A Parent’s Guide On Melatonin For Kids
We’ve all been in a situation where our kid wouldn’t fall asleep at their scheduled time. Instead, they got up several times, complaining that they can’t sleep or asking for water, needing to be tucked in again, or stalling getting into bed in the first place. It’s frustrating, and lack of sleep can have a huge negative impact on the whole family. Some parents may turn to supplements to aid in bettering everyone’s sleep. If you’re curious about melatonin for kids, here’s a parent’s guide on melatonin for kids, answering the most important questions.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a natural hormone that our bodies already produce – though, in some instances, the amount we produce may be on the lower end of the scale. This hormone is regulated through the world around us – meaning our bodies will release melatonin when the daylight decreases. The primary purpose of melatonin is said to be to help regulate our sleep patterns and temperature.
Can melatonin help my kids sleep?
Melatonin for kids isn’t a fail-safe for sure way to get your child to fall asleep. It’s not a sleeping medication; it’s a supplement that contains synthetic melatonin, a hormone our bodies already make. Studies have shown that adding melatonin supplements to our kid’s bedtime routine can aid in an easier drift off to sleep. And melatonin for kids has been proven true for kids who struggle to fall asleep, including kids, teenagers, and those diagnosed with autism or attention deficit disorder.
Are there other options to help my child sleep better?
Fortunately, there are plenty of products on the market designed to help kids sleep. Here are a few examples:
- Kids Weighted Blanket: A study in 2017 found that weighted blankets can be beneficial in helping to calm anxiety, restlessness, and overall overstimulation in children with autism. They’re designed to feel similar to a hug and are a great option for children 4 years or older. We love this pick from Luna for its various designs, machine-washable features, and ease of use over time.
- Aromatherapy Lotion: After bathtime, use a lotion that has a calming scent. Lavender, chamomile, and rose are all scents that let the body know it’s time to relax, which can help let the brain know it’s time to start shutting down for bed.
- Sound Machine: A sound machine, Spotify, or even a Google Home are all great options for some relaxing tunes to doze off to. Ocean waves, white noise, and more are all soothing sounds that can help quiet the mind and rock anyone off to sleep.
What dosage of melatonin for kids is safe?
There is no universal safe dose when it comes to melatonin for kids – mainly because it’s a supplement, and it’s not regulated by the FDA. This is why it’s especially important to discuss the option of taking melatonin with your kid’s pediatrician. Doing so, doctors can help sort out if melatonin could be helpful for your child’s particular medical needs or if any contradictions in their health would make taking melatonin not ideal.
Your child’s doctor can also help set the guidelines for dosage. It’s often recommended to start slow and low at 0.5 milligrams and move up, as needed to find the working dose, every few days. Your doctor can answer what dose is the absolute highest your child should take and recommend the course of treatment.
Some reported side effects to kids taking melatonin, including headaches, dizziness, nightmares, nausea, and morning grogginess, among some others.
What to look for in melatonin for kids’ products?
There are so many melatonin products for kids on the market. Since these aren’t regulated by the FDA, we have to be very careful about which products we choose. Reading recommendations online or getting recommendations from your child’s doctor are two good ways to help narrow down a good brand for your child.
Some things to look for are making sure the melatonin for kids is in a concentration that they can take. It wouldn’t be good to ask your 6-year-old to swallow a pill when other methods are available, like gummies, dissolve tablets, and even droplets. Finding melatonin in a low dose (like 0.5 milligrams or 1 milligram) will allow the dosage to be more tailored to your child’s needs. It’s always best to use the smallest dose needed to help your child fall asleep.
Here are a few options for melatonin for kids:
Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep with Melatonin Supplement
Gummies are one of the easiest ways to encourage the kids to take their melatonin each night. These are super flavorful, which is an added bonus. These are recommended for kids aged three and up, and each gummy comes with 1 milligram of melatonin. This is best taken 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime.
Luna Kids Melatonin Supplement
Luna for kids comes in a chewable tablet, and with 60 per bottle, there’s enough to last a month or two for each child. These are berry flavored, but don’t have extra sugar in them, so they’re good to take before brushing their teeth. They’re tasty enough, so the kids won’t complain about taking them.
Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve
These melatonin tablets for kids are fast dissolving, so there’s no chewing needed, and they’re quick and simple for the kids to take. Each bottle comes with 90 tablets. Each has 1 milligram of melatonin in them, so everyone in the family can take them. The dosage can be adjusted for everyone.
The bottom line: melatonin for kids can be part of a healthy sleep routine.
Everyone is happier and healthier when we get enough sleep, and this holds true for our kids. When they sleep better, we sleep better, so it’s a benefit all around to invest time in creating a healthy sleep routine and sticking to it each night. For some kids, the addition of melatonin in the routine can make a big difference once it’s okayed by the pediatrician to recommend the best dosage for the kids to start at. Melatonin for kids isn’t a quick fix, but it can make a huge difference.
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