Monday, October 29, 2012

Weighted Blankets

     We were the recipients of two very thoughtful gifts.  My mom and sister, Katie, made Etienne and Zeke each their very own weighted blanket.  Sounds weird to some of you, I'm sure.  But these things are beyond fabulous.
     The thought behind a weighted blanket is that the pressure on nerves helps the senses to focus and interpret data more efficiently.  Since I deliver babies, the analogy easiest for me is to think of how we calm a newborn.  We swaddle them tightly and we hold them.  Ryan and I figured out a long time ago that both boys calm down faster and can refocus if we hold them tightly, lie on top of them or swaddle them.  It's nearly impossible for me to do any of these things for all  Etienne's 69lbs.  Enter the blanket.  12 lbs of blanket!
     Mom and Katie saved coupons and built up a supply of poly-pellets.  They searched high and low for fabric that "fit" each boy; funny mustache print for E and track/running fabric for Ezekiel.  Than came many days and some sleepless nights of constructing these bad boys.  I know that each of them felt the weight of the blankets in their necks and shoulders as they stitched them together.  Such a labor of love.
     Zeke's blanket has cut our morning meltdown time to 5-10 minutes, whereas before I am not exaggerating to say that getting him dressed easily took 40 minutes.  Now, when he freaks out about how is underwear or socks feel, I calmly lay him in his blanket and we pray that he find God's strength to overcome how something feels.  Then we sing a worship song and he's usually ready to unwrap and face his clothing.  The funny thing is that he can't unwrap himself so if I get distracted poor Zeke waits in his blanket burrito until I realize that it's unusually quiet.
     Sleep.  Etienne is sleeping longer stretches.  He is keeping his body on the bed.  We don't jump at the sound of him crashing his head on the wall.  And. Wait for it.  He hasn't been wetting the bed.  For the most part, he is waking up with dry layers.  CRAZY!  Sure, we are still having 2 or 3 day runs where he is getting up in the middle of the night and wondering.  But he is falling asleep quickly and sleeping much better.  That means we are too.
     Don't get me wrong.  I don't think that weighted blankets are a magical gift.  I absolutely think that God used these women in my life, with their thought and skill, to give us another tool to help get through the days and the nights.   Very, very grateful am I.
Here is the link to the pattern that they used.  I know the poly-pellets aren't cheap but they watched for weekly Michael's coupons and bought bags with those.
http://craftnectar.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/weighted-blanket-pattern2.pdf


Grandma with the boys.  Photos of them using the blankets feels to private.


Aunt Katie isn't in too many pics-it seems to be a mom thing.



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