smiling faces on IG yesterday. Linking up for Tuesday’s embrace the camera.

    http://lisadunkin.blogspot.com/2013/10/embrace-camera-day-2.html

  • Izzy - That is really interesting and I love the blanket, the colours and the prints! The pockets are a nice style even if you weren’t going to put weights in them.

  • meg duerksen - this now makes so much sense as to WHY i need heavy blankets on me no matter hot hot or cold. i had no idea.
    :)
    your mom is a stud.

  • Jenny B. - So cute! And that floral fabric looks really familiar… I think maybe my parents had sheets made out of it when I was a little girl. Or maybe a table cloth? Or curtains? I can’t place it exactly, but it was definitely somewhere in my house (or maybe my grandma’s house) growing up. :)

  • Jen Miller - This is amazing. I need one and never even thought about looking for a DIY. I have Restless Leg Syndrome and sometimes I CAN NOT sleep because my body is insane. Anyway, thank you for posting this! I will be looking for some DIYs and *maybe* I can manage to make one. Otherwise, send your mama here! ;)

  • able mabel - Adorable blanket!

  • Angie Pampell - I just made one of these for my son and he sleeps SO much better. I’m such an amateur at sewing though, and his is a bit of a mess, but it gets the job done!!

  • weight | - […] I read Ashley’s post last week about a weighted blanket for her youngest daughter, I thought all this was […]

  • the girls room { a tour } » ashleyannphotography.com - […] one is a weighted blanket made by my mom, the matching comforters were a […]

  • Nicole J - Such adorable pictures… And a wonderful blanket! I came across this post by googling how to make weighted blankets with pockets. Love the work that Nana did… Wondering if she would be able to share or we could purchase the pattern/ directions? I am very much a newbie sewer :) but also might have the option of my mother-in-law sewing one if I could give her direction. Could not believe the prices on these otherwise- and they are not as cute either (certainly not for the price haha)!

  • Tracy Dickinson - I am considering one of these for my son. I am in the Tulsa are also and was wondering where you got your poly pellets?

  • Robbin - I have looked and looked and this is the best design I have found for these blankets! Thanks so much for sharing Nana’s brilliant solution!!!

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