We all want the same thing – a blissful night’s sleep. You know, a night for which your child doesn’t wake up multiple times and keep you awake at the same time? When you’re a tired parent, you will take almost any suggestion handed to you and run with it.
We’re sure you’ve seen the recommendations to try melatonin for your baby or child. After all, it’s a natural solution. It can’t hurt, right?
Melatonin certainly has its uses. We’re not saying that it should never be used or that it should be banned. BUT melatonin is definitely being over-used rather than trying to get to the bottom of what may be causing your child’s sleeplessness. This is particularly true of babies.
Melatonin is not intended to be a permanent or daily solution for sleep. The long-term side effects of melatonin are relatively unstudied. We know it tends to help aid sleep but what happens if you give your baby melatonin every single night for a year?
There are some potential negative effects that can be seen from the use of melatonin for long-term treatment. Some of these effects include growth defects as well as delayed sexual development and puberty.
Melatonin directly affects hormones and that is why it is considered unsafe for long-term use, particularly in babies and children.
What IS Melatonin?
Melatonin, when taken as a supplement, is primarily used to induce sleep and reset your Circadian rhythm.
Melatonin is a natural hormone in our bodies. Everybody has Melatonin. It’s contained naturally in many foods as well. In fact, melatonin is actually the only hormone product that does not require a prescription to use.
This hormone regulates our sleeping cycles naturally. It is secreted by the brain.
In talking about the melatonin supplement, people primarily use it as a short-term treatment or a spot treatment for trouble sleeping. It can be useful when dealing with jet lag, shift work, or just a bad night. It can be quite beneficial when used correctly but ultimately, it is not recommended for use in babies and young children, especially not on a long-term basis.
Additionally, melatonin has been allowed to be sold as a dietary supplement since 1994 when the Supplement Health and Education Act was passed. Supplements provided for under this act are not required to be reviewed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). They are not required to be approved prior to being sold.
Safer Sleep Methods
It is expected that babies and young children may not sleep well. You don’t have to suffer in silence and walk around like a sleepless zombie. There are natural solutions for helping your baby or child sleep that don’t require putting their growing health and bodies at risk.
There are many ways to relax a child end even encourage the body to produce more melatonin and allow for better sleep for your baby. These other methods are far safer and far healthier for your child.
When you know the facts about melatonin, the rate at which people are becoming dependent on it to induce their children and babies to sleep is quite alarming.
Children, particularly babies and young children, sometimes have to be taught to sleep properly. This is why it’s important to put them on a routine and a schedule. Different children react differently to different methods.
Contact Petite Dreamers Today!
If you’re looking for a solution for a baby or child that just won’t sleep, turn to the experts. The Singapore paediatric sleep consultant team at Petite Dreamers are trained and certified for such a time as this and any single one of them would be delighted to help you and your baby get a good night’s sleep.