Weighted Stuffed Animal

A weighted stuffed animal is basically just a normal stuffed animal that is filled with a weighted material. This can be anything from plastic pellets to beans or dried grains.

A weighted stuffed animal can be very beneficial to anyone who needs some extra comfort and support. They are typically used for sensory processing disorders, ADHD and fidgeting.
They Help With Anxiety

Weighted stuffed animals are heavy plushies that offer a reassuring squeeze. This cuddle therapy helps to trigger a release of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, which reduces anxiety and stress levels. These huggable friends make great companions for kids and adults who have difficulty coping with the daily stresses of life.

Just like a weighted blanket, these soft and snuggly toys use deep pressure touch stimulation to calm the nervous system and ease anxiety. However, a stuffed animal is portable and smaller than a blanket so it’s easy to take on-the-go.

In addition to being a soothing sleep buddy, weighted stuffed animals can also help children with autism or ADHD get out the door for school. These cuddly creatures can help them activate proprioceptive receptors, which in turn may improve their ability to concentrate in the classroom and engage with others. Moreover, these sensory tools can redirect their stimming behaviors and reduce hyperactivity. They can even help them fall asleep at night or stay calm during an airplane flight.
They Help With ADHD

For children with ADHD, insomnia, restless leg syndrome or autism, weighted stuffed animals can help them calm down, relax and fall asleep. This is because they are designed to mimic the deep touch pressure therapy technique that works so well for calming and anxiety relief.

When a child hugs a weighted animal, the gentle pressure stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are responsible for mood regulation. This enables the brain to slow down the body’s “fight-or-flight” response, which leads to relaxation and a sense of calm.

Adults with ADHD can benefit from the soothing effect of a weighted stuffed animal too. They can also be used as fidget toys, helping to reduce the symptoms of ADHD such as restlessness and impulsivity. Just make sure to choose a safe option that doesn’t contain loose buttons or bead filling that could pose a choking hazard.
They Help With Sensory Processing Disorder

For children with sensory processing disorders, certain touch sensations can be uncomfortable or distracting. Sensory integration modalities like deep pressure touch can soothe these kids and help them feel more grounded and secure.

Similar to weighted blankets, weighted stuffed animals simulate the sensation of being hugged by providing what health care professionals call “deep pressure touch.” This activates the parasympathetic nervous system and releases serotonin and dopamine to promote relaxation, lowered cortisol levels, a decreased heart rate and improved blood circulation.

Many of these weighted toys are made from plush, soft materials like cotton and polyester. They are often sized appropriately for the child and include small weighted beads or pellets spread evenly throughout the body to provide a comforting, calming feeling when held. This can benefit children who have obsessive hugging disorder (SH), which causes them to huddle with loved ones or even strangers. This can cause tension in the family and even make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
They Help With Fidgeting

Many people with anxiety, autism, or sensory processing disorders are prone to fidgeting. This is a difficult habit to break, but weighted stuffed animals can help. They provide the calming, deep pressure that many find comforting. These toys are available in a wide variety of sizes and weights, so it is important to find one that suits the individual user.

Many of these stuffed animals are filled with eco-friendly, sustainable materials, such as flax seeds or organic sand. They are also scented with lavender, which further improves the calming effects of this therapeutic toy.

While general guidelines suggest that these toys should not be more than 10 percent of the user’s body weight, it is up to the individual to determine what feels comfortable and calming. For example, a smaller animal may be more effective than a blanket that spreads the weight over the entire body. In addition, most of these stuffed animals can be heated in the microwave or chilled in the freezer, which increases their versatility.