Natural Sleep Aids That Work The Best For Your Child
I have been working on trying to find some natural sleep aids that work for my grandson. As you may know, since I have mentioned it before he lives with me and I help raise him.
He is 3 1/2 years old and sleep is not one of his favorite subjects. That is to say, once he falls asleep he sleeps fine through the night.
However, it is getting him to fall asleep is the problem. Our problem started as soon as we transitioned him to a toddler bed.
See it dawned on me that when he was in his crib I could put him in his bed and eventually he would fall asleep. Once we transitioned him to his toddler bed he realized he could get up and run around.
That’s when the frustration started. I was spending between 1 and 2 hours trying to get him to sleep at night. Do you have this problem as well?
But, I also know that I am not the only parent or grandparent that has this problem. So today, I want to discuss some natural sleep aids that are readily available and in most grocery stores and natural food stores.
I will be perfectly honest with you, some of these sleep aids I have tried and some I will not try.
Healthy Sleep Habits
We all know the detrimental effects that are produced when your child does not get enough sleep. Sometimes you may not realize these effects.
Such as increased hyperactivity, and irritability. So, it is important to encourage healthy sleep habits every night to ensure a better night’s sleep.
Things like turning off the TV and or computers 30 minutes before bedtime helps the body start releasing melatonin.
It is also very important to cut out the sugary snacks and caffeine in the evening to decrease stimulation at night.
In addition, giving your child a relaxing bath and reading bedtime stories will help your child relax and get ready for bed.
The hormone Melatonin is naturally produced in our bodies in the evenings. It is stimulated by darkness. Your body normally does not produce this hormone during the day.
With that said, you can also purchase synthetically made melatonin over-the-counter at most retailers. Melatonin for children has proven to be safe to use for your toddler over the age of 2.
As a result, there may be some side effects that do subside after discontinuation.
For example, headaches, increased bedwetting, nightmares, dizziness, mood changes, and morning grogginess might occur for the use of melatonin.
I personally use Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep Melatonin Supplement (which you can purchase here) (which you can purchase here) for Mason with zero side effects noted. I do not give this to him every night.
Only as needed and it seems to work very well. However, I have spoken to parents that said their child experienced side effects.
Known as L-tryptophan this amino acid is found naturally in animal and plant proteins. Tryptophan can not be produced in the body however it is important for the development and functioning of many organs in your body.
Most people associate tryptophan with turkey. But, even though turkey has tryptophan in it. Overeating is what causes drowsiness after the Thanksgiving meal.
That being said, L-tryptophan has some side effects that I am concerned with. I recommend discussing with your child’s doctor before administering L-tryptophan to your child.
There are enough foods that you eat every day that has tryptophan naturally. for example whole milk, canned tuna, turkey and chicken, oats, cheese, nuts, and bread.
If you want to calm your toddler with tryptophan give him some warm milk just before bed.
Chamomile is a great natural sleep aid that works really well. The calming effect of chamomile tea will help your child settle down enough to fall asleep.
The benefits of chamomile tea are also used as a natural herb for treating everything from colds, teething pain, colic, anxiety, and irritability to name a few.
That is to say, chamomile is considered safe to use. You can add a little honey to the tea to make it taste better for your child that is over 12 months old.
There are no side effects associated with the use of chamomile tea however it should not be given to anyone that is allergic to plants in the daisy family.
CBD oils are a very hot topic these days. It seems to be popping up everywhere. Without going too far in-depth of the study of CBD oil.
Let me say that is legal in the United States. CBD oil has been processed from cannabis or hemp. The THC (the part that makes you “high”) has been removed.
Now the question remains should you give your child CBD oil? Personally, I would not give my grandson CBD oil, and here is why.
There are so many variations of the levels of CBD extract in each product. Because this is not regulated by the FDC I question some of the processes. Call me old fashioned if you will.
I have tried CBD oil for pain issues with no effect what so ever. And yes I have tried many different varieties and brands. The results that I saw were negative.
That being said, I have talked to many people that swear by it. However, when it comes to children there have not been enough studies to prove all of the remedies that are claimed.
While CBD oil claims to be effective in calming your child, please check with your child’s doctor prior to administering CBD oil to your child.
Lavender is a widely known essential oil that promotes relaxation and calming of the nervous system. You can find lavender products such as lavender essential oils everywhere.
When Mason was transitioning to a toddler bed we used a lavender roll-on that we applied to the bottom of his feet as well as a few drops of lavender essential oil in his bath at night. We had some success with this technique.
Aromatherapy is another popular way to induce lavender essential oil scent into the air which will also give a calming effect.
You should not use essential oils directly on your child’s skin this could irritate skin or chemical burns.
Physical activity is the best and by far the cheapest natural sleep aid that works. By allowing your child to run and play regularly outdoors you are helping him grow stronger as he runs around.
It is recommended to give your child at least 30 minutes a day of outside activity.
However, During the winter months, it is harder to go out and play. So when the weather is not conducive find an indoor park or simply just walk around the mall.
You can also get them involved in any sport such as gymnastics, and karate.,
Anything that will get your child up and playing will help release any built-up anxiety and promote calming sleep.
As I stated at the beginning, some of the mentioned natural sleep aids I have used while sleep training Mason. We have had some success.
We have also tried techniques that have not worked. With that said, there is no training manual on raising toddlers that I know of.
I have learned that everyone has an opinion some are educated and some are not. There are still many natural sleep aids that work that I didn’t mention.
Keep in mind a lot of sleep products on the market are not tested for children. I don’t believe in giving Mason something that hasn’t been tested I also don’t want to give him sleeping pills just to get him to sleep.
In conclusion, I am not a doctor so I recommend talking with your child’s doctor prior to using any sleep aid that can be purchased. Sorry, my lawyer made me put that in.
Thank you for reading and I hope I was able to leave something for you. If you have any experience that would like to share or want to leave a comment or a question.
Leave them below and I will certainly get back in a timely manner.
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