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Disclaimer: Been There, Tried it is based upon personal experiences of those who have tried a particular intervention. It is NOT medical advice, nor a substitute for medical advice. It is neither an endorsement or opposition to any intervention. This is an opinion piece.
Sleep problems were a fact of life for us – starting when Natalie was just months old. “Colic,” the pediatrician told me, “She’ll grow out of it.” Fast forward to age 8 and she had not grown out of it.
When I say ‘sleep problems’ I mean sleep deprivation. Many nights we did not get to sleep until close to midnight, only to be awake for the day by 3 or 4 am. Our entire family was sleep deprived.
The same doctor who told me that she’ll grow out it, was quick to share with us the norms — how much a child Natalie’s age should be sleeping, as though it was our fault as parents that our child wouldn’t sleep.
We tried what the experts told us: Establish a routine; limit TV, electronics and don’t use them prior to bedtime; positive reinforcement; use lavender; draw a bath; read. It didn’t help.
With Natalie the trouble was two-fold, getting to sleep and staying asleep. On a doctor’s advice, we used Melatonin.
In our experience, it helped Natalie get to sleep however it did not help keep her asleep. We also tried time-released melatonin with similar results. (We ordered ours through Pure Formulas because we did not want dyes and other additives.)
Melatonin isn’t an expensive intervention, which is a plus. Some parents swear by it – so it does work for some people. In the end, we discontinued use.