Is Chamomile Tea for Babies Actually Safe?
A colicky baby can put a damper on the joy that a new child brings. You love your child to pieces, but he just won’t stop crying. Colic can cause babies to cry for hours on end for no apparent reasons. Or, your child may think that sleeping isn’t a good idea – ever!
You may be curious if it is safe to give chamomile tea for babies. Adults drink chamomile tea when they have an upset stomach or need to fall asleep, but what about babies?
Why Do People Love Chamomile?
Chamomile is a revered herb, and it has been used for thousands of years. Here are some reasons why people use and love it.
- It is a mild muscle and neurological relaxant that can help you relax and fall asleep. It can cause a mild sedation effect, helping you to sleep.
- For those with abdominal pain from indigestion, gas or constipation, it can cause the gastrointestinal tract to relax. Chamomile has soothing effects.
- There are antibacterial compounds that can help strength the immune system, and it can fight any bacteria in your system.
Should You Give Chamomile Tea to Babies?
You are sure to encounter at least one person who will tell you they used it with success. To answer the question shortly, it is not recommended to give your baby chamomile tea.
Chances are your grandmother or mother told you it works. There is a good chance it did! Homemade remedies have been used for thousands of years with varying degrees of success. Herbal teas are used around the world, but no research tells us it is safe for your baby to consume.
If you decide to give it a try, your baby is unlike to have a reaction. It is best only to give it to your baby who is older than six months old. Little babies shouldn’t have anything in their system besides breastmilk or formula. Remember, always consult your doctor before giving it a try!
Cautions When Giving Chamomile Tea for Babies
If you are still considering it, there are some reasons you should think twice. First, it is important to talk to your child’s pediatrician.
- Your baby could potentially be allergic to chamomile. It isn’t a common allergy, but it is possible, especially for those who are allergic to ragweeds. If either parent is allergic to chamomile, you should steer clear.
- Ingesting too much chamomile tea too fast can lead to adverse effects. Instead of calming your baby’s stomach, chamomile tea can lead to nausea and possibly evening vomiting. This tea should be introduced very slowly and given in small amounts. The bag should be steeped for 5 minutes and no more than 1 to 2 ounces given.
- Water (and tea) can fill up your baby’s stomach too much. They need breastmilk or formula to grow properly. Keep a very close eye on your child’s consumption of their milk. If it seems like it has decreased at all, you need to stop giving chamomile tea or water.
Giving Chamomile Tea for Colic
Babies who cry longer than three hours are considered to be colicky. Doctors aren’t too sure what causes colic, but many mothers have success calming their baby with chamomile tea. Even though doctors don't necessarily recommend it, chamomile tea does have healing properties for anyone, including infants, who have an upset stomach. It also helps babies get a restful sleep.
How to Serve the Tea to Babies
If you have decided to give it a try, there is a specific way to give it your baby. The chamomile tea should be given warm but not hot! You don’t want to burn your child, so it is best when it's lukewarm. Always give it in small amounts because you don’t want to lead to an upset stomach, especially if their problem is their digestive tract.
You don’t have to give an entire cup of chamomile tea for your baby. 2 to 3 ounces of tea is about all your child will need to alleviate any pain. Too much tea won’t help decrease the colic. Start off small and let your child take small drinks. Also, it is a good idea to use the purest form of chamomile tea that you can find. Many tea bags are mixed with other ingredients. Always buy your tea from a trusted source.
When your baby is having indigestion issues, you typically want to give your child something to take away the pain. If you like homemade remedies, many people advocate giving chamomile tea for babies, especially if they have colic.
It is important to remember that chamomile tea is not recommended for your child; doctors and researchers have no evidence that it is effective. However, besides the chance of a rare allergy to chamomile, your child is likely to experience no harmful side effects. In fact, your baby may relax and have a great sleep after a few ounces!