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Giving a Child Melatonin

has anyone given their child melatonin to help them fall asleep, if so, how much and where did you get it from? I was thinking of giving it to my daughter, she's 6 weeks shy of her 5th birthday. I have tried every other method to get her to bed earlier than 10pm, this is a last resort. please no negative feed back, i feel bad enough that i'm even considering medicating her. also, thanks to the moms in the past who have given me advice on how to help her get to sleep earlier, it just hasn't worked. she is THAT strong willed!
TIA

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My son is the most ridiculously hyper boy you ever want to meet. With no melatonin he can stay awake playing in his room till 2 am. It was a constant battle. With the melatonin he's out by 9 oclcok!

My dr reccomended it when we were getting ready to start school. I buy a $4 bottle of 3mg melatonin from the dollar store. I cut them in half and give half to each. Mine are 4 and 5. Sometimes when they are extra super hypr I will give them the whole thing and it knocks thier little butts right out! It just makes them sleepy not druggy, so they wake up happy and clear headed in the morning.

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I have an energizer bunny too! My youngest (he is 4.5) and yes, I do use melatonin and it works like a charm. You can order the liquid type (if she cannot swallow pills yet) from Target. It works like a charm for us. I had reservations too, but am glad we tried it. It helps him sleep through the night and he wakes up refreshed and in good spirits, whereas he used to wake with bad dream thoughout the night and we never got a full nights sleep. I would recommend it if you feel you have tried anything else. Good luck to you!!

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Our son has ADHD and can't fall asleep on his own ... far too much energy. He takes 2 mg. of melatonin an hour before bedtime. We started melatonin on his doctor's advice.

I would start small with a 1 mg. dosage and then work up as needed. 3 mg. max should be enough, but if it isn't, I'd ask her doctor what he/she recommends.

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I've given it to my twin girls off and on since they were 3. They are great sleepers once they are asleep. They wanna stay up all night and sleep all day. (which is exactly how I was) When I give it to them I give them 1/2 of a 1mg tablet. I buy the Source Naturals brand-the sublingual ones.

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I used this for almost 2 months with my daughter who is 3. I bought I think 3 or 5 mg from GNC (chewable) and it worked great. Talk with your childs pediatrician about it if your concerned but it should be given in cycles of no more than 2 months because it can cause vivid dreams and mood changes if used long term

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I give it to my daughter almost every night after dinner. She will be 3 in Feb. I have the chewable tablets that you can get from Wal Mart. I think they are 5mg, so i break it in half. It doesn't knock her out, it just helps her stay asleep instead of getting up repeatedly throughout the night. I checked with her doctor 1st and it is safe. It's not a drug, it is something that your body naturally produces. You don't want to use Tylenol or Motrin since that can be hard on the stomach and there is no medical issue.

And don't feel bad! The negative feedback is from people who obviously do not have a child that will do anything to avoid going to bed and stay up all hours of the night. It will just help her mellow out and go to bed instead of fighting it.

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My mom and I both tried melatonin for ourselves after our brother praised it highly. That night, we both had really extremely crazy weird disturbing dreams. We neither took it again. I don't know about giving it to kids, so can't offer advice on that, but just want to advise you of this potential side effect, so you can be on the lookout for it. Most people who have tried melatonin don't have that side effect, but I've read stories from other people who have had the same kind of weird dreams that I had, so it isn't completely uncommon. Another potential thing to look out for, is that some medications can work in reverse on kids [instead of knocking them out, it hypes them up], so I'd do more research to make sure this doesn't have that possibility.

It's possible that your daughter is just a natural "night owl", but melatonin might help get her sleepy earlier. Have you tried making her go to her room and be quiet (but she doesn't "have to" sleep) around 7:30 or 8:00? -- let her stay up as late as she wants "reading" her books or playing with her toys, but she *must* be quiet.

3 moms found this helpful

My son is the most ridiculously hyper boy you ever want to meet. With no melatonin he can stay awake playing in his room till 2 am. It was a constant battle. With the melatonin he's out by 9 oclcok!

My dr reccomended it when we were getting ready to start school. I buy a $4 bottle of 3mg melatonin from the dollar store. I cut them in half and give half to each. Mine are 4 and 5. Sometimes when they are extra super hypr I will give them the whole thing and it knocks thier little butts right out! It just makes them sleepy not druggy, so they wake up happy and clear headed in the morning.

3 moms found this helpful

I have an energizer bunny too! My youngest (he is 4.5) and yes, I do use melatonin and it works like a charm. You can order the liquid type (if she cannot swallow pills yet) from Target. It works like a charm for us. I had reservations too, but am glad we tried it. It helps him sleep through the night and he wakes up refreshed and in good spirits, whereas he used to wake with bad dream thoughout the night and we never got a full nights sleep. I would recommend it if you feel you have tried anything else. Good luck to you!!

3 moms found this helpful

My 8 1/2 yr old takes it and sometimes my 5 yr old will take it. They take the chewable kind that comes in the purple bottle. I'm not sure of the name I just pick it up now. My 5 yr old sounds the same as yours. I would start with a small dose and go up from there. He takes a half of a 5mg pill or maybe a little more depending on the night. For him he needs to take it 15-20 minutes before bed because if he has it in his body longer than that before going to bed it has the opposite effect on him. My 8 yr old can take it an hour before bed and has no problems falling asleep. So I will usually give it to him just before pj and book time and that way he is resting while the pill works its magic.
I am so glad you are not getting any negative feed back. I asked this same question before I started giving it to my son and there were some that were so nasty.

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Melatonin is a natural chemical that the body makes to let you know it's time to sleep. When you feel drowsy and groggy and start yawning, that's melatonin at work. Some people don't make enough melatonin to be able to fall asleep on their own. People who have insomnia are melatonin-deficient. I've had insomnia since birth. Many people who have Autism and other neurological disorders have insomnia and are melatonin deficient.

While I have a prescription to help me sleep, I do occasionally take melatonin. My middle daughter, who is 9 years old, has been taking melatonin for three years now because of sleep-wake cycle disturbances. With direction from her neurologist and her pediatrician, we tweak her dosage as necessary.

You can find it in liquid form or tablet form at CVS or other pharmacies. A typical dosage for a child can be anywhere from .5 mg to 3 mg once before bed time HOWEVER you MUST be sure to do this under direction from a doctor.

Before you try melatonin you really need to make sure that you're minimizing all other forms of stimulation. No TV 45 minutes before bed. Pulled shades. Relaxing activities before bed time. A warm bath or shower. Minimal books and toys and conversation during the actual bedtime routine. Absolutely no TV in the child's bed room. No late snacks. No drinks after supper time.

The reason for the major restrictions on the TV are twofold. TV stimulates the brain and that's just not necessary. Also, the light from the TV mimics daylight and it artificially extends the day in the child's brain to boot, triggering the wrong hormones and making the brain and body think that it's the middle of the day.

Wake her earlier in the morning. Open her curtains to let the light in so that her body gets used to natural light waking her. She needs to have her body retaught natural day/night rhythms.

Set up a written chart for a routine. If she can't read, use clipart photos. Include chores and expectations. Include things you're working on with her. Give her a star sticker when she succeeds with a particular task on a particular day, and when she earns a certain number of stars have a reward for her.

Once you have a new routine established, see how she does. If she still struggles then you would start with the smallest possible dose of melatonin to see if it works.

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My son WILL NOT SLEEP otherwise for days, he takes it under a doctor's supervision. You can get it at any health food store but I would talk to the doctor first personally. True it is something your body makes (my son's does not make enough or any at all) and taking it incorrectly can interfere with the body's natural production.

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Thanks for posting this. I had been considering trying it with my two younger kids. Right now their psychiatrist has them on clonidine to sleep. Kind of scares me plus they don't seem to be outgrowing the inability to go to sleep at a reasonable time.

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W. Y.
Don't feel bad about it, I give it to my son to help her fall asleep.
I use melatonin with my 5yo. and it works really well I use 1/2 of a 3mg a day. From your question I kind of gather you haven't asked her doctor about it, I strongly suggest you do if you haven't. Melatonin can be found in any walmart or vitamin store.
Good Luck.
PS. Some info on melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone, also known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, it is a naturally occurring compound found in humans, animals, microbes and plants. In animals and humans, melatonin levels vary during the daily cycle. It is intimately involved in regulating the sleeping and waking cycles. It is sometimes prescribed by doctors for patients with sleep problems.

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Yes, I have. I get 3 mg tablets for myself I will give my 8 year old half of that and my 3 year old a 4th. We all have melatonin in our bodies naturally but the excess of artificial light and electronics that emit bright LEDs and daylight savings time can deplete us of our melatonin. It's basically harmless to supplement it every now and then,..... It works very well on most people but we can develop a tolerance to the pill form. Leaving us back where we started. As a temporary fix I'd totally reccomend it.

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Hi W.,

If this is a matter of being strong willed, melatonin will probably not work. It is subtle to the system and only assists with relaxing as the body should already be doing. At six, she should have the proper amount of melatonin in her system already. Valerian root is something that you may be able to try. It does the same thing but is food vs a hormone. Omegas, that many use for ADD/ADHD is something else that should help too.

A suggestion...get her LIVE blood work done. You'll probably have to call around to some health stores to see who in your town does it. Medical doctors use to years back but been retrained not to look at your blood work when it is still living. It still has merit and has helped my sleepy, never wants to go to bed, strong willed teenager a lot!

God bless,
M.

PS Most health professionals don't charge but $25 or $30 for this service with a short consult....

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I wouldnt give her any more than 300mcg. This is a natural thing not really a drug. Every one produces melatonin. Both of my younger children take this, My son has been taking it for around a year. He was 8 when he started. Dont feel like you are medicating her, this is something that is natural. I dont like medications for myself or children, I try to go natural if at all possible.

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start with 1mg tablet for her first... but I would consider this a safe alternative and is a lifesaver for many kids that just really struggle with the sleep thing! Good luck!

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My 8 yr old dr said it was fine to give her a low dose. I got mine at Walmart. they have different dosages start with the lowest and give about an hr or 2 before you want her to go to bed. My daughter has ADHD and it helped a little.

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whole foods and walmart where vitamins are but on the package it states its not safe for children under 18 and pregnant woman. I would consult pediatrician first

Hi W.-

Some of my kiddos have been 'night owls' since birth! It just seems to be their sleep pattern...and no matter WHAT I did...they were/are up late!

I have no suggestions...but wanted to let you know, for me, just accepting it was all that worked!

Best Luck!
michele/cat

Since I am not aware of your daughter's history, a question I would have is what is her diet like? Do she get a good balance of protein, complex carbs, water? Is she active during the day? Does she take a nap? What time does she get up.

I realize these are a lot of questions, but when I conduct a nutrition consultation these are questions I would ask a person in order to help them.

Giving your daughter protein at every meal will balance her blood sugars. Being active during the day her body will naturally want to shut down and sleep at night.

Also, is she sleeping a sound sleep? My daughter was not sleeping through the night even at age 4. I cut out her naps, and many other things. What was happening is she was snoring during the night and she would wake herself up. So I put her on a half dose of a supplement called NutriFeron and within a week she was sleeping through the night.

One last thing, a calcium/magnesium/vitamin D supplement may help. The benefits of this supplement are: the magnesium helps calm the body naturally and helps absorb calcium into the body, calcium is good for the bones, and the list of benefits of vitamin D are endless.

A word of caution on the melatonin, this could have long term affects on her. If you give her melatonin, it could throw her body out of balance and she may be dependant on it for a long term.

Hope this helps.

I am with you sister! I have four kids and two of them are sleep nightmares!!!!! I haven't drugged them but have found something that works for us. If you warm milk on the stove (no microwave) before she goes to bed it releases a drug called tryptophan which is a sleep agent used in most sleeping pills. I do the same routine each night and they drink the warm milk while we read a book and it seems to work like a charm.

Good luck!

P.S. I forgot to mention that the whole concept of wearing them down before bed is the worst thing for my bad sleepers, I can never get them down if we do not keep it ultra mellow.

You might try a calcium supplement about an hour before bed. You know, the old wives tale about warm milk helping bring on sleep...it's the calcium.
There is also a mix called "calm" out there that has magnesium in it. My granddaughter has taken it and it seems to help her "settle" before bed. Her little mind just keeps racing and keeps her up a night.
A warm...very warm bath with some lavender could help too.
As for the melatonin...no clue if it is or isn't recommended for little ones or how much to give.

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