Several times we have tried to use a weight lap bag or vest for Bug. Typically his teacher tells us its a distraction for fun time and plays with them more than it is helpful. But that is not the case for every child.
A weight lap bag can provide a grounding of sorts for the child. I have often heard Bug has a hard time with spacial awareness. He just isn’t quite sure where his little body is in reference to the world around him. He is everywhere! Upside down, right side up, hands in his mouth, head buried in a couch cushion and the list can go on. He often reminds me of a rubix cube someone is working to solve that is getting all twisted around. He just doesn’t understand where his body stops and the world begins. Having a weighted blanket, lap bag or vest can often help give them boundaries and make them feel safer in their environment. But their cost can be astronomical if insurance doesn’t cover it.
We use a heavy quilt during times of Bugs infusions to provide comfort and security for him. A friend of my moms makes “comfort quilts” for those she feels needs a little extra hug at times. Bug and Diva were recipients of them. Even though, at their age, they don’t understand the generosity of another individual; they know their quilts are something special and use them on a daily basis.
But enough about what a lap bag can provide for your child. Here is a great DIY lap bag idea I conjured up to make your own for home or school. And it’s so cute! I got the idea from Bugs school. They use some commercially made one. But I knew there was a easier, cheaper and DIY way to do it. Then I remembered the rice sock.
The rice sock is a great little invention our teacher told us about during our birthing class for Bug. She told us to fill up a tube sock with uncooked rice. Then instead of fumbling with cords of a hearing pad, to heat the sock up in the microwave. It is amazing and holds its heat for quiet a while.
So I took that concept and altered it a little. But the sock was too short. So I searched around for another source. We were playing with some neighbors dogs when one of them ripped all the stuffing out of their toy. Creating this long tube sock like casing. Ta da! All I had to do was go to the local pet shop and search for a similar toy to gut. The only other item needed was the rice. But it needed to be washable. So I looked up what was used in the commercial made weighted lap belts- poly pellets.
Next all you need to do is know the formula for your child’s weight vs the weighted item your making. Therapists say the most recent research suggests blankets should weight 10% of the persons body weight. However, since lap blankets are smaller and more condensed you can do 5% and make sure it weighs no more than 3 pounds.
All you need to do is add the appropriate amount of weight and sew up the open end.
**Update** After searching the web for a little more information on how to make these, I ran across Stacy’s at post at Starfish Therapies. Great minds think alike. She has some additional ideas on how to create one, materials to use, and other uses for the weighted lap pad.