Here we see one of life’s problematic catch-22s. One of the groups most susceptible to issues with sleep and night time in general is young children, or toddlers.
Yet that same group is the one we’re most wary of filling to the gills with medication or strong sleep aids to help lull them into a quiet night’s sleep.
The effects of sleep deprivation or interrupted nightly schedules can be even more worrisome when it comes to toddlers and young kids, who require much more of the sweet sleep stuff on average (for example, a new born tends to need around fourteen hours a day).
And many of our kids just aren’t getting enough sleep – according to WebMD, an astounding seven out of ten children aren’t getting enough z’s.
So what are some safe solutions for our tired children? Here are the top 3 gentle yet effective, natural sleep aids for kids.
1. Luna Kids
These are effective, safe, and actually taste quite yummy. But the reason they top our list is because their ingredients check out. These tablets contains a great combination of Vitamin D3 (for bone growth and development), lemon balm (for its calming properties), valerian root (a very mild sedative), chamomile (soothing, sleep aiding properties), and melatonin (our body’s natural hormone that controls our sleep and wake cycles).
Our favorite thing about Luna’s tablets? They contain the lowest, yet still effective, dose of melatonin you’ll find on the market (0.2mg). And since melatonin can cause very vivid dreams (and nightmares) especially in high doses, this is a godsend.
Also love that the pills are chewable, are effective without being too strong, and overall help promote deeper sleep without any grogginess the morning after. All in all, the perfect natural sleep aid for kids.
2. Tired Teddies
These chewy yet quick-to-dissolve, bubblegum-flavored teddy bear tablets make our list for the fact that they contain no added colors or sugar and are gluten, soy, nut and dairy free.
And again, we love that these tablets contain a smaller, yet still effective, dose of melatonin (0.3mg) than most other natural sleep aids for children.
The other herbs found in their formula – Chamomile, Lemon Balm, California Poppy, Lettuce, Echinacea – are calming, completely non-addictive and safe for kids.
3. No More Monsters
Unlike the other top natural sleep aids for kids, No More Monsters chewable tablets contain no melatonin, making them the perfect, gentle sleep aid if your child has reactions to melatonin (i.e. nightmares).
Instead of melatonin, No More Monsters eases your child to sleep with a doze-worthy combination of herbs that induce calm, peaceful sleep.
Bonus: DIY Children’s Sleep Tea
For those of you who can use some help getting your kids to sleep but don’t want to resort to supplements, making your own sleepy time tea for your kid is a great alternative to the natural sleep aids for children on the market.
It also comes with the perk of letting you control the amount and quality of the ingredients to suit what works best for your kid. Plus, it’s really easy to make.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 tsp Chamomile (get it here)
- 1 tsp Lemon Balm (get it here)
- 1/2 tsp Valerian Root (get it here) or Catnip Leaf (get it here)
To get all the sleep-aiding benefits of this tea, place all the dried, organic ingredients into a tea pot and secure the lid to prevent the oils from escaping. After it comes to a boil, turn off the stove and let the tea steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and cool. Sweeten with raw honey if you’d like.
Why this tea? Chamomile, the sleep tea poster child, is a very gentle sedative herb that comes with a centuries long resume of promoting a good night’s sleep. Valerian root is also a mild sedative and it’s very effective for bringing on the zzz’s. It’s safe enough for children but it can come on a tad strong for your little one – especially its earthy taste. If that’s the case, substitute the Valerian root with the Catnip leaf.
Catnip leaf is the same stuff that cats go crazy for – but this mild, soothing herb is safe for human children as well. Lemon balm’s a godsend for soothing the tummy and relaxing the body by reducing anxiety and restlessness. It’s also antiviral and gentle enough for children.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use chamomile if your child is allergic to ragweed since the plants are related. Also, valerian should only be used for up to a month of continuous use. You can continue using chamomile, catnip leaf and lemon balm for as long as you want.