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liquid melatonin - anyone used it?

(20 Posts)
zombiemeow Tue 16-Feb-16 15:52:17

Ds is a terrible sleeper. We have been to see a sleep consultant today who thinks it is to do with separation anxiety.

She has prescribed liquid melatonin and said its completely safe to use.

I don't know why but I feel a bit worried about giving it to him.

Has anyone else used it before?

Am going to have a google in a bit but wondered if anyone has used it.

TwoLeftSocks Tue 16-Feb-16 16:02:25

DS1's friends and also one of my (adult) friends use it and it works well for them. You not have a good responded to your question on the SN Chat board as children with ASD and ADHD can sometimes be prescribed it for sleep issues.

Wardrobespierre Tue 16-Feb-16 16:10:47

My niece is autistic and has liquid melatonin. It's effective but she has to have regular breaks from it.

zzzzz Tue 16-Feb-16 16:16:37

How will medicating her help her separation anxiety?

I think melatonin CAN be very useful BUTif anxiety is the issue then why isn't that being addressed?

zombiemeow Tue 16-Feb-16 16:25:26

Thanks for the replies. The consultant said to have him on it a maximum of 8 weeks.

I'm not too sure if it is anxiety tbh, he's fine with being left with dm and is improving with others. When he's tired he gets attached to me.

I have tried things I could find online like playing peekaboo, hide and seek etc. she didn't really say anything else I could do and just said it will improve when he's at nursery hmm

Wardrobespierre Tue 16-Feb-16 16:59:41

My DS had severe separation anxiety btw. How old?

I worked with DS until he was able to cope with separation. He found bedtime so hard.

zombiemeow Tue 16-Feb-16 17:19:10

How old was he wardrobe when he grew out of it?

ds is 14 mo

Wardrobespierre Wed 17-Feb-16 15:08:30

Gosh. At 14 months, separation anxiety is normal, if not expected. Have you tried starting a thread to talk about the issues you're having with sleep?

At that age, I accepted the anxiety as normal. DS's character tends towards being sensitive. He needs reassurance, familiarity and a gentle move towards each new independence. He has improved in increments. Preschool at 4 was a real milestone. Now he's 4yrs 5 months he's able to sleep over at his grandparents without a single second of anxiety. It took time and baby steps. I really worked at sleep and fear free independent bedtime between 2 and 3. At just 1, he didn't have the tools.

zombiemeow Wed 17-Feb-16 17:47:50

Oh gosh wardrobe! I really wasn't expecting that! I have done loads of sleep threads in the past. I just can't get him to change his sleep at all. I'm the only person who can get him to sleep holding him. It can take anything from 30 mins - 2 hrs then the nights completely vary. The other night he went to sleep at 7, woke up just before 9 and was up until around 2am then had a few short wake ups before getting up at 4.30.

But last night he slept 7- 4am which is his best night on record, he just grabbed my hand through the cot and lay on it and slept until 5.30 shock

WilLiAmHerschel Wed 17-Feb-16 17:54:17

14 months seems very young to be going down this route. His behaviour doesn't sound unusal for a baby his age.

hazeyjane Wed 17-Feb-16 18:08:30

Ds has been on melatonin for 2 years, but this is because without it, it is almost impossible for him to sleep - by which I mean he used to be awake and manic until about 10, when one of us would have to take him for a walk in his buggy (he is disabled), when he did finally fall asleep (sometimes not until midnight....or later) his sleep was very fitful and jerky, and he would wake several times a night, then up for the day at around 4.30. His paed felt that his lack of any decent sleep was probably hindering his development, and that he didn't naturally produce melatonin.

Melatonin has transformed his life (and ours!), he still wakes in the night with reflux, and anxiety (he also has separation anxiety - I am not sure how melatonin would help this - I have to cuddle him to sleep every night down stairs, and then he is carried up by dh.....and he is nearly 6!) and is still up every day around 4.30/5 am, but the fact that he gets a good solid sleep in the evening is fantastic.

We have had real trouble getting liquid melatonin any more for Ds, so I am amazed that it has been given to your Ds so readily!

hazeyjane Wed 17-Feb-16 18:11:25

Can I also ask, does he sleep in your room? I know it isn't popular with everyone, but if Ds hadn't slept in our bed at 14 months (and every other age!) dh and I would be gibbering sleep deprived wrecks by now <twitch>

Wardrobespierre Wed 17-Feb-16 18:21:02

Sounds so familiar and within a spectrum of normal. I just coslept with dc2 as I knew good quality sleep was paramount. No problems transitioning to his room when he was ready. 14 months old is so small and the separation anxiety will be compounding the issue. We all got into bed and we all went to sleep. I started moving him over into his cot (one side off so just an extension of our bed really) in his sleep, then settling him there with cuddles and moving away, then being close and holding hands, then not holding hands and on and on until we were at a point where he was able to cope with bedtime. Like I said, he's 4 now and just goes to bed and goes to sleep. Has done for at least a year.

ipswichwitch Wed 17-Feb-16 18:26:45

DS1 was prescribed it at 3.5yo because he would not go to sleep without handholding (and that was taking 1-2 hours!) If we attempted to leave the room at any stage he'd get utterly hysterical and come running after us. He couldn't relax himself at all to fall asleep independently, and this was as a result of obstructive sleep apnoea which caused him to wake terrified 20+ times a night. His tonsils and adenoids were removed which sorted his breathing, but he still has massive nighttime anxiety, and would want cuddles and reassurance every time he woke.

After 8 weeks of melatonin he can go to sleep on his own, and is usually asleep within 10 mins of going to bed. He still wakes throug the night, and still has nightmares, so he comes running to our bed and we just let him in. 4 years of this has us on our knees!

The melatonin certainly helped sort out bedtime, but has had no impact on his night wakings , or helped him to learn to go back to sleep after waking. We've accepted this is as far as it will improve for now, and hope it's something he'll grow out of given time.

Sometimesithinkimbonkers Wed 17-Feb-16 18:31:37

Ds2 is 6 and has severe autism as part of a rare gene mutation. Has never slept from birth. We have had melatonin for 3 years. I found it took 3 months just to get into their system and provide regular sleep!

I do think your DC is too young and separation anxiety does not mean he doesn't produce enough of his own melatonin to sleep. He has anxiety and you need to reassure not throw a hormone at the problem !

WilLiAmHerschel Wed 17-Feb-16 18:52:24

Hazel - we are the same. Dd (18mo) sleeps in our bed and she breastfeeds way more than id like but it's still better than constant wakings and crying and all that jazz.

zombiemeow Wed 17-Feb-16 19:52:35

Thanks everyone, that's really helpful. It's good (although not for you!) to know that my ds is not alone in this.

I felt really uneasy about giving it to him so I won't give it.

The consultant said that by 14 months he shouldn't have any anxiety and that 'he's gone too far to grow it of it now'. She seemed really uninterested though and only asked about his bedtime routine and straight away said 'I'm prescribing liquid melatonin'.

I can't co sleep with him as I smoke. I know it's bad. I lie awake in the bed with him but he doesn't seem to want to sleep unless I sit up and hold him. He won't sleep for my husband either he just seems to wake up more. He will only sleep for me or dm.

hazeyjane Wed 17-Feb-16 21:56:03

I'm no expert but I would say your consultant is talking hooey.

Dd1 and dd2 have both had periods of difficult sleep - dd1 was bloody awful! They both grew out of it.

Ds hasn't grown out of it, but his is a pretty complex situation!

If you decide to give the melatonin, we were told that it is a very 'safe' medicine and has no long lasting effects.

zombiemeow Wed 17-Feb-16 23:38:33

I don't think they even have another 'sleep consultant' there for me to ask.

Ds hasn't ever slept well at all, it's starting to hurt my backhmm haha.

Wardrobespierre Thu 18-Feb-16 19:39:24

Your consultant sounds a bit OTT. 14 months is tiny and separation anxiety is v common at this age. In a lot of dc it improves between 14 and 18 months but up to the age of 4, it can be considered within normal parameters. Mine both left classic separation anxiety symptoms behind by 2.4. Earlier with dd.

My niece has really disordered sleep. She is 8 and up and active until 1 or 2am, sleeps for a brief period and is up again at 4.30. She is severely autistic. Even with all that, they had to FIGHT for melatonin. It is brilliant but not a tool for tackling normal toddler development.

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