Anyone use melatonin successfully w LO? — The Bump
Pre-School

Anyone use melatonin successfully w LO?

groovygrlgroovygrl member
edited October 2013 in Pre-School
DS is over four and since maybe 2 1/2 has had a lot of trouble going to sleep at night...it escalated just before three when he started climbing out of his crib and we switched to a toddler bed and he would not stay put in his room at bedtime...we had the door locked from the outside for a little while bc we were afraid he'd wander at night and it was horrible, he would scream and cry and eventually we stopped(after maybe two months ish)...he took to sleeping on the floor in the doorway of his room and did that for almost a year. But throughout all that we have struggled w him taking longer and longer to settle down and go to sleep. We have tried it all, ignoring, picking up and putting back over and over, closing the door for 5min, 10 min, etc when he comes out, and finally even let him have books and a few small toys in there hoping it would help him at least stay in there but nothing works, he is up until 10pm or sometimes later most nights and is wide awake, insists he cannot sleep and is not tired, comes out and downstairs or will just sit at the top of the stairs, etc. we start bath, books, bedtime at 730 and they have to be in their rooms around 830 and we lie with them for a little bit to talk about their day or read one last story.....but he is also verrryyyy resistant to lights out ( when we have turned them out and left a light on in closet or hall to help him, we will sometimes find him later curled up in his closet w a book and pillow...) so he has a small lamp next to his bed which I know doesn't help. Soooo...he does still nap bc unfortunately he is a total meltdown mess by 6 pm or so if he does not, plus at pre k they have to sit and do something quietly for an hour if they are not going to nap and he is not really capable of that and would rather lie down and sleep, so eliminating nap is not really an option yet, though we have asked the, to decrease his nap, which they have but some days it is very evident when I pick him up if it was really short bc he is sort of falling apart. This chronic sleep issue of course causes behavior challenges and is tiring for all of us. One thing I haven't tried is melatonin and was hoping if anyone had similar issues if they had tried it too? Thanks!

Re: Anyone use melatonin successfully w LO?

  • Similar to you, DD had a terrible sleep pattern where bedtime would take upwards of 2 hours. She would freak if we left the room and took forever to settle down. As a result of her being super tired, she would have night terrors. The pedi OK'd melatonin and if needed Benadryl to help her body reset and get into a good sleep routine. The melatonin helped her get drowsy enough to fall asleep within about 30 minutes of taking it. It didn't keep her asleep at night (she still would sneak into our bed) but at least she was going to bed at 7:30 instead of 10. I slowly tapered her off of the melatonin and now bedtime is a breeze. Bath, story, cuddles and within about 15 minutes she is out, no medicine needed. GL- I know how frustrating and truly exhausting sleep battles can be.
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  • Thanks all! I think we might ask daycare to let him sleep the whole time & try to catch up on sleep...we do actually have him go in his room at 830 but one of us usually lies down & talks a little about his day & reads a short book ...it is after that that we have problems w/ him just constantly getting up & leaving, going in the hall, coming downstairs, etc.  I don't know how to force sleep so I don't 'force' that but I do want him to stay in his room, wind down, and hopefully just fall asleep on his own.
     I have generally tried to cut out red dye as it is and his behavior is definitely more challenging on days when he skips nap or has a bad night's sleep. Re the light, I don't really think that is anything too crazy or unusual, his sister also prefers having light on and I personally slept w/ a small lamp on in my room until I was probably 7 or 8 yrs old...I realize it doesn't help the sleep situation we have, but I have no interest in fighting with a 4 yr old who doesn't like the dark, since I think that is not that weird, and there are other things we can try.

    If none of this solves it I will def call the pedi and ask about melatonin and if she knows anyone who can help us figure it out...
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  • Hmmmm that is interesting! I wonder.
    Last night went slightly better than usual, he only came out one time after 830 to say goodnight to MH (justifiably, MH hadn't gone in to say goodnight yet) and then I told him the door would get shut for 10 min if he came out again, and he more or less (I think, I was downstairs) stayed in, and then at about 940 I found that he had put a pillow & a blanket on the floor in his room and was on the verge of sleep...so around 30 min earlier than usual.
  • Instead of a lamp, what about a FP seahorse? It has soft, relaxing music. My 3 year old still sleeps with it smashed against his face. Or dream lights or cloud b light pillow?

    I have couple friends with 3-4 year olds who use melatonin. They give it right at bedtime. They said that if their kiddo wants to fight sleep, the melontonin won't make them fall asleep.



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