Melatonin for toddlers? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-20-2004, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am looking for advice to pass onto a friend. Can anyone suggest any resources, online or otherwise, for using melatonin to improve sleep patterns in a toddler? Also, I'd appreciate resources for behavioral issues related to sleep deprivation and to unhealthy sleep patterns that are not related to parental conditioning (i.e. don't know why the child doesn't sleep well, but he doesn't and it clearly affects his waking behavior.) I've found some stuff online, but don't really know how to evaluate it's reliability, so I figured I'd ask here for some expert advice!

Thank you!
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Old 07-15-2004, 01:09 PM
 
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bumping cuz i really want to know!

Helping women overcome postpartum depression and birth trauma. http://www.postmommyhood.com

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Old 07-15-2004, 02:11 PM
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I read that taking melatonin can slow down/stall your body's natural production of melatonin, and that it isn't a good idea to take it until you're in your twilight years and your natural production has already slowed/stalled.
That's just what I read. Now, could he take it for a brief period just to get his clock right?
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Old 07-15-2004, 08:28 PM
 
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My MIL's naturopath reccomended it for DD so I looked it up on medline and there are actually two studies where they gave it to kids as young as 2 for insomnia. I gave it to DD when we travelled to Europe to get our clocks right. I also gave it to her for a week recently because for some reason her clock got really out of whack and she was overtired and sleeping badly and it was just getting worse all the time. I did not take it the way the naturopath said to because I didn't really trust her or my MIL to relay the correct information anyway. Plus I have no idea if this woman had credentials or what. It did cause me to look it up. My regular doc said that she would not reccomend it because there are only two studies out there usig it in kids (short term, like 3 months or so) and so she would rather prescribe a FDA approved drug for liability issues.
So I gave 1 mg even though the studies were using 5 mg and the naturopath said to use 5 too.
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:37 AM
 
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Our pedi recommended for us to use melatonin for our DD that has sleep problems. We don't use it all the time but we do use it for short periods to get her sleep patterns half way normal and discontinue for a few months and start again. She usually isn't on it longer than a few weeks at a time though. My DD has SPD and PDD and has major issues with sleeping and is now just turning 2 yrs old.
Personally, I would rather use melatonin than using a script drug even though I know it's not FDA approved yet.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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i was told by my ND to not use melatonin at all becvause when you use it your body stops making its own sleep signals and instead starts relying on melatonin to kick start the sleep signals.
dd1 is a terrible sleeper, what works for us to get good sleep is:
bedtime routine, goes potty, brushes teeth, gives everyone a hug and kiss goodnight then gets in bed with dh and either gets read to, or he makes shadow puppet theater
then she gets a sip of water and he rubs her back til she sleeps.some nights we break out the big guns and will give her either Bachs Rescue Sleep, or Hylands Calms Forte for kids, and rub Badger sleep balm on her chest and back.
its TOUGH having a constantly sleep deprived child. their behavior is HORRIBLE and its really trying for a parent. i know first hand.
most nights bedtime takes 45 minutes, sometimes less, sometimes more, but getting angry over a childs innability to fall asleep wont do much good we have learned.
alot of children need help from their parents to get to sleep, the transition from go go go all day to winding down and resting our bodies is tough when you are a kid, especially a young one.
my suggestion is the afore mentioned remedies, plus finding what works, a story, a back rub, a foot massage,a song, etc.

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Old 09-24-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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We're in a very similar situation. We're going to try a few more things but DD's ND said we could try melatonin as an absolute last resort but only use it for 3 days and see if that can somehow jump start her system into a normal wake and sleep pattern.

Still a sleepy mama to my fabulous 2 year old girl
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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We use melatonin for my 3 1/2 yo on the advice of his ND. We use 1mg and she said we could go up to 3mg but we have never needed that much. His sleep cycles are very erratic when not on it and incredibly regular when we use it. I have read some information about people with eczema having naturally low melatonin levels. He has eczema and he also has SPD.

I trust my ND and her credentials and feel good about what we are doing. I always suggest that people should do their own research and feel comfortable with their choices.

Wendi
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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my sister told me that meletonin interferes with the gonads but everything i read on meletonin didnt mention that. i read that it is actually benificial to to take meletonin. that there wasnt any major negative consiquences. i have a two year old who stays up late and gets up early. he would just run in circles til he passed out. we have been giving him meletonin. i read the comment above about eczema and the natural meletonin making ability. my son also has eczema. i do think its pretty harmless but a good idea to give your body a break from it too.

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Old 09-25-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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If a baby is over 1 wouldn't a spoonfull of honey help?
Like it says in the hibernation thread for adults..?

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Old 09-25-2008, 02:18 AM
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I used to take it and although it usually helped me fall asleep, I wouldn't give it to a young child. IME, its very potent and always left me feeling groggy the whole next day..and not as present as usual. Just my .02..
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:59 AM
 
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Yes, try honey first, like the pp said...it's a natural melatonin precursor, and will stimulate the body to produce its own as long as all the lights are out, and there are no artificial lights leaking from a streetlight, open door, etc. The body can't produce its own melatonin in the presence of even a small amount of light.

Overuse of supplemental melatonin can shrink the pineal glad, iirc, decreasing the body's ability to make its own melatonin.

The way the honey works is that it triggers an insulin release, which triggers tryptophan, which triggers seratonin, which converts to melatonin as long as there is no light in the room. The dose for adults is 1-2 TBS right before bed. Perhaps a couple of teaspoons for a toddler? You'll have to experiment.

Here's the thread about it:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=932971

HTH!

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Old 09-25-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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I am a social worker and had an adolescent male on my caseload taking melatonin for sleep issues. His therapist told us that it can be harmful for young males to take since they haven't reached puberty yet. I don't remember exactly what he described, but it had to do with the size of the testicals.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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Moved to health and healing..

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Old 09-25-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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we tried the honey, dd1, dh and myself. it worked really well at getting us all to sleep. the only problem was the intense vivid dreams we had. dd1 couldnt handle them,, and after three nights with honey we stopped cause it was just too intesnse for us.

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Old 09-25-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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I think the approach should depend on the reason that melatonin is low. Melatonin has anti-oxidant properties and kids with high toxic loads (like mine) use it up fast. I supplement 1mg for each of them every night and plan to continue until I get their toxic load down enough that their body's ability to make melatonin matches their need. At some point we'll need to slowly taper down, but until then I think it's actively good for them. I supplement myself as well, for the same reasons.
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