DreamCatcher Weighted Blankets – Review & Giveaway for Autism Awareness 2013

Reviewed by Mary

DreamCatcher Weighted Blankets make custom-made weighted blankets to help children (and adults) who respond to Deep Pressure- both to help with sleep, and to help with sensory regulation. Eileen and JC Jackson founded the company as a result of their journey to help their son Cody, who has Classic Autism. After researching and designing a blanket for Cody, they saw the profound effect that it had on improving his sleep, and so decided to start making them for other children and adults.

My four year-old daughter N has had problems sleeping ever since she was a infant, it is hard for her to get to sleep, and she often wakes during the night. Both her brothers are great sleepers, and they have the same calming bedtime routine that she has. She has CAS (Childhood Apraxia of Speech) and Dyspraxia, and like many children with CAS she also has sensory issues. I discussed her sleep issues with her Occupational Therapist, who felt that her proprioceptive issues could be causing her sleep problems, and suggested we try a weighted blanket. Children with poor proprioception have a hard time feeling where their body is, and when they close their eyes to go to sleep it feels like they are falling through space – a scary sensation, so it’s hardly surprising they find it hard to sleep.

As I started to research weighted blankets I found many companies making them in many different ways. When I discovered the DreamCatcher Weighted Blanket site I was very impressed by all the research they had done into making the best weighted blankets, and I was very happy to get the opportunity to try one with N. There are lots of different weighting materials available, and it is very important to have a blanket that uses a non-toxic, non-porous one. Porous materials trap moisture when they are washed, and can cause mold formation in the blanket. DreamCatcher uses Poly-Pro pellets – they are hypoallergenic, non-porous and non-toxic, and are made from virgin polypropylene. Their blankets have multiple inner layers of cotton fabric and the pellets are quilted into the inner layers, so the weight stays evenly distributed.

I needed some help choosing the best size and weight blanket. When I spoke to Eileen on the phone she was very helpful and friendly and she suggested the best option for N was a Twin size 7lb blanket. Then the hard part began – how to choose a fabric! There are literally thousands of fabrics to choose from, in four different online fabric stores, so it was a little overwhelming at first. I decided on cotton, as I wanted it to be comfortable year-round, and not to trap pet-hair from our dog or cats. N is an animal lover so I decided to look at fabrics featuring dogs or cats, and found the perfect choice – Rainbow Cats. Dreamcatcher also keeps 68 colors of marble cotton in stock, so for the back of the blanket I asked Eileen to pick a shade of pink marble that would match with the Rainbow Cat fabric.

The custom- made blankets typically take around 3-5 weeks so we waited patiently. Just after Christmas we got a package from Fed-Ex, at first I didn’t think it was the blanket as the box was so compact. When we opened it N was so excited – her face totally lit up at the sight of her beautiful new blanket. Since then she has used the blanket every single night – even insisting on taking it camping with us. She calls it her “magic blanket” and says it keeps the bad dreams away. We have noticed she sleeps better when she uses the blanket, to the extent that we are planning to take it with us when we fly to visit her Granny this summer (which with the cost of checking baggage these days is saying something!) She still isn’t a perfect sleeper, but we have recently discovered that she also has Obstructive Sleep Apnea, so she will soon be having her tonsils and adenoids removed which should help too.

Her “magic blanket” is very well made and the stitching is beautifully done. The blanket doesn’t contain any poly fill, which means it is cool enough to use in the summer. In colder weather we layer it with a lightweight comforter – usually she likes to have her “magic blanket” on top, so she can see the pretty fabric. We have machine-washed and tumble-dried her blanket and it is standing up very well. She seems really comfortable using her blanket, and her twin brother (who shares her room) is now saying he wants one too !

You can read more about Dreamcatcher Weighted blankets on their website and Facebook page. Weighted blankets can be very helpful for children on the Autism Spectrum and those with Sensory Processing Disorder as well as a variety of other conditions. As well as custom made weighted blankets, DreamCatcher also sell pre-made weighted blankets, lap pads and pressure pets.

 

Giveaway

In celebration of Autism Awareness Month DreamCatcher Weighted Blankets has offered one lucky iMum fan the chance to win a custom-made weighted blanket valued up to $200 !! Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget to enter. The winner will be announced on The iMum.com and The iMums FB page, and must contact us within 72hrs of the announcement to claim their prize, or another winner be drawn. This giveaway is limited to the USA only (due to shipping costs.) Must do mandatory blog post comment in order to participate in the giveaway or you will be disqualified.

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Mary

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

131 thoughts on “DreamCatcher Weighted Blankets – Review & Giveaway for Autism Awareness 2013”

  1. I would love to win this! My daughter has CP and something like this would really help her legs. An incredible product!

  2. I’d love to have one of these! Was just talking to one of my patient’s moms today about weighted blankets!I would use it in my practice to demonstrate to parents the positive effects of weighted blankets and the like on children who have difficulty calming. I have a couple that currently require deep pressure to attend to activities.

  3. I plan to give it to my daughter is we win. We have one on loan from children’s centre that we really need to give back. thanks for the generous giveaway!

  4. I would like to win so we could see if it helps my daughter with Ds sleep better.

  5. Oh my, I would love to have one of these. I have a child who has sensory and CAS who would greatly benefit from a weighted blanket.

  6. My Insomniac SPD ADHD OCD anxiety panic disorder 7 your old would love that she loves rainbows and kittys her two favorite things

  7. i would love to win for my serverly autistic son or my asd son and daugher hope i do im running out of patients with him being pill free

  8. My niece would benefit from this! She has PDD-NOS and Night Terrors. Bedtime is a horror film for her parents.

  9. So great to partner up with Imums! They have been a blessing to us! I love everything they do for us and my toddler actually got one from a discount code you had going on and it works! I love how it has a cool side and a felt side it is in prestine condition! Now my teen with Autism has ADHD and overload sensory, introvertive and I would love to get one for him also. It is hard to afford one being that we are military and my husband is gone a lot and I have to stay and take all three to therapies daily… My middle child has severe dyslexia and insomnia. Thank you for all you do! I like your history (companies, how your oldest benefits and loved it) Thank you again! Lucy

  10. I have a weighted blanket and love it. I would use this one as a spare, as I cannot sleep without my weighted blanket.

  11. I would use this for my 6 year old SM son who has severe sensory issues in the evening! Bedtime is a HUGE struggle for us!

  12. This comment actually has nothing to do with the blanket but with the bio. I had to giggle about the iPad. We have the exact same scenario. When my ASD son isn’t using it…momma is all over that thing 🙂 Its quite handy. No wonder it works so great for our children.

  13. I have Asperger’s a run a group for other adults with Asperger’s. This blanket would be used as a loaner for others in the group who want to try one for a week or two before deciding if they want to buy one.

  14. Why would you like to win this blanket? How do you plan to use it?

    I would like to win this blanket for my 11yr old Aspie. She is having an incredibly difficult time lately. She has gravitated towards her sister’s weighted blanket. You can imagine the fighting that occurs when both of them want to use it at the same time. I would plan to give the blanket to my 11yr old. I’d love to buy her one but right now we just can’t swing the cost. Thank you iMums and DreamCatchers for allowing us the opportunity to win one of these blankets!

  15. We would use the blanket for our son Tyberius, who has ASD/SPD. Ty has outgrown the one his sister made him for his crib, now that he is in a big bed and gained weight. It does wonders for calming him down and helping him sleep more.

  16. I would use this blanket to assist my 6 year old in sleeping. He has numerous diagnoses and sensory issues.

  17. I would absolutely love to try one of these blankets out with my daughter. She has such a hard time settling down at night.

  18. A blanket would help my 9yr old son who has autism. He has a blanket but it is way too light for him. His behavior is more irratic latly and I thing some of it is due to his blanket

  19. I want to win this for my son in the hopes that it helps him to get a good night sleep. They use weighted vests on him in therapy & they seem to help.

  20. I would give this to my son. He is seven years old and has autism and loves weighted items!

  21. I would love to have one of these for my son cause he sleeps with lots of blankets and the dr recommended I get one of these for him.

  22. I’d use the blanket for myself because I suffer from restless legs and this would help a lot !

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