Chamomile tea is known for its calming properties, so you might brew a cup if you feel anxious or have trouble sleeping. If you love a cup of tea to calm yourself down, it’s only natural you’d be wondering if it might have the same effect on your baby. But here’s the question: Is it safe?
The good news is that chamomile tea is safe for babies. But although safe, the tea isn’t recommended for all babies. You should wait until they’re a certain age, and there are limits to how much you should give a baby. We’ve got the details below.
Chamomile is an herbal ingredient. This, however, doesn’t mean that you can give your baby any amount of chamomile tea.
Too much of a good thing can be harmful. And the reality is, if you’re giving your baby chamomile tea for the first time, there’s no way to know how they’ll react. So — first things first — before experimenting with any herbal ingredient, speak with your pediatrician to see if it’s safe for your baby.
You can introduce chamomile tea when you introduce other liquids such as juice and water.
Chamomile tea is available in a variety of flavors, and some brands combine the tea with other herbs. Added ingredients are okay for you. For your baby, though, choose pure chamomile tea without any added flavors or ingredients.
You should also use tea bags — don’t give your baby teas made with loose chamomile leaves. Sometimes, loose leaves are contaminated with clostridium botulinum bacteria, which can make your baby sick.
To prepare chamomile tea, boil water and then steep a tea bag for about 10 minutes. Once the tea finishes brewing, let it cool to room temperature. You can spoon-feed your baby the tea, or they can sip the tea from a cup.
However, keep in mind that this study used a combination tea, not just chamomile. Although small amounts (an ounce or two) of chamomile tea is likely safe for babies, it’s best to consult your pediatrician for advice on exactly how much chamomile tea you should offer your baby.
Here’s a look at several benefits of chamomile tea for babies.
May treat colic and fussiness
Colic is frequent, persistent crying or fussiness. Your baby may have colic if they aren’t hungry nor sleepy. Yet, they’re inconsolable at least 3 hours a day, 3 times a week, for at least 3 weeks.
Colic is believed to be a digestive issue, as some babies seem to calm down after passing gas or having a bowel movement. If your baby is colicky, giving them chamomile tea might aid digestion and soothe their stomach.
In a 1993 study, 68 infants with colic where given herbal tea (including chamomile), 150 milliliters up to three times a day. The study found that after 7 days, colic improved in 57 percent of the infants.
May improve sleep
A sleepy baby can also be a fussy baby. But there’s good news if you’re looking for a natural sleep aid for your baby.
One purported benefit of chamomile tea is its ability to relax the nerves and body. This not only eases anxiety, it can also induce sleep. This is likely due to apigenin, a common flavonoid in chamomile.
Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. According to a
May ease constipation
Some infants develop constipation, especially after starting solid foods. Chamomile tea, however, may relieve infrequent bowel movements in infants. The tea increases hydration in the intestinal tract, making it easier to pass stools.
Although chamomile tea is generally safe for infants, there’s always the risk of your baby developing a reaction — more so if it’s your first time giving them tea.
Signs of a reaction to chamomile tea include:
- itchiness around the lips and tongue
- swelling of the face
A severe reaction can lead to anaphylactic shock and cause difficulty breathing and unconsciousness.
If your baby has any known allergies — especially allergies to related plants like ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies — don’t give them chamomile tea.
To be safe, it’s recommended that all parents ask their baby’s pediatrician about the safety of chamomile tea before adding it to infant diets.
Seek emergency help if your baby has signs of an allergic reaction.
If you drink chamomile tea to aid digestion or for relaxation, the herbal tea might help your baby, too. Just make sure your infant is at least 6 months old before offering herbal tea, and always check with your doctor first.
Chamomile tea is generally safe, though some babies may be allergic to it. Plus, chamomile may interact with some medications. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before trying any herbal remedy.
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, start simple and in small quantities, as you would with any new food.