You are in one of two categories if you are a mom. 1. What is melatonin? or 2. What a miralce drug melatonin is!
I discovered melatonin YEARS before I had kids. I had a friend who was a military wife of 2 small kids about 10 months apart. She mentioned in passing that she gives her kids melatonin to help them sleep. I thought, HMM, when I have kids they wont NEED help falling asleep because I will be the bestest person ever and my bedtime routin complete with chore chart, lulabies, and fairytale farts will get my kids to go to be perfectly………
FAST FORWARD ABOUT 5 YEARS…. pump the breaks. Turns out putting kids to bed is about as hard, if not harder, than landing a space shuttle on the freaking moon. Add to that kids that got candy from G-ma before they left G-mas house at 5:30 pm or kids who are super sensitive to energies and the moon cycles…well you have the perfect cocktail to make a mama fucking nuts!
So after several weeks of 2-3 hour bed times with my then 2 year old son, another friend mentions melatonin to me. This time I thought felt like some sort of drug addict, I couldn’t get my hands on melatonin fast enough. I text to check with my best friend the most amazing pediatrician. She suggest try benadryl frist. So I do that, no effect. So on to the melatonin.
Y’all this was a miracle drug. Just get my son to take a few mg of this stuff each night and asleep in less than 30 min. M I R A C L E! I had reclaimed my nights!
Fast forward 2 more years and we were still mostly every night giving our son melatonin. I had tried so many time to get him off melatonin. Then something awful happened. He figured out that melatonin made him sleepy and made it easier to fall asleep. He was unable to fall asleep without it because he created a mental dependency on this crap. (OK I admit probably a physical dependency too at this point).
THEN IT HAPPENED. He started having NIGHTMARES. He started having horribly disturbing nightmares that he could not get out of his head no matter what we tried. Now he was falling asleep fast but waking up around 1 am with nightmares. When this started happening he was around 4. I had a 2 year old and a newborn baby. I was not happy to have an extra middle of the night wake up. I kept wondering why my 4 year old was still not sleeping through the night!
So I we QUIT MELATONIN COLD TURKEY. One sunday I decided that enough was enough. No more MEL no matter how much he insisted. I told him that the MEL was causing the nightmares (it probably was). This was such a hard transition but we have stuck to it and it works.
NIGHT 1: almost a 3 hour bed time… YES almost THREE WHOLE HOURS. The “big kids” (2 and 4) were sharing a room with bunk beds in it. Back and for and back an forth so many times. BUT once he fell asleep he STAYED ASLEEP ALL NIGHT!
NIGHT 2: only a bout 2 hours of bed time. Back and forth to his room telling him to sit down and in my mother’s words close your eyes, lay still, and be quiet! SUCCESS. Another night where he slept through the whole night!
NIGHT 3-5: Success continues with sleeping through the night. Son tried to plead with me that maybe the nightmares are from the brand of melatonin we are buying. (Yes my 4 year old was saying this). I resolved to tell him that maybe switching brands would help but we are gonna keep trying to learn to sleep without it
NIGHT 6: Struggles…. after about 1.5 hours of bedtime I played a super boring version of thumbalina on amazon prime. HE finally fell asleep but the 2 year old was up for another hour or so. She was also cut off cold turkey on day 1 but she hadn’t been taking it that long.
NIGHT 7: Success continues…. bedtime was much shorter, much easier and no talk of MEL. Both big kids sleep through the night.
NIGHT 8: MEL is now a threat! They are still not going to sleep as fast as I would like but now when I want them to get back in their room, their beds, or stop fussing about I threaten MEL and they are back in bed in a second.
So far the cold turkey cut from Melatonin is working. We have added some warm milk for them near bedtime which helps your body naturally release melatonin and we are doing longer prayers and more patience.
There is a bedtime in the Thomas household and now we are melatonin free! I strongly believe in a bedtime it is so important for us mama’s that these kids get out of our faces at some set time each night. We will continue the fight to get down to a shorter bedtime but now at least we are not having an extra middle of the night wake up because of gruesome nightmares.
Do your kids take Melatonin? Need a listening ear as you either decide to give your kids melatonin or not give your kids melatonin? Thinking of quitting cold turkey? REACH OUT OR COMMENT BELOW!