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The doc told me to give my 2 1/2 year old melatonin to get him to sleep, how do i know what is enough or to much?

my son does not go to bed til almost 1am every night, and takes maybe a thirty minute nap every other day, if that much. he is autistic, and has alot of energy, and is very rambuctious. the doc gave me some melatonin and told me to start out with one mg and then up it to two mg. so far one mg is not doing anything, i gave it to him at 7pm and he is still very much wide awake. what am i doing wrong. how can i get my son to go to sleep. he keeps his 10 month old brother up, as well which needless to say my husband and i do not get sleep anymore. i really need some help.

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Asked by mrsbumgardner86 at 9:06 PM on Aug. 10, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • what time does he wake up in the morning ?
    sometimes my 2 and hlf yr old goes to sleep at 12 or 1 am ... but he will sleep until 10 or 11. sometimes he goes to bed earlier ... but i also know i need to poop him out, take him swimming to the park, he has ALOT of energy .. but hes not autistic. and he takes a good nap too.
    i dont know anything about mellatonin though ... sorry

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 9:08 PM on Aug. 10, 2011

  • zero is the right amount in my book.

    a doctor actually told you that? I wouldn't mess with that stuff. It's addictive and it's hard to know how much a adult can safely take let alone a child!

    I don't know how the idea got started to give those things to a kid, but IMO before I would even take any herb as a adult I would at the very least consult someone who is trained in herbs. which is usually not western doctors.

    if your child is having a hard time sleeping, why not give acupuncture a try? it's a heck of a lot safer than giving them melatonin and would probably be more affective.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:12 PM on Aug. 10, 2011

  • I would talk to your doctor about what is right way to find a safe dose for your son. Have you looked into some exercise classes that might help him to exert some of his extra energy. A lot of the gyms do family classes where your 2 1/2 and 10 month old could play together.

    Answer by amandajoy21 at 9:14 PM on Aug. 10, 2011

  • Better daytime sleep equals better nighttime sleep. Get him at least one good daytime nap.

    Answer by Mom_to_Skyler at 9:19 PM on Aug. 10, 2011

  • Melatonin, when taken correctly, is perfectly safe and effective. It is a substance that occurs NATURALLY in the body. Studies have shown that children and adults with certain disorders (autism, ADHD, among others) actually do not produce enough melatonin naturally to be effective and they need the extra supplement.

    My DS has ADHD and sleep issues and his neurologist had us start him on it. We started with 1 mg, 20 minutes before bedtime. Give it about a week and if you're not seeing a difference, increase to 2mg. My DS is 4, weighs about 40 pounds, and he takes 3 mg. Double check with doctor about the dosages, but what I gave you is what our neurologist had us try. Keep in mind that it takes about a week to see any affect. It is not like a sleeping pill; it needs to increase in his system and that will take a little time.

    Answer by ruthie11617 at 9:43 PM on Aug. 10, 2011

  • You do know that melatonin is a hormone?

    I would go with valerian root instead; get the tincture, and ask at the healthfood store about dosing

    Answer by rkoloms at 10:21 PM on Aug. 10, 2011

  • I gave my son with autism melatonin when he was around 3, but never more than 1 mg because that amount worked for him. Melatonin at a safe dose just doesn't work for some kids. I have a lot of friends with autism and melatonin is usually the first route for the sleepless kids. Sometimes it can be wonderful, other times it does nothing. Many special needs kids just don't sleep well, ever.

    Answer by missanc at 8:42 AM on Aug. 11, 2011

  • I think the people that are telling you to absolutely not use melatonin either don't have a handicapped child or don't have a medical background. Melatonin isn't going kill you, adults can even take up to 75mg a day with no side affects, it really all depends on the person. I would follow the guidelines that your neurologist suggested though. My son is blind and autistic, we tried the melatonin but never over 3mg, unfortunately it didn't work for him. A weighted blanket is what helped us. It may be something to look into if it helps then great, if not then try something else. I would have tried accupuncture but the closest practioner is over 2 hours away from were we live. Good luck, I know it's difficutl, my son would only sleep 3-4 hours an entire day since he was born, and being a single mom it's quite a difficult challenge. Just keep your exhuasted head up and hopefully you will find something that will work.

    Answer by redhusker at 2:02 PM on Jan. 27, 2012

  • my son also was describe melatonin he is 3 years old and he has a younger brother which is 8 months. My son does not sleep at all may be 4 hours a night no naps I really didn't know what to do. I have tried everything so I took him to the doctor and the doctor prescribe him melatonin which I have to say is a waste of time because it does not work. I have read from many other parents that they are having the same problem with there toddlers. So the only thing I can say is hopefully they will work it out on there on or maybe it is just a stage they are going through I don't really know. From one sleepy mom to another.

    Answer by Nicole524 at 4:41 AM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • I have a 3 yr old who has autism and ADHD. Because he has special needs I have been a stay at home mom since his birth. I have had a problem getting him to sleep since birth. My family joked about it saying that they had never seen a new born that stayed awake like he did. Now that he's older and in school IT A PROBLEM!!! He has since started pre-k and getting him to go to bed is a real chore. He is on 10 all day long and when he does finally go to sleep he just crashes. I have a daughter who is 91/2 months younger than him and she's trying to stay up because he does. His teacher, behavior specialist as well as pedi recommended that I give him melatonin. I just bought it this morning due to the nightmare my husband and I had with him last night. But something has to give. Have you ever dealt with a special needs child who's tired but doesnt know it???

    Answer by KJKENNIE at 10:50 AM on Dec. 16, 2013

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