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


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nonmember avatar courtney

All i know is commonly people are using over the recommended dose, and you are only supposed to use it for a short period of time to regulate your sleep. No I won't give it to my kids, and I have three very active boys, which I am woke up every night by. I just know it will get better. And if there is a medical issue than i would talk to your pediatrician, then get a second opinion and do lots of research before you put your kids on any habit forming or non habit forming drugs or herbs.

Anne Nealon

The thing is, if you are giving your children these "naturally occurring hormones" their bodies will stop making them is self and they will, most likely, have sleeping issues when they are no longer given the pills. Short term solutions can cause long term problems.

Tiffany Stotler

I use it all the time. My kids are AWFUL when they don't get enough sleep. My sanity can only handle so much.

nonmember avatar Megan

I believe Melatonin is safe compared with many other option. However, I don't think it should be a go-to for just a simple nights sleep. If there is an on-giong problem, and all other possible triggers have been addressed- too much soda, tv, lack of routine, etc- then I believe it is a viable option with medical consult first. There are many children who have simple reasons they won't sleep. But this mom sounds like she has addressed the other options. It is a naturally occurring substance, but by adding more into your body there can be side effects. However, acting like this is giving your kid meth is a little off the deep end. And to say "it was child abuse to give ur kids ", "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." is quite excessive. You don't even sound educated by posting any of that. There are mommy's out there who have tried everything in their book, and there are times when other options need to be explored. In those times, yes I believe this is a potential solution to help regulate your child for their own health and yours.

nonmember avatar Jolene Alberico

Melatonin saved our house. My son who has CP in his legs and Autism Spectrum could never fall asleep. If he did, then he couldnt stay asleep. Friends told me for years and I was very nervous 2 try it. AMAZING!!! He sleeps great now,he isn't 2 tired for school every morning. I don't feel like I'm drugging my child,it being natural and all. We also go 2 some very large and respected children's hospitals. I'm around Doctors that I have trusted for 10years,that I think are amazing and I have never been given a bad comment about it,steered away,nothing. All I can say is it works 4 us and has helped our mornings for 2 years now.

nonmember avatar Laura

My son is 4 years old and has Autism. He would be awake all night long for weeks at a time he might not sleep for 3 days at a time. His pediatrician recommended it and I wasn't sure so I got a second opinion from his developmental pediatrician and he also said to use it. So he has been taking it for about a year and it has worked wonders for him. He sleeps for about 8 hours a night now with a few exceptions, no bad dreams. He wakes up happier each morning and is able to follow a normal routine now. In fact I am currently slowly taking him off of it to reevaluate if it did its job to recondition his brain to sleep when he needs it. It works great for us and its a beautiful thing to see him so happy and focused now. (He takes nothing else, I hate to even give Motrin unless I have too). I think my other kids are happier now because their brother isn't so grumpy anymore ;)

binbon86 binbon86

I have two sons with adhd and odd and I've gone to a specialist who said it was fine. my 7yo gets up after an hr of sleep and eats me out of house while my five yo refuses to go to sleep and will stay up all night playing or talking to the dog or chasing the cat when we had one. melatonin has helped tremendously.

nonmember avatar MommyOfTwo

I don't agree with anything you buy that has to be dosed out or anything like that. If your kid needs sleep, try celestial seasonings Sleepytime Tea. Works great! There is even one specifically for kids that is grape. Chamomile in it works wonders. Just don't load it up with sugar.

Dee Milam

I completely disagree with giving a child ANYTHING to promote what should be natural sleep. Have tests done if you need to, but don't medicate your children with unproven stuff. Geesh.

nonmember avatar Shannon Carter

Melatonin gave me vivid nightmares and anxiety through the night the one time I tried the liquid version. Obviously it is not for me. I took the dose recommended on the bottle. I will not try it on my kids, ever.

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