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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.

Would melatonin help us?
4

Veebs21 · 03/05/2022 14:46

DD has just been diagnosed as autistic at 3.5y. The doctor asked us about sleep, here’s what we are experiencing - does it sound like we need melatonin?

Apart from normal baby stuff - teeth/regressions etc - she’s slept through from about 10 months and since dropping her nap, is out like a light at 7.30pm without any issues. The lunchtime nap had started to cause her to be wide awake singing and chatting to herself til 9pm at 2.5y but since we’ve dropped it she’s super easy to get down. Here’s the thing though, we do leave her with a small bottle of milk, which I know she should’ve stopped a long time ago. But it was working and we had another baby 18 months ago who sleeps terribly so it kind of felt like, don’t rock the boat on the good sleeper!

However she’s now started getting up in the middle of the night, I’d say 5/6 times a week for at least the past 6 months. She’s usually easy to get back down with another small bottle of milk, but on the odd occasion that she’s up later in the night, she can be up from 4/4.30am and not go back. It’s rare but it happens & has knock on effect with how she is at nursery.

Does this sound like something we need melatonin for or more like a bottle dependency? I have friends whose kids are NT and still wake up so I’m unsure. We are starting the process of getting her off the bottle but I am worried about how it’ll go - my friends all did dummy fairies for their kids’ dummies (DD never took one) but DD wouldn’t understand that concept.

Any advice/experience? Any downsides to melatonin? Thanks in advance as ever x

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Veebs21 · 04/05/2022 07:48

@DrHildegardeLanstrom That’s what I had heard so was unsure it would work, but good to know it’s harmless @AReallyUsefulEngine so we could always give it a go. The doctor seemed to suggest we should try to fix the sleep association first so we’ll have to persevere with that, but she did seem to suggest that bad/broken sleep was a foregone conclusion with an ASD child so wondering if this is it or we have worse to come! Thank you!

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AReallyUsefulEngine · 03/05/2022 22:24

DrHildegardeLanstrom While that is the theory, in practice some parents do find it helps their DC stay asleep, perhaps because it breaks the cycle of the waking up and reduces the likelihood of being overtired. There was another thread where this was discussed recently. Some parents also give a dose if their child wakes during the early part of the night.

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DrHildegardeLanstrom · 03/05/2022 22:17

Melatonin only helps fall asleep and won't stop wake ups.

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AReallyUsefulEngine · 03/05/2022 15:25

Melatonin is generally considered safe so it would be worth a try. If it doesn’t help after giving it a good try you can always stop it.

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