Every parent wants to give their little one the best. More and more is being said about how to support baby development. Adequate stimulation from the first days of life affects the proper development of the child. An increasing number of therapists is paying attention to the activation of proprioceptive sensibility in our children. Is the use of weighted blankets safe for babies? The latest research proves that, when properly selected, it is safe for children from birth.
A hug that soothes
Specialists in the United States studied the safety of weighted blankets and their effectiveness in treating the disease’s symptoms in a group of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Doctors decided to conduct these studies after observing the positive results in other groups of people, including children with autism or ADHD. Proprioceptive sensibility stimulation helps organize sensory stimuli, reduce anxiety, and calm the person down.
Infants with abstinence syndrome may show various symptoms associated with disturbances in the central nervous system regulation. The symptoms include hyperactivity, anxiety, excessive crying, tremors, irritability, increased tension, disturbed sleep patterns, jitters, sweating, and excessive sucking. Until now, children have been treated in a quiet, dark place with rocking, breastfeeding, administering small doses of milk regularly, and non-invasive acupuncture. It is imperative to find a non-drug therapy to help these infants recover. So, doctors decided to investigate if a weighted blanket would work.
The course of the study
The examination took place in an intensive care unit and lasted for seven months. New-borns were covered with a one-pound weighted blanket for 30-minute sessions under full caregiver supervision. Specialists emphasize that this therapeutic product must be used only under the supervision of an adult. The heart rate, number of breaths, temperature, and Finnegan’s scale were measured using specialized equipment before and after the baby was covered with the blanket and then again 30 minutes after the session.
Were there any side effects? The blanket turned out to be completely safe, and no infant exhibited unwanted behaviour. In addition, the heart rate and Finnegan coefficient decreased, which denotes the withdrawal syndrome scale. The body temperature and breathing rate remained the same, indicating that the product did not negatively affect the baby’s body. The babies were much calmer and slept better.
A good night’s sleep thanks to the weighted blanket
The study proved that using weighted blankets on infants with abstinence syndrome is completely safe and an effective non-pharmacological therapy. The parents and nurses who looked after the infants expressed positive feedback for this product. They emphasized that the infants slept more soundly, and the blanket wasn’t troublesome. Please remember that using weighted blankets on infants must be carried out in short sessions, under the full supervision of caregivers, and after consulting with the attending physician.
These optimistic results indicate that such blankets are completely safe and can help to calm the baby down and support its proper development. After the study, an improved version of the weighted blanket for home use was introduced to the US market. It is an excellent alternative to drugs and a way to reduce undesirable behaviour in infants. The use of a properly selected blanket makes the baby calmer and sleep better. Take care of your baby’s healthy sleep!