Natural Sleep Aid for Preschooler---Yes Im serious - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I adore my little baby, Im not trying to knock him out but I think he could benefit from a little help, and by that I mean chamomile tea or something, is there any herbal teas ( like "sleepytime tea") that is safe to give young children?


He has never slept thru the night, we get a sleep thru the nite maybe 1-2 a month, then he's in our bed.


We brush the teeth, use the potty, read 3-4 stories and then after that, rub his back to sleep...this process takes over an hour...every night


So from 8ish to past 9:30, im trying to get him to sleep huh.gif  


He is highly genetically likely to be more than a "busy boy" and I think this has something to do with him having a very hard time winding down and turning off. (adhd runs frequently on both sides, in severe forms) 


No matter if he napped, if we ran outside in the afternoon or before bed, spoke and played calmly after dinner, nothing makes a consistent difference 


He is nearly 3, leaving him to CIO for sleep is not an option


So what is safe to help him sleep?



Somehow I feel so tired sometimes, i miss the good old days in the 30's when ppl gave their children liquor to knock them out, terrible! 




A Toronto born young mama blowkiss.giffreshly moved for a new adventure in ALBERTA! with Superdaddy superhero.gifand her intact and vax free, breastfed and babyworn Aug09 babenono02.gif attending college for early childhood educationwhale.gif   and being blessed with #2 just in time for Valentines Dayheartbeat.gif pos.gif

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#2 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 05:05 PM
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If he wakes up early or naps late I'm the day then I would bump bedtime up to 9 or 9:30 for a few weeks to see how that goes. If he doesn't wake up all that early and his nap is around one or so I would start bedtime an hour earlier because he is probably overtures and having a hard time settling in. If his naptime and wake up time are all over the place I would try to create more consistency because he is past the age where a loose schedule will be harmful and it may help him get tired and settle in quickly if he is used to resting when the time comes.

He may also settle in better if you just put light pressure on his back but don't pat or rub his back. Rubbing and patting can be very energizing for some children, especially if they are already overstimulated.

Eta: I tried benadril once with dd and it made her extra alert
I have heard that warm milk is calming and knew a family that gave warm milk in a sippy cup at night in bed but there is the cavity issue to worry about.
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#3 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 05:11 PM
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Oh we've joked more than once about benadryling our kids to sleep in this house! Haven't gone there yet though winky.gif


Have you tried calms forte? I thought it *sorta* worked for my kids, and would be worth a try. If my kids are really wound up I load their bath with lavender essential oil. Sometimes I even rub some on their bodies after bath, mixed with a carrier oil-- olive oil works if that's what you have around. I think chamomile is safe and haven't personally tried it, but that might be a good one.

Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)

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#4 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 05:19 PM
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A large spoonful of raw honey before bed is supposed to help the body to produce more melatonin and sleep better due to it's balance of different sugars. Chamomile is an appealing taste to kids and calming...maybe chamomile tea with honey?

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#5 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 05:40 PM
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I have a friend that swears my orange juice 20-30 mins before bed, I don't know why or how it works for her very highly energized boys, but it does!

Cassie, mom to Alex(7), Aidan(5), Andrew(4)

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#6 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 05:46 PM
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Try changing the light suppresses melatonin so, take an evening walk facing into the sunset, turn on yellow lights inside only (no screens without amber gel covers), then at desired bedtime, red light.


The change of the light supposedly triggers the endocrine system into sleep mode.  Worked for us anyhow after years of remedies like Sleep Assure.


I could dig up links if you like....

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#7 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 07:27 PM
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Between my dd1 (who's always been difficult to wind down) an dh (who's had various degrees of insomnia and anxiety at times) we've tried quite the variety of natural sleep remedies.

Dh has liked rescue remedy sleep - also totally ok for kids.

I've gotten hylands calms forte for dd (I think there's a sleep one? Can't remember right now). Seemed ok. We've also kept chamomile tea or Nighty night tea (traditional medicines kids tea line). And dd has always liked tea so that was easy to accept. We've also used badger sleep balm (smells really nice, dd2 likes this but doesn't have the same sleep avoidance).

I know I've seen some people talk about using small doses of melatonin as early as 3 with a big improvement, but haven't used it myself. You might find some old threads on it if you were interested.

adding this:
I was also just remembering that around this age, I came to realize that my presence was terribly stimulating for dd1 (even while she *needed* me to be present for falling asleep). I started reading a magazine or book in her bed while she did the same, or trying to make sure part of bedtime had 5-10 minutes of her doing some quiet activity (coloring in bed, book on CD) while I . . . say, cleaned the bathroom nearby. When she got more comfortable without me right there it was easier for her to relax and really improved her falling asleep (we'd start bedtime around 8 and be lucky if she was asleep by 10/10:30 eyesroll.gif ). So, with that in mind, it might be that someone else being there to do stuff with is just *too much* for your kiddo.
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#8 of 12 Old 07-11-2012, 07:37 PM
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You can search back and see all the awful threads about my dd and sleep. Nowadays she whines for 3-5 minutes and goes to sleep on her own.

There is no consistency, except that 9 pm is bedtime. Tonight I let her run three more circles around the couch before bed. We put pj's on, I layed with her for 5 minutes which I counted to her (ok, 5 minutes. ok, 2 more minutes. ok, give me hugs and kisses, Im getting up.) She whined for a few minutes and is fast asleep.

What we did to start this method was let her play up until about 30 minutes before bedtime and start telling her that it's bedtime. She always wants to play one more game, one more kiss, one more whatever. After 30 minutes of letting her have "one more" of everything, she has to go to bed, and seems pretty content to do so. For the first month or so, I wouldnt say it was time for bed, I'd say it was time for honey milk (warm chamomile tea with milk with a tablespoon of honey added to it in a sippy cup) It was sweet, so she would lay down to drink it and fall asleep. So, she got used to the getting to play, and then having to lay down part. Well, I got worried about the sugar on her teeth at night, so now we are trying to wean away from the honey milk. It's been working for about a month, save a few nights here and there.

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#9 of 12 Old 07-12-2012, 06:19 AM
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I was in the same boat and mine sounds like all of yours.  Man, the hours I put in just to get her to fall asleep.  Now she is 4 1/2 and she can fall asleep pretty fast.  I realized it was me over stimulating her.  Around her fourth b day I started saying, oh I forgot to tell Daddy something, and he is going to sleep soon so can I go out real quick and tell him something?  be back in five minutes.  Low and behold, I came back and she was sound asleep. 


You can still do the rubbing back thing, but I would count it down and then be the most boring motionless blob ever.  You should say I am going to sleep and then really be motionless and don't respond to anything.


Some other reasons I used to get up for 5 minutes:


Oh I forgot to put the food away, it'll just take 5 minutes, ok honey?


Ooo, some food is stuck in my tooth, need floss and then brush, it'll just take 5 minutes, ok honey?


Oops I better call  so n so about tomorrows play date, it'll just take 5 min, ok?


Rats I forgot to take the trash to the curb


Gotta switch that laundry around


In the beginning I phrased it so that she could say no I don't want you to leave. And at times she would ask me not to leave.  So I would stay and then in about 5 min. she would say ok mama you can go do that now.


Then in the morning I would point out that she fell asleep all by herself!  Wow!

DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
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#10 of 12 Old 07-12-2012, 06:28 AM
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Things I do when her eyes are red and droopy but her body can't stop flipping and flopping:


with the lights out

if she was moving alot during story time, I do visualization with squeezing and relaxing each body part.  I say take two big deep breaths and squeeze your toes and relax squeeze toes and relax.  About three times each body part with two deep breaths in between each body part.

flex ankles and stretch ankles, then circles

knees bend and straighten

buttocks, squeeze and relax


I move all the way up to the head.  I encourage her to keep her eyes closed and think about the body part that she is relaxing.



I also pull on her joints.  take each toe and pull and release.  then ankle, then pull whole leg.  I forget the name of it but it's a type of therapy for kids with sensory issues.

DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
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#11 of 12 Old 07-12-2012, 08:21 AM
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My ds (now 8yo) has ADHD and it would take hours to get him to sleep. In addition to "sleep hygiene" measures (like room darkening curtains and a Sunset Dimmer) we use melatonin supplements. It is available in drops, regular pills and time-release pills.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#12 of 12 Old 07-12-2012, 11:21 AM
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I am not at all an expert but we have used several homeopathic remedies that work. I would start at the library and get a book or look at one at a store. We have mostly used Coffea Cruda and Chamomilla.  I tyr to match the one I choose to what her symptoms are that night. We have also tried calms forte for kids. I think the single work better for us.

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