Weighted Blankets Being Made for Foster Kids
A Nampa foster mom has come out of "retirement" to make weighted blankets for foster kids. The blankets provide a feeling of security and calm. Each blanket can be custom ordered. You can help with this, too.
Have you ever grabbed a heavy blanket and snuggled into bed feeling so calm and safe? It's such a simple thing but it's scientifically proven to help you in more ways than just feeling calm.
Medical Daily reviews a weighted blanket as a form of therapy.
The idea of weighted-blanket therapy, also called deep-touch therapy, goes back to a basic human behavior known to calm us — being held. Clinical studies suggest that when certain pressure points on the body are stimulated by touch, the brain releases serotonin. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating various brain functions, including sleep and mood.
The key to this stimulation is the heaviness of the blanket, which is able to create a deep pressure. Aside from swaddles, this kind of pressure is present in hugs and when we stroke animals.
Children in the foster care system can benefit greatly from this therapy. Linda Peterson is the woman behind the custom blankets and the one who was called by Jonathan Wakeman from One Church One Child. They've been working together to offer custom weighted blankets foster kids can order (for free).
More than a dozen blankets have been made and you can help. If you can sew, you are welcome to help create blankets. If sewing isn't your thing, donate money toward the project and funds will go toward the fabric and supplies needed to make these weighted blankets.
by: Linda Peterson
- 4 yards of cotton fabric
- Matching thread
- Poly pellets (I buy mine off EBAY bulk 50 lbs for $100.00)
- Tailor's chalk
- Something to measure with
- Scale to weigh pellets in ounces
- I usually make them about 40 inches by 60 inches. You can adjust the size for the size of the person you are making it for.
- The amount of poly pellets per blanket depends on the weight of the person the blanket is being made for. It is 1/10 of their weight So for a hundred pound person you would need 10 pounds. Convert this to ounces.
- Pre-shrink your fabric.
- Cut fabric to desired size. Place wrong sides together and sew around three sides. I sew it twice for strength. Clip corners and turn right side out. Iron flat. Turn opening edges in and press down. Top stitch around the three sides.
- Using the tailor's chalk mark evenly spaced channels lengthwise. I do these about 5 inches apart but you can do smaller if you want. Sew down your chalk lines.
- Then mark out evenly spaced lines widthwise to form your pockets. I usually use 5 inches as my guide here too but you can do smaller.
- Once marked you will know how many pockets you will have. Divide the amount of pockets you have into the amount of ounces of pellets you need for the blanket. This will give you the amount of ounces you will need to put in each pocket.
- Using your scale weigh the pellets for one pocket. Place that amount down each channel. Sew across the chalk line and repeat until all the pockets are filled.
- Topstitch across the opening, and you are done
To find out how you can donate, click on the One Church One Child Facebook group and post your offer.