I was so excited to have the opportunity to review DreamCatcher Blankets! This is an amazing company that makes custom weighted blankets and other weighted products. One of my favorite things about the company is that it was founded by the parents of a child with Autism. When Eileen and J.C. Jackson’s nine-year-old son STILL wasn’t sleeping through the night, they began looking for a weighted blanket at the recommendation of their Occupational Therapist. When they didn’t find anything that met their demands for high quality and affordibility, they made their own. And from there, their company was born! It’s their desire to provide high-quality, affordable, attractive weighted blankets to special needs families. They have put a lot of research into their materials and methods–their website is full of helpful FAQs and links to studies about the effectiveness of weighted blankets.
Their story spoke to me. My nine-year-old daughter does not sleep through the night either. Squirrel often lays in bed for an hour or more every night, trying to fall asleep. She wakes up two or three times on a good night (more on a not-so-good night!) and sometimes cannot fall back asleep for an hour. Between her sensory issues, her anxiety, and her OCD, her thoughts often take over and make her very tense and agitated. Then she just cannot stop thinking to fall asleep! Needless to say, this makes mornings very hard for her. She’s short-tempered, and she often dozes off in school because she’s just exhausted. After reading the success stories on the company’s website, I was anxious to see if a DreamCatcher weighted blanket would help her as well.
Our 12-pound cotton and fleece blanket arrived just five days after shipping. It has a colorful, “grown-up,” girly print on the front, which Squirrel loves. The fleece and the satin binding are perfect for her tactile needs–she strongly dislikes anything stiff, itchy, or rough, so the soft blanket is just right for her!
(By the way, DreamCatcher has a huge selection of fabrics to choose from if you want to custom-order your blanket. They also have an in-stock inventory to choose from, which ours came from. It’s very important that you make sure any blanket you use is the right weight for your child. To determine what size/weight would be right for you child, please check with your child’s Occupational Therapist. Squirrel craves deep, strong pressure, so our OT said a 10-12 pounder was right for her–that’s twice the recommended weight for her frame.)
The blanket came pre-washed and ready to use. However, Squirrel has a very strong and particular sense of smell, and said that the blanket “smelled too new,” so we washed it in our own soap before she started using it. I was a little nervous to wash such a heavy bl
anket in my old finicky washing machine, but the blanket came with washing instructions, which we followed. We washed it in warm water by itself on a regular cycle, and it was fine–it didn’t throw my old machine off balance! We then dried it on a normal setting in the dryer. It didn’t take any longer to dry than other blankets.
My daughter loves, loves, LOVES her new blanket. The first night she used it, she slept all the way through the night, for twelve hours of sleep! She has used it for a week now, and says she’s falling asleep a little easier, and even when she wakes up at night, she’s going right back to sleep. She even slept through last night’s thunderstorms, which is huge for her! I see that she’s more rested and easier to get up in the mornings now. She’s even started to set her o
wn alarm and get herself up!
She also uses it throughout the day. When the blanket arrived, we talked about all the ways she might want to use it. The day after it arrived, I heard her getting agitated and angry at her brother. When I went back to their bedrooms to intervene, she had pulled the blanket off her bed and curled up on the floor under her loft (her “safe place”). She had wrapped the blanket around her and was playing her video games with her headphones on, so I led her brother away and left her alone. She came out just 20 minutes later and told me, “That blanket really works! It helped me feel calmer and more in control of my anger way faster than other times
!” She was just as amazed as I was–often it takes hours to get her out of a funk!
She’s also used it around her shoulders like a cape a few times. She even did her homework wrapped up in it one night. When I asked her why she likes it, she said, “It just makes me feel better. Like I’m not so stressed out or something. It feels good, the way it presses on my shoulders.”
I also love the blanket. It is extremely well-made. The pellets are first quilted into inner layers of fabric, then quilted into the blanket, so there is no worry about holes in the blanket spilling little balls everywhere, or weights moving and clumping together into one part of the blanket. The company will make a blanket in any weight, unlike other companies that only offer blankets in standards weights. In other words, if you need a 14 pound blanket, that’s what you’ll get! You won’t have to settle for a 10 or 15 pound one!
I also love the company’s dedication to helping families with special needs children. They donate a portion of the purchase price of every product to Autism Family Resources. They also offer a DreamCatcher Blanket Exchange Program. You can send your old blanket back to them when you are through with it, and they will give you a credit towards a new one based on your original purchase price and your cost of shipping the blanket to them. They then recondition these old blankets, and make them available to families at a reduced rate. I think that’s just an amazing commitment to families!
Here’s another amazing thing. DreamCatcher Blankets is giving away a gift certificate for a custom weighted blanket to one very lucky reader! Check out their website to see all the cool materials you can pick from and to read more about this wonderful company!