If children aren’t sleeping, then parents aren’t sleeping and no one is happy. Teething can be a reason for that, amongst many other problems. But, there is a wondrous plant called chamomile that can help. It soothes, calms and performs the occasional miracle.
Where am I?
It was a shock! I woke with a start, jumped up and nearly ran into the wall. What time was it? Where was I? The haze began to lift and I realised I was at home in our bedroom. But, I was deeply confused. Then it dawned on me - the baby! He hadn’t woken at all during the night. It was our first full night’s sleep in months. A miracle! Thanks be to chamomile.
One of the many shocks of raising a baby (especially the first time) is the lack of sleep. Now, I understand why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a beautiful little yellow and white flower that can help us.
Chamomile has a soft sweet smell when you rub its leaves and flowers. It grows low on the ground and flourishes when it is walked on. What does that tell us? That it thrives under pressure. That is how it helps us too: when we’re under pressure (from stress or pain for example) it soothes our nervous system. It calms us. It helps us deal with pressure. It does the same for big humans and small ones alike. Especially, when they are teething.
I want you to imagine for a minute that sharp pieces of your skull are bursting out through your gums. Now, imagine that you don’t know why it is happening. Add to that, an upset stomach and a sore bum. That is a sense of how upsetting teething must be. That is why chamomile is perfect for children:
Let them drink chamomile
The secret of its success lies in its bitter taste and the influence that has on our hormones. But, it also poses a small problem because most children won’t drink it straight. So, we have to be clever.
This is how I make a strong tea tincture. This will be the base for all your chamomile medicine.
What happens next depends on the child’s age.
Under six months
When my children were under six months old, I prepared the tea tincture like above. Then I poured it into an ice cube tray and froze it. I put a small ice cube in my children’s last two bottles before bedtime.
If you’re breastfeeding, there is another way to do it. Make a pot of chamomile tea - three teaspoons of dried chamomile per pot. Leave it to cool overnight and drink it throughout the next day. Both mother and baby will enjoy the benefits.
Over six months
When my children were over six months old, they got up to four small ice cubes per day in their milk or water bottles.
When they were one or older, I added some honey to the tea tincture. This makes a chamomile syrup. The syrup should be two thirds tea tincture and one third honey. I gave our children up to four teaspoons per day.
Honey is a marvelous antiseptic - great for keeping colds and sore throats at bay. But, be mindful of their young teeth if they’re taking it before bed.
The syrup will last for a couple of weeks if kept in the fridge.
When the strain of parenthood gets too much, I’d recommend that you take the syrup too. Adults can take up to six teaspoons per day.
Good sleep for children
There are also other things that need to be considered for a child to sleep well:
We’ll go into all of these in future blog posts. But, for the moment, drink chamomile and enjoy the peace and calm.
Got any questions?
I work with people to bring greater health, happiness and meaning into their lives. I write about the things I learn along the way. My name is Níall Ó Murchú.
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