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.

Kelly Mcnabb

some of you are such prudes!!! i say if it works for all & it's safe...rock on!! we all need sleep, it just comes a little easier for some! i personally get less than 6 hrs of sleep & i can't say that at any time it's more than a 2 hr stretch before i wake up agian. my almost 4 yr old does not sleep well either! he suffers to sleep a full night due to night terrors, he has been to a dr several times, they keep telling us he will "out grow" them, so do i let him suffer w/o sleep until this happens?? sleepless in charlotte nc!

nonmember avatar Trisha

There are always going to be people that agree and disagree no matter what the subject is, especially when it comes to kids. My 6 year old suffered from horrible nightmares, sleep walking and would walk around in a daze because of lack of sleep, then her doctor, and a therapist both agreed on melatonin, now she has been on it for 2 years. She has done absolutely great on it, she sleeps very well, she is not groggy in the morning. Some studies show that melatonin has benefits when used with children. While some are going to disagree no matter what, its not healthy to have a overly sleep deprived child who can not function normally. I think it is the question of whether the child needs it, or whether the adult wants the child to "need" it. There is a big difference.

nonmember avatar ally

Don't Agree!! Drugs "Natural" Or Not! Its Your Kid Deal With It Like Everyone Else And Quit Whining!!

Leann Latus

As an infant and child sleep consultant I do not recommend this to my clients. There just isn't enough evidence to prove its safe for children. I would lean more towards consistent bedtime routine, quiet time before bed, good day time naps, and teaching your children independent sleep habits. If you have a child who goes to sleep just fine, but wakes you in the night; there is something that child has not learned about independent sleep.

Amy Azcarate

Omg.. get over it you moms that discourage this. It's Melatonin! Hello????? ALL NATURAL. Perhaps you should go read up on it before you try to put your two cents in.

nonmember avatar Rachel

yea that stuff is dangerous for adults why give it to a kid?

Jackie Courtney Leoncavallo

I've used melatonin for years. My daughter's ped ran some tests after listening to the horror of my nights and found out that my daughter doesn't make enough on her own, so I give her melatonin every night. There are some nights she falls asleep without it but she's awake after just a few hours and stays awake. I'm a staunch supporter of melatonin use if the child genuinely needs it.

nonmember avatar jennifer

My doctor recommended. Me to try melatonin for my.daughter who never sleeps and refuses to.get up for school when. I love it however I cut it in half and then in half again and give her a small half.. she only gets it a hour before bedtime and only everyother night to every three nights.. sometimes when she can sleep and knows she's tired she will even come to me and say mommy can u give me my sleep medicine.. I don't over do it and I don't give hera hole pill and she does fine gets up forschool better and is happy in the morrnings .. she's 5. My 1year old goes to sleep fine but wakes up every two hours.. however I don't give it to him, I belive he's to young. I think it u give them a smaller amount and not ever night that its fine and helps a lot.. my friend was babysitting my kids and forgot to put the bottle back in the cabinet where my son couldn't reach and he got agile of them she freaked and called me at work and she called a emt friend while I called poison controll and both.said it would not harm him, be cause it s a natural sleepaid and not to worrie he just be more tired. So anything I can my house that can help sleep and is natural and won't hurt if the kids get ahold of it is good for me. I also don't like to give my kids medicines. Such as tylonol or anything that is not natural.. but melatonin is natural and safe...

Beth Rice

I am a mother of 5 children. I have 3 boys and 2 girls. My oldest is odd/adhd. and I have used melatonin on him from the age of 5-9 just so he could get his sleep habit correct after being put on adhd meds. and spending time with his father. Now my other children are 9, 5, 3 and 2, and yes i have given them melatonin as a sleep aid. at the recommendation of the family doctor because they are rough to get to sleep. Now i have only ever used the 1 mg never anything higher. and the way it was explained to me is like this. If you eat turkey then you are already ingesting melatonin so to give your child a little extra help will not make them addicted or hurt them any,!!!!!!

nonmember avatar Just Thomas

I don't see anything wrong with it... Many people on here are being so judgemental and harsh!! What works for one family may not work for another but that doesn't make it wrong! Most of the people here who are so against this *drug* melatonin probably take their kids to McDonald's at least twice a week and give then Hawaiian punch... Those two items alone will do your body much more harm... Get over yourselves... Who's become ill from melatonin? Nobody...Have a nice day

41-50 of 128 comments First 34567 Last