In 2008 my youngest daughter and her husband moved in to assist with the care of my 90 year old mother whose dementia had worsened. Their twin daughters, Lizzie and Katie, had just turned 3 years old. When the girls moved from their cribs into toddler beds I watched with frustration as the blankets constantly pulled loose and left them uncovered during the night. Why hasn’t someone come up with a way to keep kids covered, I wondered? So, I devised a solution.
I put the first prototype on Katie’s bed. At bedtime she was tucked in. I checked in later that night to find her fast asleep and still covered! A few days later, my son-in-law remarked that she also no longer tumbled out of the bed. The basic concept was a success so I worked on refining it.
My oldest daughter has four children, two of whom had been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) which falls under the umbrella of the autism spectrum of disorders. One of Olivia’s struggles with the disorder was difficulty perceiving her spatial boundaries. Olivia was not quite 4 years old and she frustrated my daughter by getting out of bed repeatedly during the night and slipping into bed with her Mommy and Daddy. Convinced that she just wasn’t staying covered and warm I was anxious to send my newly designed blanket to Olivia. Sure enough, my daughter reported that Olivia stayed in bed much better than before.
My next step was to make some for friends to get their reaction. I made one for a friend whose son, 3 years old at the time, has autism. She told me about the need for these children to be swaddled, to feel a sense of compression and how weighted blankets and clothes provide that sensory support. This information made me wonder if perhaps the benefit
to my granddaughter was not (just) keeping her toes warm, but in providing the boundaries around her. I arranged to meet with a therapist who confirmed that, indeed, the design would provide that benefit.
Thus began the rewarding journey of discovering the many benefits of a blanket that stays put!