Sleep Aids for Kids Are This Mom's Dream Come True

Say What!? 128

kid asleepHave you ever found yourself exhausted because your little one kept waking up during the night or took forever to fall asleep? Or have you seen firsthand what lack of sleep looks like on a 4-year-old who can’t fall asleep before she passes out from sheer exhaustion at 11 p.m. only to wake up three more times before her official wake time at 7 a.m.? Have you ever been the parent driving around all over town at all hours of the night to get your toddler to sleep?

You're not alone. There are many parents who have been operating on limited sleep since their little ones were born, myself included. While I have insomnia, after a few days with no sleep for me or my kids, it’s almost too much to bear. What to do when you're going on eight years of little to no sleep? Collapse of exhaustion? Run off with the circus? Start eyeballing the Benadryl? Put a little whiskey on the binky? Maybe a little melatonin in the Sippy cup at bedtime?

I'm joking.

I'd never consider Benadryl -- though I have heard other moms “joke” about it. It's a drug, and as a general rule, I try to steer clear of drugging my children. I’m sure you do too.

I've also balked at the whiskey on the binky suggestion, given to me by a random old woman I met in the pediatrician's office waiting room. Again, I try not to drug my children if at all possible.

But I do give my kids melatonin to help them sleep.

Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep and it occurs naturally in our own bodies. It sounds pretty harmless and some pediatricians do give it the thumbs-up (others don't). So after careful consideration -- my kids need sleep and so do I -- I started giving it to them.

I've even started taking it myself.

After almost eight years of not having a full night of uninterrupted sleep, I was desperate. And melatonin works! Unlike when I’ve taken other prescription sleep aids, there is no "hangover" the next day. It seems almost too good to be true. And the truth is, all that being said, I don’t like to take risks with my children’s health. I'm wondering if my sleep-deprivation is making me rationalize this whole thing. What do you think?

Is melatonin a safe, natural miracle for parents who need sleep, or is it merely another way to drug a child?

Image via The TRUTH about Motherhood


bedtime, child care, confessions, toddler health, toddler sleep


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Ashley

That is a horrible idea. My ex husband was giving my daughter that since she was one an i didnt find out til last yr an i was outrage. If u look on the bottle it saids not recommended for anyone under eighteen. The doctors told me that it was child abuse to give ur kids that, it can cause so many side effects an health problems. Dhs was involved with my ex husband since he was giving that to our little girl. An the doctors did tell me that they can not detect it an i think it should be off the market cause someone can get away with murder of they decide to over dose someone an it kills them an they wld get away with it cus they dr cant detect it. It also saids on the bottle dont take no mre than one in that day an i found out he gave her four within the hour. So i think its wrong to give kids that. Theres a reason why it saids not for anyone under eighteen.

Heath... HeatherJo11

I don't know anything about melatonin, but I do get the desperation of exhaustion & looking into anything that's considered safe. But to the people that are saying its probably lifestyle, diet,no structure, too much tv/ ipad... are you crazy? Sometimes children & babies just WONT sleep. No amount of comfy socks or heating blankets can fix it. Even with the quiet time before bed, a structured happy homelife, & no illness or reason. They just won't sleep. I swear, I haven't been truly untired since before I had children.

count... countrygirl6241

my pediatrician told me to give my 2.5 year old melatonin every night because he was having trouble both getting to sleep and staying asleep. well I can say after 3 months of use it does NOT work. it gets him to sleep no problem but he wakes up at least 3 times a night. so this mommy is still sleep deprived

AngelaDD AngelaDD

I tried melatonin for a short time with my oldest son he wasn't falling asleep for hours after bed time and waking up my other sleeping children my dr said it was fine abd we only used it for a short time before hearing about some study that said it could cause issues in the puberty years if used everynight for over a year thankfully we used it for a short time and it did help establish a schedule for my son and he has had no problems falling asleep without it.

nonmember avatar Angie

Even though they believe it is safe today, that might not be the case in another five years. I would really hesitate to I've my child a medication that he didn't legitimately need just for a little more sleep. My honest opinion is that it is a little selfish. Kids aren't supposed to sleep well all the time. They're kids!

the4m... the4mutts

While i believe that its safe to do, and my kids' pedi reccomended it, i wont use it on my kids. I used it myself several times, and not only did it not work, it gave me wacko dreams when i finally did fall asleep. I wont do that to my kids.

Im not saying others shouldnt. Whatever works for you! All im saying is that my kids have my DNA, and i wouldnt want to give them something that my own body rejects.

nonmember avatar k

No judgment here, bc I understand sleep deprivation and it's effects as much as the nextgal with 3 kids of my own.....But has anyone stopped to think that waking up at night is what we've evolved to do? People didn't use to live in nice houses in the burbs, they used to live in nature and waking up at night, especially for small defenseless children was a way to stay safe and with the group that would protect it. I wouldn't want to quell my child's natural instincts for the sake of my personal convenience.

twili... twilightsbella

Im against this. U dnt give ur child stuff to help them sleep. U knew u would lose sleep once u have kids so suck it up dnt have kids than

Tonia Ware Decker

My son has been taking melatonin since he was 4 yrs old. He literally would be up all night if he didnt take it. I did make sure to get his doctors approval first.

JosiahandAdrian Monks

Melatonin does not work well with my little boy. He wakes up terrified.

When I've taken it I've had awful dreams so I'm thinking we just react badly to it.

11-20 of 128 comments First 12345 Last