Using Chamomile Tea for Babies
Many women rely on chamomile tea as a safe treatment for upset stomach, anxiety or wakefulness during pregnancy. What they may not know is that this herbal remedy can also help alleviate bothersome symptoms in newborns. Chamomile tea is made from the flowers that form at the top of the chamomile plant, and societies around the world have used the plant’s medicinal properties to help the young and old alike. Chamomile comes in two varieties, German and Roman, and both can help with a variety of conditions babies often experience, from diaper rash and dry skin to colic and constipation.
Is Chamomile Tea safe for Babies?
Chamomile tea is very mild, and a 2010 study published in Molecular Medicine Reports showed it to be safe and effective in treating stomach issues in infants as young as 2 weeks old. Chamomile has virtually no side effects, making it a desirable choice for parents who are worried about possible adverse reactions from conventional medicines. Chamomile has natural sedative properties that are particularly helpful for general fussiness as well as the following conditions:
- Colic: A study published in the Journal of Family Practice found that herbal tea containing chamomile was effective in treating colic, and a trial conducted on breastfed infants in Italy showed that chamomile reduced crying time related to colic in 85 percent of cases.
- Constipation relief: Chamomile’s soothing effect also works on the digestive system and can help relieve the constipation associated with the introduction of first foods. The tea can also help babies with gas by calming upset stomachs and adding extra fluids to help with regular bowel movements.
- Teething: Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile can help soothe inflamed gums due to erupting teeth and help calm the fussiness that often accompanies teething.
- Wakefulness: Chamomile’s sedative properties make it a great choice to incorporate in the before-bed or nap time routine to induce sleepiness and make the transition to sleep easier.
Reactions to chamomile are rare but may be more common in those allergic to plants in the ragweed family, and parents should keep a watchful eye when first giving their babies or toddlers chamomile tea. If there is a history of ragweed allergies in the family, it’s best to consult with a pediatrician before giving your child chamomile tea. Signs of an allergic reaction can include a rash and difficulty breathing.
How Do I Prepare Chamomile Tea for an Infant?
Figuring out how to make chamomile tea for babies starts with whether or not the infant is used to taking a bottle. If so, pour the tea into a clean bottle liner and feed as normal. An eye dropper or medicine spoon is usually the best method for infants who are breastfed, while toddlers may drink out of a cup.
Correct dosage is important to ensuring the efficacy and safety of a chamomile tea treatment. Prepare the tea by steeping one tea bag in four ounces of water for about a minute. Let the tea cool to room temperature and always test to make sure it isn’t too hot before giving it to the child. Give up to four ounces of the tea per day, starting at a half-ounce every few hours.