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Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together.
thank you so much for tuning into the kids sleep show, Courtney Zentz here and I am excited to chat today answering one of our viewers and listeners questions of can a weighted sleep sack help my baby to sleep better? And so I wanted to take this particular question and really expand it from just infants, which is the context in which the question was asked and really talk about all children at varying different ages of adolescence. And whether or not a weighted sleep sack or a weighted blanket can be helpful to them in sleeping longer, more consolidated, and frankly, more independently, overnight. So the first thing I want to explain is what is a weighted sleep sack or a weighted blanket if you have not yet heard of one of these products. So over the past couple of years, there have been many new products on the market that incorporate the use of weight inside of a blanket that is properly dispersed based on the weight of a child. So it means that if they’re wearing a sleep sack, for example, it’s going to have a specific amount of weight based on a child, for example, a baby that’s between you know, 15 and 20 pounds, they probably need about a pound and a half of weight inside of a sleep swaddle or a wearable blanket, right? If there’s a baby that’s over 20 pounds, for example, like so 20 to 30 pounds, they may need about two pounds of weight inside of a blanket. So the weight inside of the blanket is going to be equally dispersed based on the weight of the child. So it’s very important that you understand how much your child weighs when you’re ordering this type of a product because it can restrict body movements. And you have to be careful, right? They do make wearable blankets for adults, they make them for again, like teens and young adults, it’s become very popular in children who are diagnosed on the spectrum, that weight seems to bring a sensory comb in that deep mush, muscle pressure that tends to help children to calm and you know, people are experimenting now and studies have been done around babies and the use of something like a weighted blanket or a weighted sleepsack depending on the age of the child. Okay, so the answer to the main question of can this help a child actually sleep better? Well, frankly, it depends. I do see that there are children that respond really well to something like this. There’s the nested been swaddle that has a very small amount of proportional beings on the chest up near, you know, in kind of the rib cage area that provides a small amount of weight that is meant to mimic the hand on the top of a child’s chest as though there’s a little bit of gentle pressure while they’re laying in the crib or the bassinet and that children are combed and soothed. By that pressure, the nested bean is meant to mimic that pressure, for example, right? I do see other products where they have more equally dispersed weight across the various different patterns that are kind of sewn into the fabric. And again, they’re all looking essentially at what is known as deep pressure, right, like so that deep pressure inside of a child that’s offered by a blanket or wearable sack really gives clients the feeling of safety, comfort and kind of that sense of calm. Is it a silver bullet to fixing sleep? No, usually, it is something that helps from a sensory standpoint, right? We all have different sensory processing levels. Some of us like to be touched, some of us don’t some of us, you know, for example, somebody could do nails on a chalkboard right in front of me, and it doesn’t bother me, my husband would probably pee his pants and run into another room because that really bothers him from the pitch in which you know, that noise comes out, right? So it’s not meant to be the silver bullet. But it is meant to say that, hey, there can be support from these products. But usually there’s an underlying or root issue. That, frankly, is the real cause of why your child isn’t sleeping well. Okay. So as a parent, if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, you know what, Courtney, I was exploring the weighted sleepsack just to see if it helps my little one, I want you to first kind of go through a couple things that I’m going to talk about and see if maybe this would be the reason why your child isn’t sleeping well. So the first is going to be around their total sleep needs. Make sure that they’re getting the right I’m asleep at the right times. And I always encourage you to go out to tiny transitions.com forward slash tools. Because all my tools are out there, sample schedule generators, total sleep needs charts, like you name it, it’s out there. And it’s going to help you to set up the right structure for your child, whether they’re two months or two years old, to ensure they’re getting the right amount of sleep at the right time. The next thing you want to look at is the awake windows, right? Make sure that they’re not going down overtired, because if they are, they’re typically going to struggle to go down, cry a lot more and have shorter periods of restful sleep. In between those awake windows, right, their maps are often short, they kind of have false starts after bedtime, they’re up several times a night, right. And so that can be a part of it as it relates to timing, I want to talk a little bit too about supported sleep, right? If your child doesn’t actually possess the independent ability to fall asleep, they’re going to be reliant on you for whatever it is that you’re doing, to get them to bed every single time they wake up, right? If they’ve only ever been rocked or bounced or nursed or fed or whatever. That’s the only way they know how to sleep, right. So whether it’s naps, bedtime overnight, doesn’t matter. That’s what they’re looking for. Right? They don’t just magically wake up one day and go peace out mom going back to that on my own right. Like they’re looking for that support, because it’s just what they know. So it’s not that they don’t want to sleep. It’s frankly that they don’t know how to sleep. And so I would always encourage you to jump out to tiny transitions comm forward slash tools, and take a look, we do a making over bedtime free training every couple weeks, where we go into the nitty gritty details. It’s a five day training. So I definitely encourage you to register for the next one coming up. Because it’s going to be helpful for you to understand, right, all of this foundational stuff like I give away more in that five day training than most paid courses do over the course of months. So it’s definitely going to be worth your time. What you want to also look at is nap transitions, right? Like how old is your child? And should they be transitioning naps, right? Like there shouldn’t be a 10 month old, that’s still taking three naps because things are probably off. And it’s throwing a wrench in your day, your nights and your early mornings, right? Making sure that there’s that balance in, you know what their day and night looks like. And frankly, that you’re setting them up for success. Kids over four months of age now have a body clock, they have a circadian rhythm, right, their bodies building up sleep pressure during the day known as adenosine. And then when they sleep, it is lowering the adenosine levels. If your child gets too much adenosine, it triggers their body into overtired. So stimulant hormones get fired up, right? And then your child’s body is basically like Yo, Mom, I want to go to bed, right? And their brain is like no, let’s party. Right? They just got a shot of espresso, if you will, do you want to make sure you’re balancing the right, you know, kind of daytime and overnight schedule for them. You know, I have some clients that come to me and they’re like, gosh, Courtney, I would love a 10 to 10 type schedule. And my response is good luck. We’re not in college, right? Your body clock is triggered by the sun. And so that’s the most important thing that you have to kind of pay attention to. Again, I always try to work with clients and meet them where they are as far as timing goes. But it’s very hard to force a child into a schedule, that’s kind of unrealistic, because your body clock is aligned, you know, to the sun and to the environment around them. And so sometimes that can be, you know, something that you need to look at from a balance standpoint. Right. So I think it’s important to understand that, you know, yes, a weighted blanket in some capacity can help a child, I may even help you as an adult, right? I think that the bigger thing is to look at underlying what the challenges are around sleep and assessing whether or not it’s an environmental challenge, like the child is looking for the pressure which a weighted blanket or swaddle can provide, or whether they really need a retooling of the sleep skills. And you know, ensuring that a solid foundation of sleep hygiene is built to make sure they’re set up for success with independent, consolidated and restorative sleep. So hopefully that makes sense. I’m excited, I was able to bring you again one of those questions from a active listener of ours. And as always, if you have ideas or questions for the show, please shoot him over to me, you can reach my email at Courtney at tiny transitions calm and I am always happy to chat with you about the private sleep coaching that I offer. Or if you have an idea or suggestion for the show, we are always willing to take it here. I look forward to having you on the next show. And I hope everyone has a beautiful rest of the day. Bye for now.
Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleeper not just in the times you’re listening to the show, but all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research, to build a family that is rested and at their best Day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community. That’s tiny transitions.com forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.