Pressure and weight are very important components to Jack when trying to wind down. I researched weighted blankets on the Internet and learned about how the weight of the blankets help the body to produce its own melatonin to help with sleeping issues. Jack was a great sleeper……once he was asleep. I was tempted to purchase a weighted blanket on the Internet, but I was concerned that the blankets only came in specific sizes and weights. I am also a bargain shopper and I wanted something that would grow with him. When buying or making a weighted blanket it is important to make sure that the weight of the blanket is 10% of the person’s body weight plus 1 pound. So you could buy a 5 pound blanket on the Internet for now, but you will have to buy another one for when they get heavier. So with the help of my neighbor, we made a “Grow With Me” weighted blanket that was washable.
Here is what we did:
1. I purchased a down alternative twin comforter that had the square down-filled pockets already sewn into it. I found it on the clearance rack at TJ Maxx for $20.
2. Next, my neighbor (who knows how to sew), cut the edges off of it to make it smaller because you only need enough blanket to cover the body and we need the extra material to make the pockets.
3.With that extra material she created envelope type pockets (the kind of pocket you would see on sham pillow cases) on top of each on the already patterned squares.
4. Figuring out the weight the blanket needed to be and evenly distributing. First I bought bags of poly pellets at Walmart for $5 for a 32oz bag. That was the best price I could find anywhere. Jack is 50 pounds, so we needed enough for a 6 pound blanket. The blanket also had 20 squares to fill to make it evenly distributed.
My formula was: 6 pounds divided by 20 squares= .3 pounds
Convert into ounces: .3 pounds x 16 (ounces in a pound)= 4.8 oz in each square
5. I filled 4.8 oz. of poly pellets into sandwich size baggies. Squeeze the air out of the bag and press flat. And then double bagged them for reinforcement.
6. Slip the bags into each square material envelope you just created on the blanket.
7. Finished product that you can easily adjust as the child weight increases and you can remove the bags when you need to launder the blanket.
8. If you need extra reinforcement you can add a button or velcro to the envelope enclosure to ensure the bags don’t fall out. We have not had that problem.