Many adults have started supplementing with melatonin in an attempt to get better sleep. As parents, we love our children. We will do everything we can to protect them from harm, to ensure they get proper nutrition, and to make sure they grow up to be happy.
Sometimes, our children test our patience. When your young baby cries and you cannot decipher what they are trying to say, you can become frustrated. But it is important to remember that crying is your child’s only form of expression, and you should never resort to using drugs or supplements on your child to get them to stop crying.
There is an old wives tale that young babies who have trouble sleeping at night should be given melatonin. Melatonin has been used medicinally to treat depression, cardiovascular disease and other disorders. It is believed to have an effect on brain and memory, and some doctors recommend it for children who suffer from ADHD.
No matter what you have heard from family members or friends, giving melatonin to your baby is not a good idea. Melatonin should not be taken by pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding either. It is very harmful to young infants and children and can have very adverse effects on your child’s growth and development.
Can I Give My Baby Melatonin? Answer: No.
If your child is having trouble sleeping, you need to consult your child’s doctor. They will be able to decipher the culprit of the problem and teach you effective ways to help your child sleep better or prescribe a medication that is perfectly safe for your child to consume.
Dangers of Melatonin for Babies
Giving your child melatonin without a doctor’s consent is extremely dangerous. Aside from it being hazardous to their health, you have no idea what type of dosage your child would require, and you run the risk of giving them too much. Overdosing on any drug can cause very serious developmental problems, such as brain disorders, or even death.
For older children and adults, melatonin has been used to help cure some sleep disorders. In adults, melatonin is only recommended for short term use, and should never be used for lengthy periods of time.
Safe Sleeping Remedies
If your child is having trouble sleeping, it is recommended to try and develop a routine that will help your baby become more relaxed. Keep your child away from anything that will overstimulate them at night. Try sticking to the same soothing routine every night. Maybe this includes a bath, or being read a story. Keep to the same schedule and routine every night, and your child may find it easier to get to sleep.
You should also try putting your child down for the night when they are tired, but not already asleep. This teaches them to “self-soothe” and learn how to fall asleep themselves. Plus, if your child is always falling asleep on you, they may become dependent on you, or even your scent, in order to fall asleep, making it more difficult for them to sleep on their own.
Make Bedtime Special
You can also try giving your child a special goodnight toy, such as a teddy bear. This object may help soothe your baby from separation anxiety and help them calm themselves if they wake in the night.
If your child has trouble sleeping, you should never give them melatonin. It is not safe for your child, women who are pregnant, or women who are nursing. You should never give a child any medication without a doctor’s consent as you run the risk of poisoning your child or overdosing them. If your child has trouble sleeping, there are other non-medicinal things you can try to help soothe your child at night. Stay away from anything that will get them worked up or excited and focus on things that will keep your child relaxed, such as a bedtime story or a bath. It is also very important to stick with a routine and a schedule consistently.
When to Talk to Your Pediatrician
If these methods are not working, you should consult your child’s doctor. They will be able to assess their sleeping patterns more thoroughly and help you find a plan that works best for your child and your family. If your child’s doctor does prescribe a medication, you can know that they are getting something safe and in the correct dosage.