Have you heard someone say, “weighted lap pad” and wondered what that was? Weighted lap buddies are being used by children, adults, and seniors. They are also used by people at home, school, and work. In this blog post you will learn all about weighted lap pads, with answers to the following questions:
A lap pad describes something that is made of material, is thick, mostly soft, and has some weight to it. The word lap is used because it is designed to fit on your lap. Therefore, it is larger than most stuffies or stuffed animals but smaller than a weighted blanket for example. A lap pad is also not necessarily used as a toy, although children do often use them. Nevertheless, so do adults and seniors too. A lap pad fits on top of your lap, it is not something that you sit on. Finally, lap pads generally have some weight to them.
A weighted lap pad, animal, or buddy are all used as sensory tools. People who experience sensory overload use sensory tools. As well, people who have sensory sensitivity do too. They want to help feel more calm or organized and less restless or unsettled. For example, this blog post explains more about sensory overload. Furthermore, a little bit of weight, spread across your lap, can feel calming. For instance, think about the comfort of having a pet or a cat lay on your lap, a weighted lap buddy can feel just like that.
They can be used for:
You might think, “the heavier, the better”. However, this is not true. Your body can feel even the smallest changes in weight. Most importantly, a good rule of thumb is no more than 5% of body weight. For example, a child who weighs 70 lbs. would not use a weighted lap animal of more than 3.5 lbs. Nevertheless, the weight that is even less than 5% of body weight helps. Usually, weighted lap pads come in pre-set weights. However, it is OK to be under 5% of the person’s body weight, but for safety, it is important to avoid going over.
A weighted lap buddy can be used just about anywhere. Furthermore, they are easily transportable, although their weight may make them heavy to carry from place to place. However, due to the additional weight, though even small, a child may not be able to carry it independently throughout the day for example.
Examples of where a child might use a weighted lap animal:
Examples of where an adult might use a weighted lap pad:
Examples of where a senior might use a weighted lap buddy:
There are no fixed times that weight should be used, but it is important to note that the body and brain adjust to the feeling of weight over time. On the other hand, do not expect a weighted lap buddy to be useful and effective for long periods. Thus, it is best used intermittently. Finally, a suggestion is to use it for 20-minute intervals.
It is important to be safe while using a weighted lap pad. They are not safe for people of all ages and people of different abilities and like anything, can cause harm if used unsafely.
Here are some safety tips:
If you are unsure if your child or the person you are considering using a weighted lap pad will be safe then consult your occupational therapist or your medical doctor.
Throughout this article, you will have already read different descriptor words. Thus, it is important to know that a weighted lap pad is not the same thing as a weighted blanket or a weighted vest. These sensory tools will be discussed in later blog posts. Nevertheless, you may also see weighted lap pads called a weighted lap animal or weighted lap buddy or simply a lap pad. Likewise, animals and buddies are typical in the shape of an animal or character.
You can use this buying checklist to help you choose the one that is right for you or your situation.
Christel Seeberger worked as an occupational therapist for more than 25 years helping people with sensory sensitivity who experience sensory overload. Christel has sensory sensitivity herself; she has hearing loss and wears hearing aids. She founded Sensory Friendly Solutions in 2016. Sensory Friendly Solutions brings together people around the world looking for sensory friendly living and businesses and organizations who offer sensory friendly experiences.