Is it really so easy? – Just give my child a magic pill?
I wish I could create a magic formula that would make children sleep better at night. Imagine! You just sprinkle them with this magic fairy dust and they will happily travel to la-la land…
Believe me, individuals (and companies in it for the big bucks) are continually trying:
- Just bathe your baby in these special salts
- Just feed your baby this special Night-Night baby food
- Just put on this light during the night
- Just switch on this special CD
- Just wrap them in this special blanket
I’ve heard it all before… in fact, I tried most of this on my own child when he wasn’t sleeping.
And while some studies have shown that melatonin can be helpful with autistic children or children with ADHD most babies and children do not need melatonin; they need to be taught good, independent sleep skills (which, unfortunately for us you can’t find in a magic formula. It takes hard work).
Here is the scary part: because melatonin is contained naturally in some foods, the US Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 allows it to be sold as a dietary supplement which does not need to be approved by the Food and Drug administration.
This means that although Melatonin could possibly affect growth, sexual development and puberty and cause side effects like headaches, drowsiness and stomach aches it is not tested because it is seen as a “natural” “homeopathic” type medicine. (Gasp here!!!)
But what is really alarming these days is the number of clients we work with that are giving their children sedative medication or a Melatonin supplement.
The sad truth is that Melatonin is definitely not a long term solution for your child’s sleep problems.
Do we really want to give our children something of which we can’t prove the side effects, of which we don’t know the long term effects and which cannot be proven to solve the underlying problem anyway?
Consider that when we are born we have the most Melatonin in our bodies that we will ever have during our lifetime as it does get less as we grow older. So is this drug really the answer to our problems!
My opinion? A resounding no!
To read more about Melatonin and what it does click here