16 answers

Melatonin for a 3 Year Old ??

My 3 year old son has been having problems falling asleep. We have a regular nighttime routine of bath and books. He goes to bed at 7pm, but doesn't fall asleep until 1 or 2 hours after. I have tried keeping the room dark, white noise music, weighted blankets, almost everything I can think of... He has a diagnosis of severe ADHD and PDD-NOS (autism). He also has sensory processing disorder. We have been told that he has very little internal regulation, which I presume is keeping him from sleeping. He goes into his room at night yawning and clearly tired, but as the time in his room progresses, he gets more and more wound up. He ends of jumping around his room, lining up his toys, rearranging his room, going batty about any fly he sees flying around. Our psychologist recommended that we give him 1mg of melatonin at night to help him sleep. Our pediatrician said "do whatever his pysch says". but I am worried about giving him this as he is so young. Has anyone else given their child this supplement? How did it work out for them?

What can I do next?

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My ADHD 4.5 year old takes it and has been taking it for about a year. Not all the time, but occasionally. She can take up to 3 mg and does just fine with it. She used to go to bed just FINE but the older she gets, the more often she is still bopping around later and and later--even after a full day of exercise and play. I had to give it to her last night and she was up at 6 a.m. as perky as can be!

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it is a GOD SEND. My dad is a Pedi and when we took our daughter (ADHD) at age 4 b/c I wasn't sleeping b/c she wasn't sleeping - he put her on the Melatonin and it was amazing. We slowly got her off it but if she is having a bad night we keep it on hand (also for us as well) :)

3 moms found this helpful

Hi,
my son also has autism and Melatonin was a god-send. 1 mg is a VERY small dose and is absolutely appropriate for a 3 year old. You can even go on and up it to up to 3 mgs should it not be enough. There even was a study that proofed that Melatonin is safe and effective for young children with autism. I think I saw it on Dr. Kurt Woeller's blog, maybe about a year ago. Should your son have or develop problems with sleeping through the night, there is also a time release version from Kirkman Labs that helps in these cases.
In addition to Melatonin, there are a lot of supplements out there that can help with calm, focus and attention, also during the day. Start educating yourself, there is a lot of information on the internet and don't believe the ones that say it all bogus. Supplements have helped my son so much. Go to Autism.com and consider seeing a DAN doctor.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Our son's developmental pediatrician recommended that we give our son melatonin when he was 3 as well. We don't use it as much now that he is older but I definitely don't know what I would have done without it when he was younger. He would be up for hours, this whirlwind of activity, and if he woke his younger sister up with his noise (which he often did), I would have a screaming/crying little girl on my hands also. Not a good situation when all you want to do is wash the dishes and maybe watch some t.v. after a long day.

Yesterday, while I was at Whole Foods Market, I found a oranged flavored time-release melatonin spray that you can spray under the tongue. The one thing about regular melatonin that I don't like is that it gets you to sleep but it doesn't keep you there. So if you have a kid that is a fireball of energy, you give him the melatonin sublingual and he will go to sleep but that fireball of energy will be waking you up at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. At least, that's been my experience. I'm thinking the time release formula would be better for our son. Each pump of the spray is 1.5 mg of melatonin so you can adjust the dosage that way.

Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I would ask a pharmacist to research any data they can find on melatonin in pediatric patients. Just because pediatricians may or may not recommend doesn't necessarily make it safe.

I've had sleep problems for years. One doctor recommended melatonin, and others I know fiercely debated it.

Another issue is that because it's Over the Counter, there's really little FDA regulation of the products on the market. So, what you get at one store will be a completely different grade than what you get at another store - even reputable stores.

The only relatively current medical study I could find on the subject is in the following link and may or may not address the ADHD/PDD-NOS + internal regulation issues you have with your son:
http://cpj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/42/1/51

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Try it! Our son has severe ADHD as well and can't calm his body at night to fall asleep. By then the ADHD medication is long out of his system and he is just like your son at night ... he just can't get his body to slow down. We tried it all, too, with darkening the room, putting on soft music, keeping it silent in the house, you name it.

Our psychiatrist also recommended melatonin when our son was three and it's awesome! We started small, cutting the 3 mg. tablet into quarters. It kicks in within an hour and our son falls asleep great! He's seven now and takes 1/2 tablet and is doing great. He falls asleep great and is well rested in the morning without being groggy. We love melatonin!

ETA: Since melatonin isn't regulated, there can be great differences between brands. So, definitely start off very small with the dosage and work your way up, as needed. Some brands are pretty potent in small dosages.

1 mom found this helpful

My ADHD 4.5 year old takes it and has been taking it for about a year. Not all the time, but occasionally. She can take up to 3 mg and does just fine with it. She used to go to bed just FINE but the older she gets, the more often she is still bopping around later and and later--even after a full day of exercise and play. I had to give it to her last night and she was up at 6 a.m. as perky as can be!

1 mom found this helpful

I have been giving my soon to be 7 year old melatonin for about 6 months now. It has been the best decision I have ever made. I give it to him about a 1/2 hour before his bed time so when I put him to bed he is sleeping within 15 minutes. I only give him 1.5 mg and that is what works for him.

I posted this question just before I started giving it to him and got beat up about it for even thinking about it from the first few responses. If you check out my questions you can see some of the answers I got.

1 mom found this helpful

We have started using Melatonin for my 7 year old (3mg) and it is stunningly effective. She is quite anxious and would stay up until 11 or 12 in her room worrying and thinking the hours away. Our pedi said it is safe w/out side effects up to 3mg. You will be (happily) shocked if you try it. My only concern is the fact that it is not FDA regulated, so I only buy from reputable companies and reputable stores, but I do give it to my kids. Good luck!

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