Disclaimer: I am in no way offering you medical advice/
drug supplement advice in this post. I am just sharing my story in the hopes that it may help someone else. Before trying any new medications/vitamins/supplements with you and/or your child, you should OF COURSE speak to your own doctors. Or at least call your mother!
Rewind back to last fall and our nighttime routine with Charlotte had gotten worse and worse and WORSE. Remember the Bedtime Battles post from last February 2012? Well, little did we know that was just her warming up. Over the summer and into the fall it was out.of.control. We did everything by the book and then some. I was at the end of my rope. Bedtime was loud and frustrating and long. We are talking HOURS.
And so we did what so many said NOT to do. Books and articles and “experts” claimed it would only “mask the issue”, “rid the child of the ability to properly learn the bedtime routine”, “discourage self-soothing and meditation practices that should be in place”, etc. But I found so many of my friends doing it with a lot of success…
We started Melatonin.
That was in December after a discussion with two close friends who had used it and a discussion with our pediatrician and a quick order from Amazon.
It was a game-changer. We could not even believe the difference 1 mg of melatonin could make when given 30-45 minutes before bedtime. We had our Charlotte back. Bedtime was pleasant. She was so tired, she ASKED to go to bed. She no longer went kicking and screaming. She no longer came back downstairs time after time after time. She got more sleep since she was actually falling asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. Her behavior during the day improved since she was now rested.
It seems to be a “drug” of choice, but a quiet one. You know what I mean…a lot of people are doing it, but not many are talking about it. It’s like no one wants to admit to giving it, however it is helping so many. For me it was like I was failing as a parent…how could I not get my own child to go to bed at night? If I worked hard at a routine and stuck with it, it should work. She should be able to self-sooth, meditate and relax. But some kids just cannot settle themselves. And if 1 mg of melatonin is what she needs, how can I not give it to her?
Overall, it truly is like a miracle drug for us. And our pediatrician is ok with it for now. We will re-evaluate at her 5-yr check-up next February. Charlotte considers it her special nighttime vitamin. And never questioned it until recently.
C – “Mom, you forgot my vitamin.”
Me (thinking she meant her Vit D which we were giving at dinner, but stopped for summer) – “No, remember we will start those again this winter.”
C – “No, the other vitamin.”
Me – “What?”
C (sighing – seriously, she sighed) “You know, the one that makes me not go crazy before bedtime?”
Me – “Why do you say that?”
C – “Stella told me that’s what it’s for.”
Of course Stella did. And in a parenting-fail moment, I responded…
Me – “Oh, that one. I’ll go get it.”
Because I hadn’t yet googled “how to explain melatonin to your kid and why they need it”…and I still haven’t…so off I go…
How do you handle the bedtime routine?
Do you use melatonin?