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7 Natural Sleep Aids For Kids

In this blog, we discuss natural sleep aids for kids including weighted blankets, supplements, and other alternatives to melatonin.

Natural Sleep Aid For Kids


A consistent bedtime routine signals to children that it’s time to wind down and sleep.

Less screen time and a quiet, cool, and dark environment help children fall asleep faster.

Weighted blankets also help children reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. 

Did you know?
Daytime naps serve a vital role in supporting learning and memory consolidation in children!

Are you tired of bedtime battles with your little ones? Wondering how to ensure they get the sleep they need? Look no further! In this blog, we discuss multiple natural sleep aids for kids. From weighted blankets to essential oils, we’ve got the lowdown on helping your child drift off into dreamland peacefully.

Let’s dive in!

Natural Sleep Aids For Children

Here are the most effective ways to help your young one fall asleep faster, naturally:

1. Weighted Blankets: The gentle pressure from the blanket creates a sensation known as Deep Touch Pressure (DTP), which promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety. For kids, a weighted blanket like our Nappling simulates the feeling of being hugged or swaddled, providing comfort and security that helps them settle down for sleep.

2. Bedtime Routine: Establishing a consistent bedtime routine signals to your child’s body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Incorporate calming activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or gentle stretches.

3. Limit Screen Time: Exposure to screens, like TVs, computers, tablets, and smartphones, before bedtime disrupts the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and makes it harder for kids to fall asleep. Aim to limit screen time at least an hour before bedtime and encourage quieter, screen-free activities instead.

4. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Make sure your child’s bedroom is conducive to sleep by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains to block out light, white noise machines or fans to mask any disruptive sounds, and comfortable bedding to enhance comfort.

5. Encourage Physical Activity: Regular physical activity during the day promotes better sleep at night. Encourage your child to engage in age-appropriate exercise and outdoor playtime to help them burn off excess energy and promote relaxation. However, avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime, as it may have the opposite effect and make it harder for them to wind down.

6. Healthy Sleep Hygiene: Teach your child the importance of maintaining good sleep hygiene habits, like going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Avoiding sugary snacks in the evening also helps prevent sleep disturbances.

7. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Introduce simple mindfulness and relaxation techniques to help your child relax their mind and body before bed. This could include guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, or simple deep breathing exercises.

Remember that every child is different, so it may take some trial and error to find the right combination of natural sleep aids that works best for your child.

Next, let’s look at whether essential oils can help children sleep better.


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Can Essential Oils Help Kids Sleep?

Essential oils are another set of natural sleep aids to consider for kids. Here’s how you incorporate them into your child’s bedtime routine:

1. Lavender is well-known for its calming and relaxing properties. Diffusing lavender oil in your child’s bedroom before bedtime can create a soothing atmosphere and promote feelings of relaxation, helping them fall asleep more easily. You can also dilute a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil, like coconut or almond oil, and massage it onto your child’s skin before bedtime

2. Chamomile is another option known for its calming effects. Similar to lavender, diffusing chamomile oil or using it in massage oil helps promote relaxation and prepare your child for sleep. Chamomile tea is also a popular bedtime beverage that helps calm the nerves and induce drowsiness.

3. Sweet Orange has a cheerful and uplifting aroma that creates a positive atmosphere in your child’s bedroom. While not typically used specifically for promoting sleep, the pleasant scent of sweet orange oil contributes to a calming and comforting environment before bedtime.

4. Frankincense has grounding and balancing properties that help calm the mind and reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. Diffusing frankincense oil in the evening creates a peaceful atmosphere conducive to relaxation and sleep.

When using essential oils with children, it’s essential to dilute them properly and use them with caution, as some oils may be too strong for young skin or respiratory systems. Always consult with a qualified aromatherapist or healthcare professional for guidance on safe and appropriate use of essential oils, especially for children. Additionally, be mindful of any potential allergies or sensitivities your child may have to specific oils.

In the next section, we discuss whether it is a good idea to consider vitamin D supplementation for your child’s sleep needs.

Is Vitamin D Before Bed Good For Kids?

While Vitamin D is essential for overall health, taking it before bed specifically to aid in sleep may not be necessary or effective. Vitamin D is known to play a role in regulating circadian rhythms, but its effects on sleep are not well-established.

It’s generally recommended to take Vitamin D earlier in the day, as it potentially interferes with sleep if taken too close to bedtime due to its stimulating effects. If you’re considering using Vitamin D supplements for your child, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and recommendations. They will help determine the appropriate dosage and timing based on your child’s individual needs and health status.

Next, let’s look at melatonin and if it’s safe or not for children to take it.

Kids sleeping with bearaby Nappling

Is Melatonin Safe for Kids?

Before giving melatonin to a child, it's essential to consult with a pediatrician or healthcare provider. They will help determine if melatonin is appropriate for your child'’ specific sleep issues and provide guidance on dosage and usage.

Here are other points to consider regarding the safety of melatonin for kids:

1. Short-Term Use: Melatonin is typically recommended for short-term use to address specific sleep problems, like difficulty falling asleep or irregular sleep patterns. It’s not intended for long-term use without medical supervision.

2. Appropriate Dosage: The appropriate dosage of melatonin for children varies based on factors like age, weight, and the child’s unique needs. It’s imperative to follow the dosage recommendations provided by your healthcare provider or the product label carefully.

3. Potential Side Effects: While melatonin is generally well-tolerated, some children may experience side effects like drowsiness, headaches, stomach discomfort, or mood changes. If your child experiences any adverse effects, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

4. Interactions with Medications: Melatonin supplements can interact with certain medications or medical conditions. It's essential to inform your healthcare provider of any medications your child is taking and any underlying health conditions they may have before starting melatonin supplementation.

In summary, melatonin can be safe and effective for short-term use in children with sleep issues when used appropriately and under medical supervision. However, it's essential to weigh the potential benefits against the risks and to consult with a healthcare professional before starting melatonin supplementation for your child.

Next, let’s consider what other options are available beyond melatonin for children.

Alternatives To Melatonin To Help Kids Sleep

Several foods contain nutrients that promote relaxation and support better sleep for kids. Here are some foods to consider incorporating into your child’s diet to help them sleep:

1. Bananas: Bananas are rich in magnesium and potassium, which relaxes muscles and promotes sleepiness. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that the body converts into serotonin and melatonin, both of which regulate sleep.

2. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which regulate blood sugar levels and promote steady energy throughout the night. It also contains melatonin, making it a suitable bedtime snack.

3. Almonds: Almonds are high in magnesium, which plays a role in promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality. A small handful of almonds or a spoonful of almond butter can be a nutritious bedtime snack.

4. Cherries: Cherries are one of the few natural food sources of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Drinking tart cherry juice or eating fresh cherries in the evening may help promote better sleep.

5. Whole Grain Foods: Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread are rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, which help regulate blood sugar levels and promote steady energy release throughout the night.

6. Dairy Products: Dairy products like milk and yogurt contain tryptophan and calcium, which promote relaxation and support better sleep. Warm milk before bedtime is a classic sleep-inducing remedy.

7. Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in magnesium, which help relax muscles and promote better sleep quality.

8. Herbal Teas: Herbal teas like chamomile, lavender, and valerian root are known for their calming and relaxing properties. A warm cup of herbal tea before bedtime helps soothe the mind and body, promoting better sleep.

9. Whole Grains: Whole grains like oats, barley, and brown rice are rich in nutrients like magnesium and tryptophan, which help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

Incorporating these sleep-promoting foods into your child’s diet along with a balanced and nutritious meal plan can contribute to better sleep habits and overall well-being. It’s essential to focus on creating a relaxing bedtime routine and promoting healthy sleep hygiene practices in addition to dietary changes for optimal sleep quality.

What Are Natural Sleep Patterns For Kids Per Age?

What Are Natural Sleep Patterns For Kids Per Age?

Here are general guidelines on how much sleep your child needs depending on their age:

1. Newborns (0-3 months): Newborns typically sleep for 14-17 hours a day, but their sleep is fragmented into short periods. They may wake frequently for feeding every 2-4 hours, as their small stomachs need regular nourishment. Babies gradually develop a more predictable sleep pattern as they grow.

2. Infants (4-11 months): Infants start to sleep longer stretches at night, averaging around 9-12 hours, with 2-3 naps during the day. By 6 months, many babies sleep through the night naturally without feeding, but some may still wake up occasionally.

3. Toddlers (1-2 years): Toddlers need about 11-14 hours of sleep per day, including a single nap or two shorter naps totaling 2-3 hours. They may experience resistance to bedtime or night awakenings due to separation anxiety or developmental milestones.

4. Preschoolers (3-5 years): Preschoolers typically need 10-13 hours of sleep per day, including a single nap or no naps. Nighttime awakenings may occur due to nightmares, fears, or disruptions in routine.

5. School-Age Children (6-12 years): School-age children require 9-12 hours of sleep per night, with fewer daytime naps or none at all. They may face challenges with bedtime resistance, screen time, or homework interfering with sleep.

6. Teenagers (13-18 years): Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep per night, but biological changes and social factors often lead to insufficient sleep. Irregular sleep patterns, late bedtimes, and early school start times contribute to sleep deprivation.

While these are the most commonly-observed patterns, your child’s sleep schedule may differ slightly. Next, let’s discuss how you may know that it’s time to speak to your doctor about your child’s sleep challenges.

When To See A Doctor

Here are some signs that it’s time to seek medical advice if your child is struggling to sleep:

1. Persistent Sleep Problems: If a child consistently has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up frequently during the night, despite attempts to improve sleep habits and routines.

2. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: If a child exhibits excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, or difficulty staying awake during the day, which may affect their ability to concentrate, learn, or participate in daily activities.

3. Behavioral or Emotional Changes: If sleep problems are accompanied by noticeable changes in behavior, mood, or emotional well-being, like increased irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression.

4. Physical Symptoms: If sleep difficulties are accompanied by physical symptoms like frequent headaches, stomachaches, bedwetting (in older children), or other unexplained physical complaints.

5. Impact on Functioning: If sleep problems significantly impact a child’s academic performance, social interactions, or overall quality of life, causing distress for both the child and their family.

6. Underlying Medical Conditions: If there are underlying medical conditions or concerns that may be contributing to the sleep difficulties, like sleep disorders (e.g., sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome), behavioral or developmental disorders, or other medical issues

7. Lack of Improvement: If attempts to address sleep difficulties at home, like implementing consistent bedtime routines, limiting screen time before bed, and creating a conducive sleep environment, have not led to improvement over time.


Natural sleep aids for kids range from essential oils and dietary choices to weighted blankets. These options offer gentle and effective ways to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Establishing healthy sleep habits, creating a calming bedtime routine, and seeking medical advice when needed are essential steps in supporting your child’s sleep health and overall well-being.