My homemade weighted sensory blanket!


Weighted blankets are very helpful for so many people.  Children with Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, and/or autism benefit greatly from the sensory input that the heavy weight provides.  This allows the child to relax, sit still and fidget less, thus allowing them to pay more attention or relax to rest.   Adults even enjoy them in larger sizes.  I don’t have one, but I do enjoy sleeping under a few blankets just for the weight, even when I don’t need the blankets to stay warm.  I’ve read that weighted blankets are beneficial for people who deal with insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or even cancer as well.  The blankets can be used as a sleep aid or as a calming tool to help relieve anxiety.

Emily has been asking for a weighted blanket for a while, so I took her to pick out the material she wanted and got to work!  She chose an animal pattern (no surprise there!) and we went with a lightweight cotton since we are heading into the warmer seasons.  I can always make a fleece cover for it when the cold weather returns.

The blanket is filled with polyethylene pellets.  These are the type of pellets you would find in a stuffed animal or doll, and they are completely washable.  The pellets are sewn into squares so that they are evenly distributed across the blanket and they won’t all roll to one side or the other.  This particular size blanket has 120 squares – wow!  The nice thing about using cotton fabric and the poly pellets is that the blanket provides the weight desired without providing too much warmth.

Emily absolutely loves it and has been under it or playing on it almost every minute we’ve been home today.  She’s already planning to take it next time we go to the dentist because they just won’t let her keep the x-ray vest (They give out stickers & lollipops, why not cool vests?).  I do have to take the blanket away from her at some point today to erase my removable fabric marker lines that I used to sew straight lines, but she’s looking forward to sleeping with it tonight.

It was a great success and I think I’ll get started on a second one.  This time, I’ll make her a lap-sized pad that would be easier to take to church or meetings where she has to stay put for an extended period of time.