When you have a baby it can feel, at times, that there's nothing that you can do to get them to sleep. And when your little one is keeping you up all night, it makes sense that you would start looking for other solutions to help your baby sleep.
Many times, parents are drawn to the over-the-counter medication, melatonin, to give to their baby to help them finally get a good night's sleep. But anything you give your child, especially if they are still a baby, can be dangerous and you need to do your research. Keep reading to find out 10 things about melatonin before you give it to your baby.
10 Melatonin Is Not Regulated By The FDA
You might be shocked to hear that melatonin is not regulated by the FDA when it comes to being used as a sleep aid. According to DrCraigCanapari.com, melatonin is only regulated by the FDA to be used as a dietary aid.
This can be surprising for many people to find out since several people use melatonin to help them fall asleep. Just remember before you give your child any dose of melatonin that it's not regulated by the FDA for sleep and might not be a good thing to give your baby.
9 There Has Been No Studies For Long-Term Effect On Children Or Adults
Before you give your baby melatonin, you should know this is going to be a short term solution. And if you decided to give your little one melatonin for a long term solution, there can be things that affect your child that doctors don't know about.
BabySleep.com mentions that there have been no studies for the long-term use of melatonin for other kids or adults. Remember that even though getting your baby to sleep is important, it's going to be a long-term solution for that problem.
8 It Doesn't Cure Sleep Problems
A big myth around melatonin is that it can solve any sleep problem you have. But BabySleepSite.com reports that melatonin doesn't cure any sleep problems at all and is just an aid used by people to help them sleep.
Though this can help your baby get to sleep, it's not going to be something you can rely on to help them start sleeping on their own. Make sure you're putting other things in place to help your baby be able to start falling asleep on their own.
7 It Doesn't Replace A Good Bedtime Routine
When you have a little one, the best thing you can do for them and yourself is to get them on a schedule. A sleep schedule and bedtime routine will be more effective in the long run than giving your baby melatonin, according to HealthyChildren.com.
A good bedtime routine will help your baby know that it's time to go to sleep. Though it may take some time to find a bedtime routine that works best for your baby, that will always be recommended over giving them melatonin.
6 Some Doctors Fear That Children Can Become Dependant On It
Since there have been no long-term studies done on the effect of melatonin in children, BabySleepSite.com reports that many doctors fear that if your child is given melatonin a lot to fall asleep, they might become dependent on it.
Although this isn't proven, it's likely that people can become dependant on anything, including a sleep aid. This could result in someone needing melatonin every night in order to sleep and it could require medical attention to break up that dependency on it. Make sure you do not give your baby melatonin too often to help them sleep.
5 Melatonin Production Is Not Part Of An Infant's Sleep Cycle
Melatonin is something that our bodies naturally produce to help us sleep. But according to BabySleep.com, babies don't produce it, so it's not part of their sleep cycle. This is why babies don't have a good sleep schedule like adults have.
Make sure you don't give babies too much melatonin since it's not supposed to be in their system naturally until they are older. But because melatonin is not naturally found in babies, there can be some side effects they experience.
4 Make Sure To Talk To Your Child’s Doctor
Before you give your child anything, it's really important to talk to your baby’s pediatrician. This is because babies are still growing and developing and you want to make sure you aren't giving them anything that is going to affect their growth.
Also, if your baby’s doctor does approve you giving your little one melatonin, then they can recommend the dosage to give them to make sure you are not giving them too much. Give your child’s pediatrician a call before you give your baby any amount of melatonin.
3 A Low Dose Can Affect Them
Fingering out the proper dose of melatonin to give your baby can be difficult. HealthyChildren.com reports that when you are giving your baby melatonin you should only give them a low dose two hours before bedtime and that will be able to get them to fall asleep.
The important thing to remember is that you can always give your little one more, but you can never take back the amount you gave them. Start off giving them a small dosage and slowly increase it to find one that works for your baby.
2 There Are Side Effects When Taking It
It doesn't matter if you are giving your baby a prescribed medication for their pediatrician or giving them an over the counter medication, there will always be side effects to what you give them. DrCraigCanapari.com mentions that bedwetting, headache, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea are all side effects that people can get when taking melatonin.
If your baby experiences any side effects, you need to stop giving them any dose and talk to their doctor. So be on the lookout for any side effects your baby might experience if you are going to give them melatonin.
1 Don’t Make It The First Thing You Go For
When you are sleep deprived, you want to do anything to make sure you can get a good night's sleep, and this can make you want to give your child melatonin so you can put them down so you can both get some rest.
According to HealthLine.com, melatonin should never be the first thing you do when trying to get your child to go to bed. They recommended soothing your baby by rocking them and feeding them milk to get them to go to sleep naturally rather than giving them medication.