Hey all, wondering if folks have experience and stories to share on using melatonin or other sleep aids on kids (mine's 4.5).

Long story short - my kid is a very low sleep needs kid who has always (since about 2 years old) gone to bed super late (10 PM or later, especially if she naps, which at her school is a non negotiable). While it sucks to have no adult time in the evenings, we've just accepted this as her biology, and have all the right things in place according to her pediatrician and a sleep consultant we've used (routine, low lights, no electronics, calming rituals, etc.). She wakes up fine, she's high functioning, so it hasn't really been an issue other than us having to manage a late bedtime.

In the last month or so (since Thanksgiving), it's been a lot harder to get her to settle down to sleep. She sleeps fine once she's asleep, but getting to sleep is chaos. Over Thanksgiving, we finally dropped the pacifier. For a week or so, she was settling down fine without it, sleeping as usual, etc. And then at the beginning of December, it started taking her hours to settle down. Her body just could not stop moving, and her bedtime escalated to 11:15-11:45 on nap days, and closer to 10:30 on non-nap days (up from 9 on average). We gave it a few weeks, just in case it was a pacifier transition, and then gave her the pacifier back to see if that would help, and it did a little, but she is still exceptionally hyper and is taking longer to settle than usual.

We talked to her pediatrician and they recommended giving her Benadryl or melatonin to help her settle down for a few weeks. I am exceptionally weary of both these drugs. Benadryl because using it previously for an allergic reaction made her crazy hyper, and melatonin because it's an unregulated hormone with not a whole lot of long term evidence of use. I'm not medication averse in general, and her doctor recommended it, and I know folks have used it, but I'm just very hesitant of creating reliance on drugs, messing with what might just be her natural rhythm, long term issues, etc. Given how long it's taken us to even drop the pacifier as a reliance mechanism, drugs just seem even more of a potential issue.

Would love to hear any stories, experiences etc.