Product Reviews,  Reduce Anxiety & Stress

The Best Weight Vest for Toddlers in 2020

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Our Top Picks:

Best Overall: Fun and Function’s Blue Weighted Compression Vest for Kids & Adults

“Giving our son what he needs to feel calm, secure, and confident by giving him this vest was the best thing we could have done.”

Best Durability: Weighted Compression Vest for Children by Harkla

“My 4-year-old has a tough time self-regulating and calming down. She absolutely loves this! She said it feels like a giant squeeze hug.”

Best Budget: Special Supplies Sensory Compression Vest

“There was an immediate response to this vest from my 3-year-old daughter with autism. This is better than my 75-dollar weighted vest.”

Best Fit: Abilitations Weighted 2-Pound Vest

“My son has CP and sensory problems. Let me tell you how in love he is with this little thing! He sleeps in it and just has a calming effect. I need to order a backup for sure!”

Best Design: OTvest On-Task Weighted Vest

“I felt pressured by all the doctors to put my son on medication. I am happy to say he will not be put on medication as the OTvest does the trick.”

Why should you buy a weighted vest for your toddler?

As a parent, caring for a child with special needs is already challenging. How much harder would it be if your child is an excitable toddler who’s overly sensitive to stimuli?

Thankfully, a weight vest for toddlers is a great way to increase their body awareness while keeping them calm and avoiding sensory overload. It’s a great alternative to weighted blankets if you have a kid who’s always on the go.

Weighted vests are specially made for children with autism and sensory processing disorder (SPD). These kids may be over or under-sensitive to stimuli. The use of these items provides them with deep touch pressure to calm them down and enhance their focus.

In fact, a 2011 study published in the South African Journal of Occupational Therapy showed that a weighted vest could improve learners’ in-seat behavior and attention to the task.

Similar research published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy also showed how the use of such vests helped in the development of fine motor skills. It also decreased self-stimulatory stereotypical behavior among children with developmental disorders. 

Considering getting one? Here are some of the best weighted vests for toddlers out there:

Best Overall: Fun and Function’s Blue Weighted Compression Vest for Kids & Adults

Despite being Fun and Function’s first-ever product, this weight vest for toddlers remains one of its bestsellers.

Made with your child’s sensory needs and stereotypical behavior in mind, it boasts of a snug fit that feels like a soothing hug. As such, it encourages feelings of calmness and security. It also helps your child focus on his tasks and cope with sensory overload.

You can fine-tune the compression anytime with its simple and adjustable design. The weights are also positioned snugly in the pockets inside the vest, so you don’t have to worry about safety.

Fun and Function’s Blue Weighted Compression Vest is available in six sizes, from XXS to XL. But be careful in choosing sizes, as some customers find it tricky to estimate the right size.

Some children also find the weights to be too bulky and heavy, although you can add or remove weights as you please.

Best Durability: Weighted Compression Vest for Children by Harkla

If you want a portable vest your child with ADHD can wear in the classroom or during travel, you should check out Harkla’s compression vest for kids. Aside from having removable weights, it is thin and light enough so your kid can bring it wherever he goes.

Designed for children with autism, SPD, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), this vest provides deep pressure sensory stimuli that can calm your child. The use of this item also helps your child with ADHD feel more focused and secure, like what a weighted blanket does.

When it comes to fit, the weighted vest has an easy-to-adjust sensory shirt with Velcro. It also features an extra pocket so you can put on additional weight as needed for deep touch pressure.

And if you want to help in autism research, you can do so just by purchasing this weighted vest. Harkla donates 1% of every sale to the University of Washington Autism Center.

Despite being made of soft mesh material, some parents complained about its breathability. It can be uncomfortable to wear in hot environments.

Some children also had problems with the item’s texture at certain spots, making it feel a bit itchy.

Best Budget: Special Supplies Sensory Compression Vest

Any child with autism or sensory overload would love Special Supplies’ sensory compression vest.

Giving deep pressure sensory support, this weighted vest helps your child with ADHD become more focused and engaged in their tasks.

It is also designed to provide even pressure on the chest, shoulders, and stomach. When fit snugly, wearing it feels like a full-body hug!

Your kid can wear this deep touch pressure vest over or under clothing. After all, it’s made of breathable neoprene fabric. It’s also comfortable and flexible, so it doesn’t limit your child’s regular movement.

The only notable complaint from its customers is its overpowering chemical smell. That’s why this pressure vest may not be suitable for children with increased sensitivity to smell.

Being the most affordable in this list, the Special Supplies Sensory Compression Vest won’t put a huge dent in your wallet.

Best Fit: Abilitations Weighted 2-Pound Vest

If the fit is your utmost concern for your toddler, this Weighted 2-Pound Vest from Abilitations might be what you’re looking for.

You can adjust it according to your child’s body, thanks to its hook-and-loop closures. You can find them at the shoulders and sides.

And since kids grow up so fast, this vest also features an extra fabric at the side closure to allow room for growth. Even the bottom part of the vest folds up so that it can fit children with shorter torsos.

But it’s made from polyester material, which can be uncomfortable during warm weather. 

Some customers also complain about its durability. Its Velcro straps don’t seem to hold for more than a few months.

Best Design: OTvest On-Task Weighted Vest

Don’t be fooled by the stylish denim material that the OTvest On-Task Weighted Vest sports. Like other weighted compression vests, it provides deep pressure sensory therapy to reduce anxiety and increase your child’s focus.

Its chic design distributes the weight evenly for maximum comfort. It also requires less weight than other vests. That’s why a lot of occupational therapists recommend the OTvest to help with sensory integration.

The OTvest On-Task Weighted Vest is not the cheapest one out there. But it is a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for a trendy yet functional vest for children with ADHD.

And there you have it – the best weight vest for toddlers this 2021. I hope this list can help you make an informed decision for your child’s unique needs. 

Aside from weighted blankets, this sensory tool may just be the perfect gift you can give your child with autism to help him deal with his sensory processing disorder.

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Marc Kraft

Marc is the creator of Mindful Searching, a content site dedicated to providing actionable, unbiased tips to reduce anxiety, stress, and improve cognitive performance. He's struggled with social anxiety for many years. Over the last 5 years, Marc has been researching and testing lifestyle changes, products, and techniques to build a happier, healthier, anxiety-free life.

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