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Melatonin safe for 31 month old?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have read conflicting stuff on it and want to hear from you mamas. I picked up some Zabrees Night time cough syrup and it has .5 mg of melatonin. I don't want my son to become dependent on it but his sleep has been terrible since he was a baby and it could really use some help. He is congested and his allergies are affecting his sleep and I really don't want to resort to benadryl (my hubby suggested it). It wouldn't be used long term but maybe just to get his sleep adjusted and cycle back to normal. Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 18

We've used melatonin off and on for both my kids since they were around two. They are not dependent on it at all. My daughter however was an extremely bad sleeper from birth, so her pediatrician recommended it. It works well for her, but we only give it to her when she seems to be having a great deal of trouble falling asleep (taking more than an hour to fall asleep after the routine is finished/lights out), or if she is awake for more than an hour in the middle of the night. There haven't seemed to be any side effects immediate or long term. Like I said she has always been a terrible sleeper, but she has become a better sleeper as she's gotten older. She's 6 now. I also occasionally give it to my son who is 3.5y, but much less often. 

post #3 of 18

I use melatonin for my DD when ever she is sick, to help her sleep through it. It also boosts the immune system which is an added bonus. I have done this since she was 2, and she has no issues sleeping with out it.

post #4 of 18

I've never used it but I recall reading somewhere that due to some miscommunication/misunderstanding, the average person exceeds the proper dose by something like 75 times if they follow the directions on the packaging... So I have no constructive advice other than make sure you know you're giving the proper dose smile.gif

post #5 of 18
Where do you find the proper dosing?
post #6 of 18

I'm not sure, I just tried to look it up and it seems it's been banned in Canada, the UK and Europe. 

post #7 of 18

.5 mg is a lot for anyone, much less a two year old.  I personally wouldn't give any melatonin to a child that young.  I've used it a few times for my now 11 yr old (first time was last year) b/c she is an athlete and stresses out a lot before a competition.  She's an anxious kid anyway and the added stress of a meet just does her in. Her very first meet last year was at 8am and I knew she wouldn't be able to fall asleep the night before.  I asked her pediatrician about using melatonin and she was very reluctant to okay it.  She said she wouldn't give it to her kids.  She told me there are studies that show using it frequently leads to you not producing as much melatonin on your own. Based on this, I struggled with what to do.  I decided since I only planned to ever use it very very infrequently it would probably be okay.  My dd has had it 4 times total.  Once to see if it worked and how she felt the next morning.  I bought Trader Joe's melatonin which is 500 mcg per tablet.  She fell asleep quickly but was very very groggy the next morning.  One tablet was way too much.  For her first meet I gave her less than half a tablet.  So 200 mcg at most. She was still a bit groggy but not too much and about an hour after she woke up she felt fine.  The next two times (once again last year, and once this competition season) I again gave her less than half a tablet.  Plenty.  I've only given it to her for early morning meets and fortunately she's only had three ever.  She doesn't have any more early ones this season fortunately.  Next year, who knows.  Hopefully she'll be more relaxed about competing.  


I personally would go with Benadryl over melatonin any day.  I tried that with my dd but it doesn't work for her (ie it doesn't make her sleepy).  

Edited by neptunemama - 3/19/13 at 11:56am
post #8 of 18
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

I'm not sure, I just tried to look it up and it seems it's been banned in Canada, the UK and Europe. 


It has not been banned here. You can buy it at the store.

post #9 of 18
I would not risk melatonin because I would not want to risk messing with brain chemistr
post #10 of 18
I've read that cherry juice is a natural source.
post #11 of 18
My kids (ages 6 and 8) take melatonin several times a week. We buy the Trader Joe's one and they either take 1 or 2 (1/2 mg or 1 mg.) We've never had a problem with them being groggy or having nightmares at those low doses.
post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by MountainMamaGC View Post


It has not been banned here. You can buy it at the store.


You're right, I just found it at Costco... instructions say to take 1-2 tablets (5mg each) bigeyes.gif

post #13 of 18
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post


You're right, I just found it at Costco... instructions say to take 1-2 tablets (5mg each) bigeyes.gif


I would not do that. lol.  I buy 1 mg tablets and give her 1/4 tablet. I have given it to her at most 5 -6 times in a year. I would not consider it for daily use, but on occasion I think its fine.


Lots of things affect brain chemistry, like foods, and hugs.

post #14 of 18

I wouldn't give melatonin to a child that young. I would consider chamomile or hops tea or a small small amount of tincture. 2.5 seems really young to go that route. How are the night time rituals? Have you considered taking more time to settle down and creating more affirming sleep time rituals? Aromatherapy can be very helpful in these situations as well.

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies ladies, I actually gave it to him a few nights and while it helps him go to sleep he actually slept horribly through the night...more so than usual. I know his last 2 molars are coming in but could he really have been teething for 6 months straight with his 2 year molars? I am so sleep deprived I can hardly type o.o. I was going to see if the benadryl would help his night time allergies/sleeplessness but the offbrand said not to give to kids under 6, and the name brand said 2 + but the name brand had some questionable ingredients and I feel awful about drugging him. He has "reflux damage" on 2 of his molars so I am pretty sure he has reflux but I am not sure of the cause. Either way, I dread going to sleep at night because he tosses and turns and nurses from one boob to the other allllll night long. I feel like neither of us are sleeping more than 1-2 hours without waking. I cut out dairy for almost 2 weeks last month and we had some of the best nights of sleep ever...I think I am on to something!

post #16 of 18

Have you ever heard of valerian root? My mom used to give that to me to get me to sleep me (and made it no secret lol). At the time she gave it to me, it came in brown sugar coated pills (kind of like mini m&m's) but apparently you can take it yourself and transfer it via breastmilk. You're just warned to be careful if you're co-sleeping because you yourself will sleep deeper. But with a child almost 3 years old that might not be as much of a problem anymore.

I'm not sure of its safety or if it's even available anymore, that just seemed to be a common thing to do at the time... maybe you could check with your doctor if you're running out of ideas.


I say if you're that sleep deprived, don't feel bad about "drugging" your toddler to get some sleep, especially if you have to drive. Being sleep deprived can be just as bad as driving drunk. 

post #17 of 18
Valerian root is readily available. It is very strong medicine for a young one tho. Althora, I am so sorry you guise are having such problems. Have you tried homeopathic teething tablets? Hylands is an easily available brand. Hth.
post #18 of 18
My ten year old has been taking melatonin since around two or three on the advice of a sleep specialist. He has bipolar mood disorder and poor sleep is a big party of that. Lack of sleep can drive him into mania, so we use melatonin to regulate his sleep. My adult son has narcolepsy and uses melatonin occasionally. Neither of my kiddos has ever had any noticeable bad effects.

Have you considered eliminating dairy in all its forms? Doing that made a huge difference when my older son was little and had terrifyingly bad obstructive apnea and other issues.
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