No one likes when their babies are having any sort of trouble. Some babies tend to have trouble sleeping and that is when melatonin for babies comes into the picture. It is a natural tendency to think about it as it is proven to be effective for adults.
Melatonin is something that is naturally produced in our body that helps us sleep but sometimes it may be needed to consume externally when there are sleep problems like insomnia. Today, we will be discussing if it is safe to use melatonin for babies and more about it. So, let’s begin.
Is Melatonin For Babies Safe?
To begin with, there are babies that face trouble with sleeping. So, as a parent, many must have thought about giving melatonin to their babies so that they can sleep peacefully. Given how well melatonin works is a good enough reason for parents to think that. Although there is not much to worry about as newborn babies have very low levels of melatonin which increases gradually.
However, there has been no official research about melatonin being safe or unsafe for babies. We know that melatonin works wonders in adults having sleep issues but unfortunately we don’t know yet if babies can consume melatonin or even if they can then how much they can consume.
I think we all or at least people who are parents are well aware that babies should have a sound sleep for at least 12 to 16 hours in a day. However, there are some infants who find trouble sleeping or who do not sleep for the recommended time. Still, it can’t be said whether melatonin for babies is safe or not.
We all know about the circadian rhythm which controls our daily routine in our body. For those of you who don’t know, circadian rhythm is nothing but a pattern that monitors our sleep schedule and behavior in our day to day life. It is the circadian rhythm that is responsible for waking up in the morning without any alarm and so it is popularly known as the internal clock.
Talking about this circadian rhythm in babies, the cycle starts building up when your baby is 6 months old and is well built by 18 months in most babies. If you feel like your baby may not have established the pattern yet or is having sleeping issues it is best to visit a doctor.
Lastly, I would say that one should not use melatonin for babies without consulting a doctor. It is best to take assistance from experts when we are baffled about something. So, if your doctor says that your baby can consume melatonin then you may go ahead with his/her assistance.
What About Melatonin For Children?
Sleep problems are something that all age groups can experience, from babies to senior citizens. Talking about insomnia or sleep issues, children are found to suffer from both in certain cases. I am talking about melatonin for children here because there have been a few researches on them as compared to melatonin for babies.
Studies and researches have shown that children suffering from insomnia who consumed melatonin or sleep gummies in specified doses, found it effective. So much so that melatonin is found to be a little more effective than light therapy but it also has considerable side effects. However, children should not be given melatonin in large amounts.
Working Of Melatonin
Melatonin is a natural hormone that is released in our body when the sun goes down or better to say in response to darkness and that is why it is known as sleep hormone. Working of melatonin is very simple to understand. You must be thinking why am I explaining this if it is uncertain if we can use melatonin for babies. But I think it is important for us to know this.
So, it is the pineal gland in our brain located in the groove above the thalamus that does the job of releasing this hormone. Now, there is a regulator in our body called SCN that sort of monitors the release of melatonin and the circadian rhythm.
When the surrounding is dark or it is the evening time, the SCN indicates the pineal gland to release melatonin in order to prepare our body for sleep. Once melatonin is released, our brain gets the signal that it is time to sleep.
People are required to take melatonin supplements externally when they don’t respond to the melatonin production due to their routine or the melatonin production is suppressed due to any given reason. This is why people who suffer from insomnia or sleep issues require melatonin supplements.
How To Use Melatonin For Babies?
As I mentioned earlier, the safe use of melatonin for babies is not yet certain and so there is no such data available that could tell us if we can use melatonin for babies and how. So, I will be talking about how melatonin can be used for kids.
As you must be aware that adults consume melatonin about an hour before bedtime. However, when it comes to kids, they should take melatonin about half an hour prior to going to bed and it helps kids who have trouble sleeping.
Now, some kids may find it difficult to swallow melatonin pills, so melatonin is available in various forms like sleep gummies, dissolvable strips, and also liquid. Kids are always advised to start with considerably low doses of melatonin and the doses shall be as low as 0.5 mg.
I am going to repeat this again, it is best to give children melatonin after consulting a doctor. Only the experts can tell you best about the dosage and schedules of the same.
Possible Side Effects
Melatonin is said to be supposedly safe but that is in terms of adults and even adults face some side effects if overused or any other reason. Talking about melatonin for babies or children, as there is not enough evidence, side effects of melatonin may be seen.
Researchers have found that consumption of melatonin supplements is safe for a temporary basis and should not be used for a long-term basis as there is no evident research or studies for the same.
Now, when it comes to babies and children, it is advised not to give them melatonin unless it is absolutely necessary and prescribed by the doctor as melatonin is said to have harmful effects on many systems in our body. So, it is best to not use melatonin for babies or children unless and until it is prescribed by the doctor to do so.
The possible side effects of melatonin are:
- Abdominal cramps
- Shakiness in hand
- Low blood pressure
- Less alertness
- Feeling disoriented
Closure | Melatonin For Babies
Based on what we saw in this article, melatonin is found effective in adults but there is no evidence of it being safe for kids or babies. It is very normal that as age increases the melatonin secretion may be affected from a particular age and so sleeping aids may seem necessary.
However, even babies may face sleeping problems and it does not mean that we should use melatonin for babies. Melatonin has some very severe side effects which may even affect the growth of reproductive organs, so why take such a risk? Especially with babies.
So, I would personally suggest that if your baby has trouble sleeping, it is best that you try to resolve that problem naturally before you even think about melatonin supplements. And even after all that if still nothing works, visit your doctor and pediatrician for a solution and it’s better not to think about melatonin for babies unless prescribed otherwise.
Lastly, if you have any suggestions or queries do mention them in the comments section below. Till then, Sleep Well!