Not being able to sleep properly is a common problem not just for adults but also for children. If your baby seems to lose sleep or not rest properly, you might look into alternative treatments to help them overcome this condition.
They could go through an insomnia episode or have a chronic condition that doesn’t allow them to rest as they should. Melatonin is a type of hormone that is found in the human body. Still, it can be administrated as a supplement too.
While melatonin supplements might help adults sleep better, you will naturally wonder if they are safe for your child!
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Can babies have melatonin?
Researchers don’t have a straight answer regarding this question. There are not enough studies to determine if melatonin supplements are safe for babies or not. Because of this, it is important to always talk to your pediatrician before considering giving your baby such a supplement.
Since there might be implications associated with the use of melatonin to treat babies’ sleep challenges, you might want to go towards more natural alternatives. There are many teas, and baby formulas created, especially for those babies who find it difficult to sleep.
First 6 months of baby’s sleep problems
Most babies have sleeping problems in the first months of their life.
- They will get into their own sleep pattern as the months go by, and in most cases, babies sleep through the night after 6 months.
- This happens because their bodies are continually developing, and they start producing melatonin on their own.
- Babies aged between 4 months and 1 year old should get anywhere from 12 to 16 hours of sleep each 24 hours cycle, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even if scientists didn’t establish the impact of melatonin supplements, it doesn’t mean that such supplements are dangerous.
- If nothing else works when it comes to treating chronic insomnia in children, melatonin might be the treatment that your doctor recommends.
- According to one study, these supplements help children fall asleep 35 minutes faster.
Potential Melatonin Side Effects
The potential side effects expected from a melatonin treatment in children are dizziness, headaches, nausea, or stomach aches.
- Even if these side effects are somewhat rare, scientists are yet to establish in what circumstances they happen.
- As for the dosage of melatonin in babies, your pediatrician will recommend a specific dosage each day according to the age of your child.
- There are no set-in-stone rules here as this treatment is not a commonly accepted one.
Melatonin can help with chronic insomnia in both adults and children. But it is important to remember that there are not enough studies when it comes to using this supplement in babies.
We know it might help, but we don’t know how much to administrate them according to their age or sleeping problems.
Only your doctor will be able to properly advise you in this matter. You should try home remedies such as giving your baby the bottle of formula right before bedtime or swinging them until they fall asleep.
- “Melatonin: What You Need To Know | NCCIH”. Accessed June 01, 2020. Link.
- “Are you getting enough sleep? | Features | CDC”. Accessed June 01, 2020. Link.
- “Dose finding of melatonin for chronic idiopathic childhood sleep onset insomnia: an RCT”. Accessed June 01, 2020. Link.