Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Momma the druggist

Last week I took baby E to his 15 month well child. He's perfect by the way, still skinny, with an enormous head (big heads are good in babies after all because big head = big brain) but absolutely perfect.  Except for that whole not sleeping thing. (big, huge, sigh) But, for the very first time, the pediatrician was able to offer a possibility of something to help. Her suggestion? Melatonin. 1mg about a half hour before bed, crushed up. Our decision? What the hell, it's worth a try.

I must admit I feel a little uncomfortable with giving him the Melatonin. I mean, I fall into the whole, "no antibiotics unless absolutely necessary/a fever doesn't necessitate Tylenol/delayed vaccination" camp. So, to give my babe a pill (albeit it crushed up in applesauce) every night, makes me a feel a bit ugh-ish. The boys' pediatrician was a bit flippant about it all, throwing out a dosage that she just guessed on. However, as you well know, we're a big desperate for sleep around here and, short of a hot toddy, we're willing to give about anything a shot so to speak.

Hubby and I - desperate beyond belief to get some freaking sleep - jumped on it. The 1st night we crushed up a 3mg pill, giving him approximately 1mg mixed in applesauce. Imagine my surprise, when little E was asleep in my arms before I even finished the bedtime routine. And then slept 6hours straight. Followed by a brief waking, and then another several hours of sleeping. The 2nd night, he again went to sleep super easy. He was pretty restless, but didn't necessitate parental intervention. I mean, I was still awake several times, but at least I didn't have to get up. The 3rd night, he was up twice, but 1 of those was because of a leaking diaper, so I still count that as a success.

Tonight is the 4th night, and we are back to him taking forever to get to sleep. Not sure what's up with that...maybe we didn't give it to him early enough? No idea. He's in there screaming "night-night. Night-night!!!". But I've got my fingers crossed for a decent night. Please, whoever-is-the-patron-saint-of-babies-and-sleep, make this baby sleep tonight!  [Update: After about 45minutes, he's out. This is still a huge improvement!]

But, I continue to worry a bit about whether it is safe, appropriate dosage, long-term effects, etc... So, when trolling facebook the other night, I was reminded that one FB friend from high school is now a pharmacist. I decided on a whim to send him a message and ask him his opinion. (Side note: it's so funny/odd to be faced with someone you knew that long ago as just your kid brother's friend, but he's now this super smart professional. Cool, but weird.) Well, awesome person that he is, he called and gave me all the info he could dig up. He asked about E's medical history, current symptoms, and a myriad of other clinically relevant questions. He shared his concerns, the primarily one being that he could find no information regarding what might be an appropriate dosage for baby E based on his age and weight. He was professional, informative, empathetic, and so very kind.

He's going to continue to see what he can come up with for appropriate dosage. He suggested getting a compounding pharmacy to make up the right dosage (once we figure out what it is - probably .5mg) so we know for sure. He recommended absolutely not using it if there is any child-specific or biological family history of seizures or liver problems. Certainly baby E hasn't had issues with either of these and the medical histories we have from his birth families doesn't indicate a history there either. The last thing he recommended was using a specific company for the supplement, as herbals aren't regulated by the FDA but this company sends their products to a 3rd party for verification. Because I'm thorough (Read: slightly OCD), we also spoke with hubby's aunt who is also a pharmacist and she's looking for some info for us as well.

Based on all that, the decision we've came to is to continue with the melatonin, for now. It seems to be working for E. He's sleeping - much - longer (for him) and the little circles under his eyes have started to go away. My circles are still there, but I have faith that a few more days of 6+hours of sleep will help those start to resolve as well.

Today's lesson: Some time you do things you never thought you would. I mean, we delay vaccinations and hesitate to even give our kids Tylenol. Giving them a pill to make them sleep is not something I ever thought I'd do. And yet, here we are. You do whatcha gotta do. And that's okay.


Jenn and Casey said...

The good thing about melatonin is that is a natural thing produced by our bodies to help us fall asleep. I take it (granted, I'm not a little one and I think it's a great idea to get a compound of the right dose!) I know lots of kids who take it, and it is super helpful.

Special K said...

I know several people who give their kids melatonin to help with sleep and they all swear by it! Hoping it works for you!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on not medicating little ones. I caved on Tylenol the other night for teething, but worried about the effect the meds were having on Isaac's little baby liver :(. It's so hard to see them hurting, not sleeping, etc and not give them something if it will help! I think melatonin is more natural than a lot of other things, though, so don't be too hard on yourself. Hope it continues to help!

Rachel said...

Our kiddo is a horrible sleeper. He turned two in January and I pushed the issue with his pediatrician. We had a sleep study this past Monday to rule out medical issues. All this to say, I feel your pain, Mama!!