Teething Tea!! Yes, tea for babies! I've talked before about how we use teas and tinctures in our house to fight off sickness, calm our minds and bodies, for reproductive health, and for overall enjoyment, but I've also started using them to comfort and calm our little guy. I've heard that babies react to teething in different ways...some seem unfazed, while others react as if the world is ending. Our little Oak falls into the latter category. He experiences all the symptoms of teething from runny nose, to a chin-full of drool, to whining, fussiness, and full out screaming to express his frustration and discomfort from those impending teeth.
So, with that being said, I've tried a few natural remedies, including homeopathic teething tablets and essential oil blends, and this teething tea. They are all helpful and useful at different times (ie. the middle of the night!), but I find that the teething tea I feel most comfortable using liberally and consistently. Because it is a simple blend of herbs, it is gentle, natural, and perfectly safe! I've used the tea in two different ways. One way is to simply put it in a bottle and have him sip on it. The other way, which he prefers, is to freeze it in ice cube trays and then plop one of the cubes into this little mesh teether/food feeder thing we have. (Side note: I've never actually used those things for food, but they do work great for ice cubes!) If you don't have a mesh thing like that, you could also use a piece of cheese cloth or muslin and tie the ice cube in it, as long as the cloth is big enough and the ice cube is securely tied inside of it in order to prevent choking. Obviously, use your common sense. The ice cube method is great because not only is it fun for him, but the ice also soothes his gums.
I've found that right before nap-time or bedtime is a great time to give Oak the tea. It calms him before sleep and helps relieve any discomfort he may be feeling from the teeth, which is helpful for sleep as well. It's also a great distraction for him when he's being fussy, which gives me a few minutes to get a few things done around the house or in the kitchen.
Teething Tea for Babies
1 part dried chamomile flowers (a calming and inflammatory herb that promotes sleep)
1 part dried lavender flowers (a relaxing and calming herb)
1 part dried lemon balm leaves (a soothing and calming herb that promotes sleep)
1 part dried valerian root (an herb that promotes sleep)
1 part dried catnip (a calming herb that relieves irritability and pain)
Mix all of the herbs together and store in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. When ready to use, use 1 teaspoon of herbs for each cup of water and steep until the water has cooled to room temperature. Always allow tea to cool completely before giving it to your little one in a cup or bottle, or freeze in ice cube trays and let baby suck on the ice cube. This should ONLY be done if the ice cube is inside of something in order to prevent choking. Store extra ice cubes in the freezer for easy future access.
Dosage: According to Rosemary Gladstone, when an adult dosage is 1 cup of tea, a child under 2 years should have 1/2 to 1 teaspoon. I recommend freezing ice cubes in 1 teaspoon amounts. You can also add a teaspoon of tea to a bottle and dilute it with a bit of water, breastmilk, or formula.
When using herbs, I encourage you to do your own research. Most places and websites will tell you to talk to your doctor about them. That is definitely an option! However, many doctors are not herbalists and are often not familiar with the many different herbs out there and how they can be used safely and effectively for medicinal purposes. So, if you're wanting to learn more, start studying some well-known herbalists! Two of my favorite books on medicinal herbs are Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide and Conceiving Healthy Babies: An Herbal Guide to Support Preconception, Pregnancy, and Lactation. The latter is a great reference whether or not you are in your childbearing years.
Gladstar, Rosemary. Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide. Storey Publishing: North Adams, MA. 2012.
Mountain Rose Herbs. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/
High Garden Tea. https://highgardentea.com/