For awhile now, I have been wanting to make Ethan a weighted blanket to sleep with since he has been responding so well to weighed objects in his daily life.....lap animals, kid sandwich, yoga ball exercises, joint compression, etc. But, like most therapy items, it WAY more money than I want to spend. And they seem really complicated to make. So, I haven't done anything about getting Ethan one.....until now.
A couple of weeks ago, Ethan stopped using his pacifier at nap & bedtime....the only 2 remaining times he would still use one. And, as I have shared before, we allowed him those 2 times because oral chew toys & such seem to calm him. And he needs his nap.......and I need him to nap as well. He is so much more difficult when he is tired, and I do enjoy getting a break too. So for the last several weeks, Ethan hasn't been sleeping well. No napping, going to sleep late, and waking early. OK....it is time to get serious about a weighted blanket.
I looked up a few websites that I was told would have cheaper prices on these blankets, but they were still more than I wanted to spend. Especially since this was a trial run. We didn't know for sure if this blanket would even help. Here's an example of such a website.....www.saltoftheearthweightedgear.com. Ethan's occupational therapist told us that Ethan could use a 5 lb blanket...more weight than usually recommended for a child his age. However, I have already added dried rice to the inside of a few of his stuffed animals to make them heavier, and they were about 3 pounds each. Since he craves those items, she said he would benefit from a little more weight in his blanket than standard. Standard measurement is 10% of his body weight + one. So, at the time of his OT sessions, he weighed 31 pounds. Do the math & that would mean Ethan would need a 4 pound blanket. Ethan is currently 36 pounds, but we made the blanket 5 pounds....due to the OT's suggestion. That could cost us anywhere from $50 for a little baby blanket to $120 for a twin size. And this is actually pretty reasonable. But then I thought those 4 words that we all think sometime in our life...."I could make that."
So, I found a easy to follow pattern online.....www.craftnectar.com. I already had CARS fabric that a friend gave me over a year ago....it was her leftovers from making her son curtains. So my measurements weren't exactly like the pattern, but I was only 1.5 inches short.....still plenty big for Ethan. So here is what it looked like after I sewed around 3 sides & stitched the columns...ready to be filled with weights.
Now, there are many different options for weights....dried rice, beans, sand.....but I choose to use Recycled Poly Pellets. If his blanket needs washing, it can be thrown in the washer & dryer (on gentle). I did have to purchase these pellets, so I went to EBay. I bought 10 pounds for $21....an added cost but still cheaper than buying one already made.
Well, I finished the blanket in one day. It was a LOT easier than I thought, so now I'm already thinking about making Ethan some lap pads & another blanket. Eventually, I will show you the end product, but there is a little boy in the other room who is using it to take his nap.......YEA!!!!!!!
***UPDATE*** Here's a picture of the final result. I am thinking that I may want to add a trim around the edges, but just for an added element.