Melatonin Dosage for 3.5 Year Old

Updated on October 10, 2011
J.L. asks from Austin, TX
12 answers

Our 3.5 year old son cannot go to sleep! The past two nights he did not go to sleep until 11 pm and the week before he did not go to sleep before 10 pm. We have tried everything under the sun to get him to settle down and nothing works (including Bach's sleep remedy). We are at the end of our rope, so we decided to get him some Melatonin. From what I read online, the recommended dosage for children is anywhere between .3 mg to 1.0 mg. Has anyone used Melatonin as a sleep aid for their preschooler and how much did you give them? Thank you!!!

P.S. I should add that I bought the liquid form of Melatonin.

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So What Happened?

It worked like a charm! I gave him .6 mg and he fell asleep at 8:30 pm. This morning he woke up refreshed and in a good mood. I wish I could use it again tonight, but we plan on only giving it to him if absolutely necessary. Thanks for all the answers!

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answers from Austin on

DO NOT GIVE MELATONIN TO KIDS! Melatonin is not meant for kids. It can actually jump start puberty. My son is going through this as well, but we just keep sending him back to bed whenever he gets up, and we still wake him up at his normal time in the mornings. Is he still napping? If he is try to either eliminate the nap, or drop it down to a much shorter nap, he may be oversleeping in the afternoon, as is happening with my son.

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answers from Dallas on

We buy the .3 and break them in half. It works very well for my 4 and 5 yr old. They go to sleep within 15 minutes without all the fussing and getting up over and over. They wake up refreshed and happy, not groggy the way they did before we started the melatonin. I dont give it on the weekends because I dont want them to forget how to self soothe.

Thanks Denise for posting that article. The next couple paragraphs were very helpful.
They found that the melatonin significantly improved almost all aspects of sleep in most of the children and around 93% recorded significant benefits. The average number of hours sleep that the children had each week increased by around 10%, from 54 hours/week before taking the melatonin to 66 hours/week while taking the melatonin. The number of interruptions to sleep each week decreased by 50% from an average of seven interruptions per week before taking the melatonin, to 3.5 interruptions while taking the drug. Also, the number of hours of interrupted sleep decreased by 45%, from nine hours awake each week during a sleep interruption pre melatonin, to five hours per week while taking melatonin.

There were no major side effects from the medication in any of the children and importantly there was no change in the frequency or severity of seizures in children with epilepsy. Boys and girls were equally likely to respond well to melatonin. The visually impaired children were the most likely to have success with melatonin, but around three-quarters of the fully sighted children also responded very well.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

Talk to his Dr. im sure they will start him on the lowest dose. you can always increase after a week.

My son (8) is to be taking it but it doesn't work for him so they had to actually put him on sleeping pills... hate the idea but the poor guy is ADHD and he literally was sleeping 3 broken hours a night.

** ADDED**
be prepared for some VERY vivid dreams! My son would get scared on occasion with his dreams because they seemed so real.

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answers from Fort Walton Beach on

5 mg dissolvable tablets are available over the counter and should be just fine for a 3.5 year old.

I would also suggest (I have suggested to all my neighbors who have children your son's age) valerian. It is all natural herb and is safe to give to a child. With this, you are not drugging up your child to force them to sleep. This actually helps calm their nerves down (like when I try to go to sleep, but my mind is racing with what's going on at work or in the week).

It's fairly reasonable. If you pick the liquid version, stick it in some chamomile iced tea and that will help with sleep.

We do this for our son who has ADHD and it helps calm him down at night to get him to sleep. Our pediatrician and his psychiatrist request us to continue to keep him on the melatonin. He has sleep issues. It is not a cure-all, but it is helping. He really like his tea every night at dinner.

Good luck :)

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answers from Chicago on

My DD has needed to use it for the past 3 yrs and we give her about 1.5 mg to 3 mg if needed. She's never had an issue with bad or vivid dreams and seems to have no issues with it. We first used a liquid, I think Natrol, and when she fought the flavor we got NOW chewable and she loves them. We found diet to be the main culprit of our problems and now she only tends to need the Melatonin when she's in a reaction from eating the wrong thing. Could it be his food?

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answers from Sacramento on

Our son took 1 mg. when he was four. We've had to go up to 3 mg. at some points but now at age 8, he's only on 2 mg.

Our son has ADHD and can't fall asleep on his own at a decent hour (as in, before midnight+) without melatonin. Never had a single problem with it. It's a godsend!

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answers from Chicago on

Ha, you need to talk to your doctor about this b/c you do not want to know how much it takes for my child with a sleep disorder - 10 .3 mg drops nightly. An adult should take 1-3 .3mg drops. The Vitamin Shoppe has liquid drops that we put in a 3oz glass of juice at night.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Here's some info from

Although it's available without a prescription in the USA (where it's sold as a "dietary" substitute), melatonin is not available at all in the UK or Australia.

Sleep disturbance is common in childhood, and is particularly problematic in children with neurological problems such as learning difficulties, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy, as well as children with visual impairment (partial or complete). This is probably because these children have difficulty recognising and attuning their sleep cycle to the outside world's sleep-wake cycle.

Little is known about how useful or safe melatonin really is as a treatment for childhood sleep disturbance. A number of reports describing the use of melatonin in small numbers of children, have suggested that it is useful and probably safe, but no studies have been published where the drug has been used on larger numbers of children. Additionally, no randomised controlled studies testing the safety and effectiveness of melatonin have been performed. These types of studies are necessary to properly establish the effectiveness and safety of the drug in treating paediatric sleep problems. Evidence from adult studies suggests that melatonin generally seems very safe, but potentially it can promote depression, worsen epilepsy and delay puberty. These authors report on one of the largest groups of children with neurological problems using melatonin. (Sadly it wasn't a randomised trial).

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answers from Austin on

Well you say you've tried everything under the sun (that you know about) but not sure what those things are since what I know and what you know may be different.
The reason my son doesn't go to sleep sometimes when he's scheduled to is usually due to lack of exercise/activity. It's very important for children to get an adequate amount of exercise each day to ensure their sleep pattern is not interrupted. It's physiological how this all works together but you can do research on the internet which supports.
Occasionally, when my son is having trouble sleeping, I'll give him a shot glass size of warm milk. After I heat it up so it's warm, I hand it to him and tell him that it has magic in it and is guaranteed to put any kid right to sleep. He drinks it right up and within 10 minutes, he's fast asleep. I've been using this method for over a year now and it has yet to fail me.
Hope that helps,



answers from Killeen on

Personally, I say none at all. Without having tried everything and I mean everything....let him sleep when he goes to sleep. I do not even let my teens take medicine to sleep....we simply shut down all technology 2 hours before bedtime, they take a nice warm shower and read a few chapters while in bed. There are many other options, warm milk, chamomile tea (sp) I urge you to speak to your doctor and look at why he hasn't been going to sleep....if it's only been 2 nights, it could be that he has something going on, at daycare or at home, or simply part of a growing spurt....maybe daycare is letting him sleep too long at naptime??? There has to be a reason...just my opinion but hope it helps.


answers from Dover on

Call the pediatrician. Whether it's a naturally-made chemical or not, it may not be the safest method for your pre-schooler.



answers from San Antonio on

My teens have been on melatonin to help them sleep when they are stressed. Their bodies are much bigger and they take more, in pill form, but our doc recommended starting low dosage for a couple days and working your way up ONLY if needed. Everyone metabolizes meds differently.

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