Considered to be one of the most widely consumed herbs all over the world, Chamomile (Manzanilla) has been used for thousands of years for its abundance of health benefits. But did you know that this ancient herb can also benefit your baby? Not only is Chamomile an anti-inflammatory, non-allergenic, anti-bacterial, but it also contains calcium, magnesium, folate and Vitamin A – all great stuff for your growing tot! Whether you’re looking to for a more holistic approach to parenting or just in need of a few new tips for common baby woes, read on for 8 healthful benefits chamomile for your baby.
1. A BETTER NIGHT'S SLEEP
Most likely, you’ve tried a soothing cup of Chamomile tea to relax, so it makes sense it would also help your little one to get a better night’s rest. Containing a number of relaxing agents that work in a similar manner to over-the-counter sleep aids, some say a diluted Chamomile tea is an effective, natural remedy for a restless baby.
How to make chamomile tea baby-friendly:
Bring a cup of water to a boil
Add a teaspoon of chamomile flowers or use a teabag.
Strain the flowers/remove the teabag
Let the tea cool down
Put your tea into a baby bottle and give to the infant
2. A COLIC FIGHTER
If your baby suffers from uncontrollable (and seemingly never ending) crying fits for no apparent reason, there’s a good chance they may be colicky. While the cause of colic is somewhat of a mystery, digestive issues may play a role, according to WebMD. Chamomile tea often helps calm colicky babies due to its antispasmodic activity which helps to ease stomach cramps associated with gas and bloating. While adding a touch of weakened, brewed Chamomile tea to a bottle is an effective home remedy, there are also some over-the –counter products containing Chamomile that work to alleviate colic.
3. SOOTHING TEETHING RELIEF
Besides the nonstop drooling and incessant fingers in the mouth that accompany budding teeth, teething can also bring a lot of pain and discomfort for babies. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, Chamomile makes for a safe and natural alternative for pain relief caused by teething. Simply soak a clean, cotton washcloth in a chamomile tea solution and give it to your baby to bite on. For older teething toddlers, you can freeze a brew of weak Chamomile tea into popsicles to have on hand for sudden bouts of pain or irritability.
4. MAKES FOR A CALMING BATH
Not only is Chamomile a natural relaxant that soothes away stress and irritability, aiding in a better night’s rest, but it’s also a natural anti-inflammatory which is effective at soothing your baby’s skin and hair. Try a hypoallergenic and tear-free Chamomile baby wash, like the classic Ricitos de Oro (a tried and true Mom favorite) which gently nourishes baby skin and locks. If you want to add some extra herbal goodness to bath time, add 3-5 drops of chamomile essential oil into an ounce of sweet almond oil to baby’s bath water for relaxation.
5. IMMUNITY BUILDER
It’s probably no surprise that Chamomile can help your baby unwind, but did you know that it also contains antibacterial compounds that can help strengthen your baby’s immune system? Chamomile promotes the production of white blood cells (macrophages and B-lymphocytes), which are the biggest infection-fighters of your little one’s immune system. So the next time flu and cold season rolls around, reach for the Chamomile to give your baby an extra immunity boost.
6. HEALS CRADLE CRAP
Most moms have encountered Cradle cap at one of point or another on their journey through parenthood. The flaky, and dry patch of yellow or brown scales on your baby’s scalp is also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis – and let’s face it, it’s pretty gross. While it usually disappears on its own around 6 – 12 months without any treatment, some cases can get worse over time. Chamomile is chockful of astringent properties that helps to cure the cradle cap by constricting the overactive glands. This ancient herb also contains Chondroitin Sulfates, good for soothing the skin and reducing itching. Add a few drops of therapeutic grade Chamomile oil to coconut oil and gently rub on the affected area. Leave on for a few minutes, then gently brush off with a washcloth or a soft-bristled brush.
7. SOOTHES DIAPER RASH
Inevitably, most babies get diaper rash at some point, and there’s nothing worse than seeing your sweet tot in pain and discomfort from a red, inflamed and irritated bottom. While applying an over-the-counter diaper rash cream or ointment to baby’s backside usually does the trick, some say a Chamomile home remedy can work just as well. In a spray bottle, combine two cups of Chamomile tea with a teaspoon of honey and spray the affected area throughout the day. The chamomile and honey act as a powerful antiseptic aid to the skin’s healing.
8. WARDS OFF HICCUPS
While typically a small bout of hiccups doesn’t usually bother babies and go away on their own, hiccups are sometimes unsettling and startling for an infant. Chamomile can be a useful aid in easing your baby’s hiccups, thanks to its muscle-relaxing properties which ease the contractions within the diaphragm which leads to hiccups. Mix a few drops of chamomile oil with a couple tablespoons of a carrier oil (like almond oil) and massage liberally onto baby’s belly.
Although adverse effects associated with the use of chamomile are a rarity, always ensure that your chamomile products are made from the purest form of the chamomile herb, and contact your pediatrician with any concerns before using any natural remedy.