I hear the words “give them melatonin” quite often as a solution to help with your baby or toddlers sleep. It actually scares me to hear this because I don’t agree in just giving supplements “because”. Many people seem to think that if it is something that our bodies already produce naturally then that make it ok. But of that is the case, I tend to lean towards the “WHY isn’t our body not producing enough” or “WHY do I need more?”
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by a gland in our brains that helps regulate the sleep cycle. Normally, melatonin levels begin rising in the mid to late evening and remain high throughout the night. The increase in melatonin production is what facilitates sleep. Levels tend to drop in the nearly morning hours as the brighter light and sunshine contribute to melatonin production.
If your child is having issues sleeping, it is best to consult a Certified Sleep Specialist or your medical doctor. It is better and SAFER to decipher the culprit of the problem and teach you effective ways to help your child sleep better. I have read and heard many horror stories of things that have happened to babies given melatonin. It is very sad and very scary.
Giving your child melatonin without a doctor’s consent is extremely dangerous. Not only is it hazardous to their health, you have no idea what type of dosage your child would require, and you also run a risk of giving them too much.
So instead of going the route of giving your baby something to ingest, I would highly recommend safe sleep remedies first:
- Develop a bedtime routine that is calm and predictable
- Make sure your child is put to bed before they are overtired for naps and bedtime
- Create a dark and calm sleep space for your child
- Try putting your child down before they are asleep so your little one can learn to fall asleep unassisted
- Make bedtime special and give your little one a sleep snuggly like a soft toy or little blanket
There are so many amazing supplements and various vitamins we can fuel our bodies with but when it comes to children and melatonin, I personally recommend thinking twice. There are much safer options without potential negative side effects.
Sleep well…melatonin free.