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Melatonin and a 1 year old?

Posted by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 11:35 PM
  • 78 Replies
I'm desperate. Joey, my 1 year old, is a terrible sleeper. He cries, like screaming cries, for about 20 min before going to sleep at night and nothing consoles him until he finally just grabs his pacifier but even then he doesn't go to sleep. He wakes frequently all night long and rarely naps during the day. He still nurses and cosleeps so it isn't like he cries it out by himself, but it seems like he has a terrible time relaxing to sleep. I nurse him on both sides until he unlatches and takes his paci. Then, he snuggles for a bit or lays on his blankie. Then the screaming begins. Once he quits screaming, he crawls around, snuggles, crawls around some more, lays on his blankie, cries some more, maybe nurses again, etc until he FINALLY goes to sleep. It is not uncommon for this to take more than an hour.

He is fussy during the day, IMO because he is tired from the not sleeping, and he gets clinging. Oh but he hates being worn at home. I try to carry him but I cannot hold him in my arms all day. When I put him down the crying starts again. He won't nap so he gets no rest during the day, which leads to more crying.

I am seriously at my wits end here. I have 3 other older children, a baby on the way and a husband who is about to be gone for a year. If we don't get this under control, I'm going to lose my mind. I am reading the book "What's Eating Your Child" in the hopes of finding a dietary solution and one of the chapters was about melatonin. However, the author (whose name is escaping me) only talks about melatonin in older children, like 6 year olds.

Can I give it to my one year old? I'm also reading about gluten sensitivity but if melatonin is an option I would like to try it first.

***This has been ongoing, so it isn't something that I can attribute to the normal things like teething or learning a new skill.***
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by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 11:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
larissalarie
by Gold Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 11:41 PM
There's NO WAY I would give melatonin to a 1 year old. It's not really good to use it regularly anyway.

My middle child was a horrible sleeper and it didn't get better until he was 2. What helped us the most was putting him in his own bed in his own room and making him learn to fall asleep on his own without nursing (no, we didn't do CIO, but there was fussing involved).
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snowangel1979
by Bronze Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 11:44 PM
I would not give it to a one year old.

Have you tried having him sleep in his own bed. My children got to the point where they just needed their own space to sleep. My DD acted a lot like what your describing but at about 15months, DS got that way at like like 9 months.
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JMmama
by Silver Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 11:48 PM
The book says that there is no reason to not use it regularly because it is a naturally occurring chemical in your body. I really know very little about it though. I tried google but all I got were websites that essentially said either "No! It will make your child horribly brain damaged!" or "melatonin is wonderful! Everyone should take it!" There doesn't seem to be anything non-hyperbolic on either end. Oh, and a thread from the CM newcomer's group popped up, so that was super helpful.

I can't see putting him in his own room at this point. I mean, he SCREAMS going to bed. It would be way more than a little fussing. I don't mind of he wants to nurse all night, but it isn't like my others who would barely wake, then nurse a little back to sleep. He wakes up screaming, then nurses a little, unlatches, screams, takes paci, goes back to sleep. In his own room, I feel like there would just be a lot more screaming.


Quoting larissalarie:

There's NO WAY I would give melatonin to a 1 year old. It's not really good to use it regularly anyway.



My middle child was a horrible sleeper and it didn't get better until he was 2. What helped us the most was putting him in his own bed in his own room and making him learn to fall asleep on his own without nursing (no, we didn't do CIO, but there was fussing involved).
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JMmama
by Silver Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 11:52 PM
I do have his crib side carred so if he wanted to sleep in his own space it is readily available. He won't do it though. Sometimes if I get him into a deep sleep I can move him over and he sleep there for a little while. As soon as he realizes I'm not right there, more screaming. Once he does go to sleep it isn't necessarily snuggled in to me but he doesn't want to be clear over in the crib, even though it is attached to the bed.

Quoting snowangel1979:

I would not give it to a one year old.



Have you tried having him sleep in his own bed. My children got to the point where they just needed their own space to sleep. My DD acted a lot like what your describing but at about 15months, DS got that way at like like 9 months.
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larissalarie
by Gold Member on Jan. 19, 2013 at 11:56 PM
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Yes, I know it's naturally occurring. Would you give a child any other naturally occurring hormone without being diagnosed as medically necessary?
It sounds like you've decided to try it, I'm sure he'll be fine. I honestly don't think it's going to fix your issue though, but hopefully I'm wrong. In my experience you can't change a baby's sleeping habits/arrangements without some protest, unless you just wait until they grow out of it.


Quoting JMmama:

The book says that there is no reason to not use it regularly because it is a naturally occurring chemical in your body. I really know very little about it though. I tried google but all I got were websites that essentially said either "No! It will make your child horribly brain damaged!" or "melatonin is wonderful! Everyone should take it!" There doesn't seem to be anything non-hyperbolic on either end. Oh, and a thread from the CM newcomer's group popped up, so that was super helpful.



I can't see putting him in his own room at this point. I mean, he SCREAMS going to bed. It would be way more than a little fussing. I don't mind of he wants to nurse all night, but it isn't like my others who would barely wake, then nurse a little back to sleep. He wakes up screaming, then nurses a little, unlatches, screams, takes paci, goes back to sleep. In his own room, I feel like there would just be a lot more screaming.




Quoting larissalarie:

There's NO WAY I would give melatonin to a 1 year old. It's not really good to use it regularly anyway.





My middle child was a horrible sleeper and it didn't get better until he was 2. What helped us the most was putting him in his own bed in his own room and making him learn to fall asleep on his own without nursing (no, we didn't do CIO, but there was fussing involved).
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Emschick38
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:05 AM
My 2 year old was a miserable sleeper. Would wakeup crying all the time and often. I put her in a toddler bed about a foot from my bed and it made it better. She even stopped nursing at night.

My 4 year old will sometimes lay in her bed for HOURS awake at night. Last week she laid in there for 4 hours awake in the dark. And the dr has told me to try camomile tea with honey with her. The dr said no to melatonin for both of them
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Brandy85412
by Silver Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:07 AM

That is so hard! My kids weren't good sleepers but they were still happy babies. My almost one year old still wakes up several times during the night some nights she will go right back to sleep other nights she wants to be wake. Some nights she will go right down and others she won't. My second was and still is my hardest as far as sleeping. I have heard about melatonin too and wondered about giving her it. She just has a hard time staying still long enough to go to sleep. My sister is giving it to her 3 year old and says its really helping. I hope you can figure out something!

JMmama
by Silver Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:12 AM
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I haven't decided to try it. If I had, I wouldn't have bothered posting. I posted to get more information or to see if anyone had any reputable links or other sources of information to look at. What I read seemed to contradict what you were saying, so I asked further questions. If I thought my pediatrician would be an ounce of help, I'd ask her. She thinks I'm an idiot for cosleeping at all. She would probably tell me to CIO. We move at the end of March and have found a pediatrician who comes highly recommended by my natural parenting friends but until then I am doing the best I can here.

I think it is more than a sleeping habit. He is 1. What is the point of even cosleeping if it is already a bad habit in a 1 year old? It seems biological to me. It doesn't seem like normal 1 year old behavior. My 3 year old was up a lot at this age too, but not like this. And, like I said in my OP, this has been going on for awhile. Months. When he was little, I figured he was colicky and that he would grow out of it. He didn't. I am trying to figure out what is going on. A friend whose kids have gluten issues (one has celiac, I'm not sure about the other) recommended this book. I read about the melatonin and thought it was worth at least looking into.


Quoting larissalarie:

Yes, I know it's naturally occurring. Would you give a child any other naturally occurring hormone without being diagnosed as medically necessary?

It sounds like you've decided to try it, I'm sure he'll be fine. I honestly don't think it's going to fix your issue though, but hopefully I'm wrong. In my experience you can't change a baby's sleeping habits/arrangements without some protest, unless you just wait until they grow out of it.




Quoting JMmama:

The book says that there is no reason to not use it regularly because it is a naturally occurring chemical in your body. I really know very little about it though. I tried google but all I got were websites that essentially said either "No! It will make your child horribly brain damaged!" or "melatonin is wonderful! Everyone should take it!" There doesn't seem to be anything non-hyperbolic on either end. Oh, and a thread from the CM newcomer's group popped up, so that was super helpful.





I can't see putting him in his own room at this point. I mean, he SCREAMS going to bed. It would be way more than a little fussing. I don't mind of he wants to nurse all night, but it isn't like my others who would barely wake, then nurse a little back to sleep. He wakes up screaming, then nurses a little, unlatches, screams, takes paci, goes back to sleep. In his own room, I feel like there would just be a lot more screaming.






Quoting larissalarie:

There's NO WAY I would give melatonin to a 1 year old. It's not really good to use it regularly anyway.







My middle child was a horrible sleeper and it didn't get better until he was 2. What helped us the most was putting him in his own bed in his own room and making him learn to fall asleep on his own without nursing (no, we didn't do CIO, but there was fussing involved).
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JMmama
by Silver Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:18 AM
Thank you. It is hard. I feel like the frequent waking I could deal with because I know different kids have different sleep patterns but the crying is really starting to get to me. My 3 year old is usually the last of the older three to go to sleep but it doesn't seem to affect him during the day. I just figure he likes his alone time at night to talk to his cars and look at a book. His mood and everything else is fine though. With Joey it's different. Sometimes he is a funny, happy baby. But he just seems so miserable so often. I feel like its because he isn't getting any sleep, maybe it is something else though.

Quoting Brandy85412:

That is so hard! My kids weren't good sleepers but they were still happy babies. My almost one year old still wakes up several times during the night some nights she will go right back to sleep other nights she wants to be wake. Some nights she will go right down and others she won't. My second was and still is my hardest as far as sleeping. I have heard about melatonin too and wondered about giving her it. She just has a hard time staying still long enough to go to sleep. My sister is giving it to her 3 year old and says its really helping. I hope you can figure out something!

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Nicolle_09
by Silver Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:23 AM
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I would never use it in a child or myself. There are no studies to show if and what long term effects of its use could be. Its not something that I would chance wanting to overdose my child with since it is naturally found in the body and adding too much extra could cause problems. 

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