Tara, the founder of Dreamland Baby, came up with something that would truly be a game-changer for so many parents struggling with their child's sleep. She invented the first evenly distributed weighted sleep sack that gives babies and toddlers the feeling of comfort when sleeping on their own. We know that activating the parasympathetic nervous system is an important step in the preparing the body to sleep and we can do things to help flip our babies body's from work mode to rest mode in the evening. A weighted sleep sack or blanket (for 3+ years) could be a key part of that process! The gentle weight acts as deep touch pressure and helps baby’s body relax. So is Dreamland Baby magic?
What the research says on weighted blankets..
The research on weighted blankets is still pretty inconclusive. Most studies are more focused on if the subject felt less anxious and slept better with the weighted blanket than they did before using it, however it is difficult to measure how effective it really is in science terms. One study of 5 year olds with ASD did not find any conclusive actigraph evidence to show that the weighted blankets helped children sleep for a longer period of time, fall asleep significantly faster, or wake less often, however the weighted blanket were favored by the children! I truly think based on the studies I have read on weighted blankets, the effectiveness is going to be subjective and personal. Overall, it is suggested that weighted blankets can help with anxiety, sleep disorders, ADHD, and ASD.
Are the Dreamland Baby products safe?
The Dreamland Baby sleepsacks and blankets have very specific guidelines for use. The weight of the sleepsack should not be more than 10% of your baby's bodyweight. The good news about the sleepsack version that Tara invented is that it eliminates the risk of loose blankets or weighted blankets in the baby's crib. It is not safe to have anything in the crib other than your baby and a pacifier until at least 12 months old. The weighted blanket is designed for toddlers 3 years and older and should be used in a toddler bed and kept away from the head. There is no research on if weighted products are safe or not safe for sleep and the AAP has not taken a stance on this in their safe sleep guidelines. If used properly, your baby should be able to move freely in the sleepsack and it should not restrict any movement or rolling. In terms of concern that the weight may cause overheating, the Dreamland Baby sleepsack is only 0.6 TOG, most sleepsacks are 1.0 or 2.5 TOG. Always check your child's neck or back to be sure they are not too hot, sweating, or feverish while sleeping.
How can Dreamland Baby help my baby and toddler sleep soundly?
Based on the studies, weighted blankets are usually recommended for children with ASD and ADHD to help them calm before bed, as they may need more input/output to calm them. There was also a study done in the NICU using weighted blankets (supervised) that resulted in a significant decrease in the baby's heart rate and no change in the respiratory system while sleeping. There are over 1,000 raving reviews and I have families who have used the weighted sleep sacks with great feedback as well! As a sleep coach, I know sleep takes work, some more than others. There must be solid sleep practices going on and your baby must be getting the rest they need, however I am a believer that all babies are different and some need a little extra support to sleep. If your baby needs extra contact or is calmed by the weight of your hand, this sleepsack might be perfect for you! The Dreamland Baby sleepsacks and blankets can be that little extra for your baby to help them sleep more soundly.
If you are hesitant to use a weighted product for sleep, I recommend using the Dreamland Baby weighted blanket during the bedtime routine as a way to calm your baby or toddler down (not in the crib). Since my daughter is not old enough to use the weighted blanket for sleep, I use it during bedtime and it calms both of us as we cuddle, sing songs, and talk about our day. She can be at her wildest and calms down in an instant as we begin this process. The gentle weight plus cuddles from mom or dad can truly help activate the parasympathetic nervous system and prepare your little one to drift off into dreamland.
Here are some other tips that you can incorporate into your bedtime routine to help your baby wind down into rest mode for the night:
-Have a few minutes of calm play and books before you start your bedtime routine.
-Have a warm bath with dim lights and then give your child a massage while changing into pj's.
-De-stress: I am talking to you mom! If you are calm during bedtime routine, your baby will be able to be as well.
-Breathing: Take deep breaths and your baby may match that breathing as well.
-The goodnight game: say goodnight to your nose, eyes, ears, face, teeth, whatever you want. I know this may seem strange, but it can help redirect your child's attention and is great one on one time.
-Humming or lullaby: your voice is extremely soothing especially when very calm, slow and rhythmic. Think yoga "OM" humming but less intense and a super slow lullaby to calm your baby or toddler right before sleep.
If you are wondering about the magic powers of the Dreamland Baby sleep sack that everyone raves about, give it a try! It may be a little magic and a little science and just the little something extra & last piece of the sleep puzzle that your baby needs as they drift off into dreamland.
Nichole @ Little Peach Sleep