Alternative Treatments for Children

Herbal remedies and alternative treatments that are safe and effective for children.

By Emily Bloch


guide to alternative treatment for childrenEasing Kids to Sleep
Getting your child to bed can be a daily struggle—kids can have a hard time settling down. And, of course, they know how to prolong the nightly ritual with calls for one last glass of water or another bedtime story. Try:

  • Aromatherapy
    For kids of any age, place a few drops of agood-quality calming essential oil (such as lavender or sweet orange) on a handkerchief, Gereau Haddon suggests. Tie the hankie near your child's bed—but not so close that he can reach it and put it in his mouth, since the oils can be toxic in high doses. You can also put a drop or two into a massage oil, on your child's pillow, or in a diffuser.
  • Melatonin
    This is a hormone our bodies produce to regulate our sleep-wake cycle; it is sold as a supplement (purchase only a synthetic kind). "For children older than two, I often recommend taking one-half to three milligrams an hour before bedtime," Rosen says.
  • Mind-Body Techniques
    "We teach parents to use mental imagery with their kids," Culbert says. After a bedtime story, try talking to your child about her favorite place—a beach or any other safe and calm location. Help her focus on her breathing as a way to slow nervous energy.