By Beth Ann
The first time I became aware that weighted blankets existed was when my oldest daughter included one on her Christmas list years ago. The weighted blanket, usually weighing between 12 and 20 pounds, was effective at reducing anxiety (autism related or not) as well as related insomnia in consumers. When my son, 18, was attending residential treatment for his anorexia last year, he requested a weighted stuffed animal. Just like the first time I heard about the weighted blanket, I opened my eyes a little wider in surprise at the revelation. I snatched up my laptop and quickly got to work on Amazon.
There are plenty of options to choose from in weighted stuffed animals that typically weigh between 1.5 lbs to 5.0 lbs. These plushies are marketed to toddlers and teens alike so they don't seem to go above 5 lbs. Amazon offers everything from dinosaurs to snakes to calico kitties, priced between $15.00 to $150.00. They are available in a variety of materials including cotton and silicone which may allow for safe chewing.
We chose this grey cat manufactured by Niuniu Daddy. Keep in mind, my son was in the hospital at the time so he couldn't test out the product pre-purchase. However, my son loves cats. In fact, he used to have a grey and white cat that he adored. Niuniu Daddy's weighted cat is about 20 inches long and 3.3 lbs. Some variations look and function quite like a bed or body pillow if that is your preference. This cat worked out well for us as the weight was noticeable without being suffocating. The fabric was soft and didn't result in any sensory issues. This cat is $39.99 and while it doesn't have an overabundance of reviews, the 56 reviews delivered a 4.4-star rating out of 5.