Saturday, February 18, 2012

How Chamomile Tea Saved My Life (Or At Least My Sanity)

My daughter has been the queen of sleep issues since birth. There are several reasons for this. 1) Every ounce of her little personality screams "LIFE IS AMAZING, I MUST BE AWAKE EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY TO ENJOY IT!!!" 2) For the first 6 months of her life she was having stomach aches from the dairy products I was eating but I didn't know it. 3) I hold the ever so unpopular opinion that no baby should EVER be left alone to cry for ANY amount of time, for ANY reason or under ANY circumstance (I know most of you reading this disagree with me and that's okay).

For months and months every single night of my life I spent more time trying to get my daughter to fall back to sleep than I spent sleeping. She'd either wake up every 45 minutes all night long so I was constantly leaning over the bed to soothe her back to sleep (when she wasn't co-sleeping she slept in a toddler bed next to ours) or she'd wake up wide awake at 2 in the morning and spend anywhere from 2-4 hours rolling around in our bed wanting to play. I spent hours and hours researching on the internet, reading books and seeking doctors' and other moms' advice about different ways to get babies to sleep better and tried absolutely EVERYTHING...except the popular cry-it-out method which I refuse to try no matter how sleep deprived I become.

I found myself 6 months pregnant with a 17 month old who wouldn't sleep. I was miserable. At this point I realized I'd exhausted my resources about baby sleep solutions and needed to try something else. I decided to just research sleep remedies in general instead of focusing specifically on baby sleep remedies. I came across a bunch of articles that talked about drinking chamomile tea before bed to help soothe and relax you. It sounded natural and safe to me, so I researched if chamomile tea was safe for babies to drink. I found several websites (links posted below) that said not only is chamomile tea a safe and mild sedative that can be used to help calm and relax babies, toddlers and children, but it also soothes teething pain and gas pain and can even be used to treat colic in tiny babies. I decided to give it a try.

I mixed a teaspoon of honey with 8 oz of tea and offered it to Mercedes with her bedtime snack that night. She drank maybe 1-2 oz. Magically, she slept through the night! 8 hours straight, for the first time in her life. I thought it might be a fluke so I tried it again the next night, and the next, and the next...she went from getting 7 hours total of interrupted sleep (constant night wakings or being awake for 2-4 hours in the middle of the night) to sleeping 10-11 hours straight through the night. It's been about 6 weeks since we've incorporated chamomile tea into our bedtime routine, and with the exception of a few very rough teething nights (8 teeth popping through all at once...ouch!) Mercedes consistently sleeps 9-11 hours a night. If she wakes up, she wakes up groggy and will almost always put herself back to sleep, or ask to cuddle me and fall asleep in less than 5 minutes. Both our lives are happier now that neither of us are sleep deprived.

I would not recommend this for a baby under 11 or 12 months. There is a slight chance that babies could have an allergy to chamomile flowers (this is common for people who have seasonal allergies to things like ragweed) and have a reaction. Also there are reasons why small babies NEED to wake up several times a night and God made them that way....their sleep cycles are naturally shorter than adults , they need to eat during the night, they need to sleep lighter to reduce the risk of SIDS, etc. so in my opinion feeding a small baby chamomile tea would not be wise. But once a baby is maturing into a toddler if they are still having sleep issues, especially if those issues are due to a high strung personality, teething pain or gas pain, chamomile tea is a safe, natural and effective remedy.

Note: We have also made chamomile tea popsicles for teething nights...huge success!

I know some of you are shaking your heads as you read this, thinking I could have saved myself from the whole 17 months of no sleep thing if I'd just done what most doctors, books and parents are recommending these days, which is the cry-it-out method. And I want to say that I am incredibly proud of myself for never resorting to that. In my opinion, the cry-it-out method is the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to get a baby to sleep through the night, but it is NEVER the best thing for a baby. I love knowing that my daughter sleeps through the night not because I ignored her cries for so many nights in a row that she doesn't bother asking for me anymore, and not because I forced her to "self-soothe" before she was ready, but because she feels safe, secure and loved, and because she knows that I will always be there for her when she needs me. Every night of the first 17 months of her life was a challenge. And every night was worth it knowing that I did the best thing for my baby.

 I also want to add that my amazing husband has been 100% supportive of every method I've used to try to get Mercedes to sleep better, and has never complained about the co-sleeping or the many, many nights where he's resorted to sleeping on the couch so that me and Mercedes could sleep better in our big bed. I'm so thankful for what a great daddy he is. Being a mommy is so much easier with his support.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, just a mom doing research and through experience finding out what works best for my kids. And maybe helping out a few other parents along the way! If you are nervous or have doubts about feeding your baby chamomile tea by all means please speak with your doctor or do further research!

Resources I found helpful:
 http://www.holistic-medicine-md.com/chamomile-tea.html
http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/herbs-for-kids-feature
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/chamomile-tea-for-babies.html
http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/go/index.php/59/natural-treatment-for-childs-stress-and-pain
http://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler-health/alternative-medicine.aspx

104 comments:

  1. Hi, I just came across your blog while researching the use of chamomile tea for babies. I know you mention not using it for babies under 11 or 12 but do you think it would be harmful to try it once for a 10 month old? My son has consistently woken to nurse every 45mins-2 hours since birt, along with middle of the night play sessions. We cosleep and while I understand the wakings while he is teething or sick, he now seems to just be restless and unable to settle. He is a very happy and extremely alert and active baby and I feel he is just needs some help calming at night. He is otherwise a big, healthy boy. I am barely functioning from a lack of sleep and am also a graduate student desperately needing some rest.

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  2. I would try a small amount during the day and watch for side effects to make sure he's not allergic. The reason I recommend waiting until 12 months is because most babies have outgrown their infant allergies by then, and some of the websites I came across mentioned that some people are allergic to chamomile flowers. Sounds like chamomile tea or chamomile tea popsicles/slushies would work wonders for your little guy. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with him. Good for you for cosleeping and responding to his needs. Even if the tea doesn't work, he WILL grow out of this phase! My daughter is 3 now and while she still wakes up to cuddle us a couple times a night,there are no more middle of the night play sessions and we all get great sleep. =-) Hang in there, momma!

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    1. Is there a way to test first if they're allergic?

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    2. Maybe just give them a tiny amount the first time, and during the day so if they DO react it won't be while you're sleeping. Watch out for rashes, tummy aches, diarrhea, etc. Then if all goes well the next day try a slightly larger amount. If they don't react to a normal amount (a couple of ounces) I'd say they are fine to try this at bedtime. This is what I would do, but I wouldn't try it on a tiny baby.

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    3. Biomeridian testing for allergies

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  3. A couple other things I've discovered since writing this post: bananas are suppose to be a sort of "sleepy food" that calms and relaxes and they are a great bedtime snack for those babies who seem to have super fast metabolisms and can't sleep through the night because they are hungry. I ended up feeding my daughter a banana and a chamomile tea slushy for a bedtime snack every night and it worked great. Also, with my second daughter I discovered baltic amber teething necklaces which not only help soothe teething pain (with natural healing oil that rubs into the skin when it's worn around the neck, or at night around the ankle) but also relieves stress and anxiety and calms babies down for better sleep. I wear one along with my two toddlers and I have definitely noticed that I am less stressed and suffer less anxiety since wearing it and I sleep much better too. Hope one of those tips helps you and your little one. Sending sleepy thoughts your way!

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  4. Hello Rebekah! I came across your blog while researching about chamomile tea and toddlers. I am also a mom of a 18 month old girl who had been waking up crying every night around 3 am, and co-sleeping until the next morning. I woke up exhausted every morning. I absolutely agree with you, I am completely and totally against the crying out method. I would not let my baby cry for no reason, knowing that I can sooth and hold her.
    For the past for nights I have been mixing chamomile tea into my baby's bottle water and it has been wonderful! I pour half pure water half diluted chamomile tea in the bottle along with the formula and it works like magic! My baby has slept through the night for four nights in a row! Just wanted to share that with all the moms!

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  5. That is so amazing, Maria! Thanks so much for sharing, and good job for taking such good care of your little one and not resorting to cry it out. It's so wonderful when they are able to get a good night's sleep the peaceful way.

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  6. Thank you.
    My wife is in wrestling with our 18mth old daughter now trying to get her down for her afternoon nap. Don't even get me started on night times. waking up 3 times a night is a VERY good night.
    I'm going to brew up some camomile tea now and have it ready for tonight to give it a go. fingers crossed!
    do you just brew it like normal tea for an adult. ie. 1 tea bag in cup then let it cool?
    btw.. we totally agree with you about never letting her cry it out, it's harder on us but better for her in the long run.

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  7. Yep, just one bag per 8 oz hot water. My toddlers will drink it warm (I cool it with an ice cube) or frozen into popsicles or slushies. Frozen feels great on sore gums if they're teething and they tend to drink the very most if it is in slushy form (frozen then melted slightly and crushed). I hope it works for you! It is so hard to truly enjoy parenthood when you are not only sleep deprived but are in charge of a sleep deprived toddler. Good job to you for sticking it out and helping your daughter fall asleep the peaceful way instead of the cry-it-out, emotionally damaging way. As a mom of a three year old and an 18 month old I know all about sleep deprivation but now both my daughters sleep through the night so the sleepless nights do end eventually and it is so satisfying knowing they never had to cry alone to get to this point. Hang in there, good luck and thanks for reading!

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  8. I am trying this on my 16 month old tonight! Thanks for the support. Most people think I'm crazy for no crying it out.

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  9. Good job for sticking it out and helping your little one to fall asleep the safe, peaceful way. I sincerely hope the chamomile tea helps your baby to relax and get a good night sleep. I know how hard those late bedtimes and sleepless nights can be!

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  10. Is there any other way to administer this? Like can you buy drops or anything? My 19 month old still nurses. I don't think she would drink a full cup of tea.

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    1. I'm not sure about buying drops. My babies' favorite way to eat it is in "slushy" form. I freeze it in ice cube trays or plastic cups about half way, then chop it up. Or if it was all the way frozen you could blend it up in the blender and add a little water to make it "slushy". They also love eating it in Popsicle form.

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    2. I know this post is old, but for others reading into this - a tincture can be made with acv, or glycerin that might help!

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  11. Hello Rebekah, I just came across your blog searching for a remedy for my not-good sleeper daughter. She is 9 months old now. I am confused as I don't know if she is experiencing high separation anxiety or just has trouble sleeping. Short summary: She has NEVER sleep through the night, she goes to sleep every night at 10 pm and is up at 1am, after 1am, she is up every 30-45 minutes. She goes back to sleep fast after I nurse her so I put her down in her crib asleep BUT she wakes up again 30-45 minutes later, I repeat the nursing - crib process ALL night long. I have tried letting her sleep with me in my bed but she still wakes up often wanting to nurse. Any advice will be helpful, is she too little for chamomile and honey?

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    1. Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry! Sounds like my oldest (who is now 3 1/2 and now her biggest sleep problem is that she never wants to get out of bed in the morning...this phase does pass!). At 9 months I'd think she's be old enough to try some chamomile tea, just keep your eye out for rashes, stomach aches, etc. in case she happened to be allergic to it. I would not add any honey to it until she is 12 months since honey has a bacteria in it that babies under 12 months cannot handle. A few other ideas: An amber teething necklace. This worked wonders for my second daughter towards the end of her first year and into her second. The oils in the stones rub into the skin and has a healing, soothing, calming effect and acts as a pain killer. I actually used to wear one myself to help de-stress and sleep better at night. For babies, they can wear them around their necks during the day and at night you can wrap them around their ankle. They work best if worn 24-7. Another idea: Have you tried experimenting with eliminating food from her diet to see if she may be having stomach pains? She may be just uncomfortable enough to not be able to sleep if she is sensitive to something she is eating, even your own breastmilk. My oldest daughter (the one with all the sleeping trouble) was reacting to the dairy I was eating for the first 6 months of her life. I eliminated dairy from my diet and while it didn't help her sleep better, she stopped screaming in the middle of the night so I know she was more comfortable. Last idea:my second daughter went through a much shorter phase of no-sleep nights (it lasted about 4 months...this was during her second year so she was a toddler at this point) and the ONLY way for us both to get a decent amount of sleep was to let her cosleep and breastfeed constantly through the night. I basically became her human pacifier. It sounds horrible, but I was so exhausted I just slept on my side, latched her on and went right to sleep. She nursed and slept through the night and we were both much more rested. Hang in there, Momma! These phases do not last forever. My girls are 3 1/2 and 22 months and we all sleep wonderfully (although I have become a huge fan of cosleeping since both my babies rejected their cribs and now our whole family sleeps together in one room, with our mattresses pushed together on the floor). We all have our own space though and we all sleep through the night. This might be an option for you? Move her crib or a toddler bed directly beside your bed and when she wakes up reach for her and pat her on the back to help her sleep? I sincerely hope this phase ends soon for you, it's sooo hard to be a good momma with plenty of patience and energy when your little one keeps you up at all hours of the night! Let me know if any of these ideas work for you. :) Oh and good for you for not resorting to the cry-it-out method! That method may work for a while but never actually solves the problem of why the babies aren't sleeping in the first place, and also adds a lot of stress and separation anxiety into the picture. Finding a healthier way is much more rewarding and permanent in the long run!

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    2. I would like to say our banies are almost the same age, she was like this. I started giving her half a bananas at around 8 o'clock. Then she nurses. She goes to sleep around 10, and she sleeps until 4 am. The bananas really help!!! I sleep with her in the same bad and nurse her laying down, that way she eats and sleeps in minutes, no walking around half of the night. Try bananas they really work!

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    3. If your baby gets constipated from bananas, mix it with half of an avocado, that helps it moving along.

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  12. I am a dad of a 18 month old I work nights and my wife works days in the last few weeks we are having sleep problims
    I get nap time and she (LO) Will fight me for 1-2 hrs. Before she falls asleep. And she is doing the same for my wife at night
    I am going to try the tea and see if it works for the nap time. I also do not think the cry it out system is a good one. Thank you torr the info.

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    1. I really hope the chamomile tea works for you guys! Night time battles are the worst, because it's when everyone (parent and toddler) are all tired and it's so hard to be patient. Good for you for trying a safe alternative instead of cry it out. Good luck and happy sleeping! :)

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  13. We just started using Chamomile tea for my 18th year old. So glad I'm not alone. I was so glad last night I slept for 7 hours for the first time in years. Thank you for your blog post and all of the information!!!!

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    1. Wow, I'm so glad the chamomile tea worked for your little one! Congratulations on getting a good night's sleep! :)

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  14. I am going to try the chamomile tea on my 2 year old who wakes at 3 and won't go back to sleep hoping for good results. xx

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    1. I hope the chamomile tea has been working for your little one! Waking up at 3 am every morning sounds horrible. :( Good luck!

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  15. Hi how long do you steep the tea bag for?

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  16. Oh my goodness, it's just like you're talking about my 13 month old. Like you I refuse to use controlled crying methods and my boys (twins) aren't in cots so can get up as they please. One of the boys wakes nearly every morning at 2 and is awake for 2-3 hours and wakes his brother up. The natural pharmacy today suggested chamomile tea so this is night one, I'll be interested to see what happens.

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    1. I sincerely hope your boys are sleeping peacefully now!

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  17. My 16 month old has never slept thru the night and I thought I was the only one going thru this! My question is can i mix it with her night bottle well sippy? She has 8 oz before bed.

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    1. That's exactly what I would do. :)

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  18. Is it ok to put some honey in the tea or do you leave it unsweetened?

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    1. Honey is not safe for babies under 12 months. As long as your little one is over 12 months it is totally fine and actually very healthy to add a little honey to it.

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  19. Hi my daughter is almost 11 month is it safe for her age and how would I prepare it. I've tried everything apart from cry it out which I refuse to do no matter what anyone says I don't agree with it. She has never slept through and I'm desperate for a full nights sleep.

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    1. I would think 11 months would be old enough for a few ounces of chamomile tea, but since she is younger than 12 months I would not add honey. Also the first night I'd maybe just give her a tiny amount like half an ounce to make sure she is not allergic to it. (I am not a medical professional, just a mom with a few years of experience so if you're nervous about it check with your baby's pediatrician). Just seep a tea bag in 8 oz of hot water for 3-5 minutes. To cool it down you can stick it in the freezer for a few minutes or add an ice cube to it. My kids had no issues drinking it straight out of their sippies or in a regular cup with a straw, but their favorite way to eat it was frozen as a popsicle! Amber teething necklaces also worked wonders for my kids to help them sleep, especially as they were getting their molars in. Bananas as a bedtime snack also seems to have a soothing effect. And...when you are so desperate for sleep, I would recommend co sleeping. For me it was the only way to make sure the whole family slept soundly. Even now my oldest is 4 1/2 and my youngest is 2 1/2. We all sleep in the same bedroom and we play "musical beds" throughout the night...either the kids end up in our bed or my husband and I end up in theirs, or some combination of both...but it works for us and we are much more well rested than when we try to get the kids to sleep independently. Do what works best for your family and don't let other people judge your decision. And...way to go for not resorting to cry it out! That never, EVER works long term and it is NEVER what is best for your baby. :) Good luck!

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  20. I wanted to try this tonight after reading your article but then stumbled upon this article and am nervous. your thoughts? http://canigivemybaby.com/sleepytime-tea/

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    1. First of all I have a ton of respect for you for doing so much research and being truly concerned about your baby's safety! I am of the opinion that momma knows best. If you feel nervous about giving chamomile tea to your baby, by all means, talk with your doctor about it or wait until he/she is older. For me personally, this article does not make me nervous about giving babies 12 months and older chamomile tea. For one thing, it is an article specifically about sleepytime tea, which is a blend of multiple herbs that may be harmful to babies including peppermint and star anise. There is mention of chamomile tea being contaminated or mixed with other ingredients that may be harmful to babies, which shouldn't be an issue if you are using pure chamomile tea with no other ingredients. As far as teas affecting the absorption of iron and causing anemia in babies, I would think this is something that would take a lot of time to happen. Like...if you are constantly feeding your baby large amounts of chamomile tea on a daily basis for weeks and months at a time. My recommendation for chamomile tea being used to help a baby over 12 months get through a rough sleeping phase by feeding them a few ounces of chamomile tea before bed for a few weeks until the rough sleeping phase is over seems harmless to me. However, I am not a doctor or medical professional. Just a mom doing research and doing what works best for me and trying to help a few moms along the way. :) If this makes you nervous please don't do it, or at least keep researching! Amber teething necklaces, warm baths before bed, warming the temperature of the bedroom a couple of degrees, changing nap time schedules, changing bedtime routine or essential oils like the article mentions, are other things to consider if you're not comfortable with the tea. Thanks so much for your question and good luck!

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  21. Hello

    Can i mix the chamomile tea with the formula?

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    1. Sounds yummy! As long as your baby is close to a year old (I personally wouldn't give a baby younger than 10 months chamomile tea in case of an allergic reaction) I don't see why not! My girls and I love drinking a warm chamomile tea/milk and honey mixture.

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  22. hi
    my daughter is 2 and half months old, could i give her chamomile tea with honey? becuase she kept wake all night

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    2. I would not give a 2 1/2 month old baby chamomile tea, no. First, honey is not safe for infants under 12 months old because it contains a bacteria called clostridium that babies' systems can't fight. It is also a possibility that a baby that small would have an allergic reaction to the chamomile, since their systems are really only meant for breastmilk or formula until they are 6-12 months. It's very important to remember that tiny babies NEED to wake up in the middle of the night. Their bodies function different than we do. They need to be fed throughout the night, they often have dirty diapers that need to be changed in the middle of the night, their sleep cycles are different than ours causing them to awaking wide awake throughout the night (I think of this as God's way of preventing SIDS possibly?) As hard as it is to be sleep deprived and take care of an infant night after night, it really is a normal phase that will pass with time. Hang in there! Once your baby is close to a year old and becoming a toddler, the chamomile tea will really help to relax her after an exciting day of playing, keep her drowsy during middle of the night wakings so she's more likely to fall back to sleep quickly, and relieve teething pain to help her sleep through it. Until then, know this phase is temporary, know you are not alone among a world full of sleep deprived parents with infants, and know that infant nighttime waking is normal and a healthy part of their development. I'm sorry, I know this phase is hard and I've been there! (my first daughter would sleep for 45 minutes then stay awake for 2 hours, sleep for another 45 minutes then awake for 2 hours on a regular basis as an infant. I spent many midnight-2 ams then 3 am-5 am's pacing the living room. I was a walking zombie for months!) It does pass. Hang in there! Here is an article about what normal infant sleep looks like. http://evolutionaryparenting.com/normal-infant-sleep-part-i/. Also, if she is awake CRYING all night it's possible she may have an ear infection or some other health problems so if you are worried make sure to talk with your doctor!

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  23. I have a 11 month old that doesn't sleep for more than two hours without waking up crying. But once I pick her up she stops. I'm also completely against the cry out method. I think that would give my baby a mixed message that she can't count on me when she's upset. But I'm so exhausted I'm going to try the chamomile. She's very picky do u think the chamomile drops it's better? Because you only need a small amount of it.

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    1. Chamomile drops sounds great! One of my sisters-in-law uses those for her kids. :) Have you also tried co sleeping, or moving your daughter's crib into your bed? Our sleeping arrangement that works best for our 2 year old is both our mattress and hers on the floor, so when she wakes up crying for comfort I'm right there and can just reach over and rub her back and she falls right back to sleep. :) I hope the drops help you!

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    2. She sleeps in her crib right next to me. I tried letting her sleep in the bed with me , sound machines, white noise, humidifier, different types of night light and cradle swing but so far nothing worked. We even moved our 8 year old daughter in our too so she wouldn't feel left out and now no one gets any sleep :(. I'm trying the drops tonight. I hope it works! Thanks!

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    3. That's too bad. Rough sleeping phases are the worst! Good luck with the drops!

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    4. I tried the chamomile tea and drops but unfortunately they didn't work :(. I called her pediatrician and he recommended melatonin. I gave her that for a few days and also didn't work. I guess I just need to wait for her to grow out of it. She'll be one next month maybe she'll start to sleep soon. Otherwise she's a normal, healthy, happy and sweet baby. Just the sleeping it's the problem. :(

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    5. I'm sorry. :( How frustrating! Another thing that has helped both my kids (and me!) to sleep more soundly is an amber teething necklace. They wear them during the day around their necks and at night around their ankles. They helped me with my migraines too, and they help with teething pain. The oil in the amber rubs into the skin and somehow has a soothing, healing effect. Also making sure she does not have any red dye or high fructose corn syrup in her diet (this was an issue for my youngest). This is even found in children's Tylenol, vitamins, cereal, you name it so maybe try reading the ingredients of everything she eats for a few days and also of course, no sugar in any form (juice is a huge form of sugar that a lot of babies and toddlers get from a really early age!) Even too much fruit could be too much sugar and causing her to not sleep well at night. Infant massages and a loooong bedtime routine (dim the lights, soft music, quiet voices, rub with soothing lotion, story time and cuddles, etc) helps them to relax too. Just a few other ideas...I'm sure you've tried so many things. I really feel your pain and I know how hard it is to not get any sleep night after night. :( I sincerely hope you find something that works for her.

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  25. I'm going through the same thing with my 10 month old daughter, she'll be 11 months in 12 days so I'm waiting when she hits 11 months to try this but my question is how much tea should I make with the formula? she drinks 8oz before bedtime. thank you!

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    1. My girls would drink about 4 oz before bed and that would do the trick. :) Hope it works for you!

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    2. should I make 4oz of the tea and 4oz of formula and mix it together?

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    3. Yes that's exactly what I'd do!

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  28. Totally trying this tonight. I've got a 25 month old boy who has only slept through the night a handful of times. he has been waking between 3-11 times per night! I'm absolutely exhausted! He shares a room with his 4 year old sister and she is affected by his lack of sleep too.
    Will let you know if it works *keeping my fingers tightly crossed*

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    1. I'm so sorry. Those sleepless nights are like torture. Hope the tea works for you!

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  29. It's good that you recovering , click highligted text to buy sleep tea online

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  30. I plan on trying this tonight I hope it works for me and my baby lately it's been sleepless nights. So can I mix the tea with her formula ? 4oz tea/4oz water with formula ?

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  31. I think that's fine, as long as your little one is close to a year old!

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  32. I know this post is from a few years back but I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write this incredible advice. My 11 month old is sleeping more peacefully than he ever has after having just a few sips of chamomile tea. We bed share and he usually wakes every 30-45 minutes from 7pm when he goes to sleep until 10pm when I head to bed. After that he wakes consistently every 1-2 hours and sometimes wakes at 2am to play for 2 hours. This has been his sleep pattern for around 7 months now. Needless to say I'm exhausted. Seeing a change in his pattern after just a slight amount of tea is such a relief. We also do not believe that cry-it-out is ever an acceptable method of parenting and prefer gentle guidance and respecting where our child is in his processes of development. Nonetheless sleep is important for me to be the best mom I can be and if something as natural as chamomile can help me achieve that, then I will gladly use it. Thank you again!

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    1. I am so happy to hear of your success with the chamomile tea. Thank you for sharing! I am so glad to be able to help other mommies and babies get a good night's sleep. My girls are 5 and 3 years old now but I remember those sleepless nights so well. Waking up hour after hour night after night for months at a time is enough to drive a person insane! It's so much easier to be present and enjoy your little ones during the day when you are both well rested and no one is cranky and sleep deprived. :) Happy sleeping!

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    1. I am not a doctor or health professional, just a momma who tries to use common sense when it comes to the health and well being of my babies. :) I have read that chamomile tea helps infants with colic so I would feel fairly safe feeding a 9 month old just a few teaspoons of chamomile tea and watching out for any allergic reaction to the chamomile (this is the only risk I can find). If you try it and your baby doesn't develop any rashes or tummy aches from it I think it would be just fine to incorporate a few ounces of just plain chamomile tea (no honey til 12 months) into your bedtime routine. Good luck and happy sleeping!

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  34. I just came across your blog while researching about chamomille tea for my 13 month old. I am so happy to know I am not crazy and there are other moms out there that believe and NOT letting your preciuos baby cry to sleep. My little guy has bern difficult when it come to
    Sleep since birth but now he is old enough I believe chamomille can help him. Thank you for sharing your experience

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    1. I sincerely hope the chamomile tea helps your sweet baby sleep peacefully. Good job for sticking it out and not resorting to leaving him to cry on his own. It's a hard decision to make, especially when you are so sleep deprived and everyone is giving you cry it out advice. But it's so worth it when they finally sleep through the night and you know you never broke their trust and they never felt alone or unloved. <3 Good luck!

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  35. A m e n !!! This is exactly what I needed! !!

    Thank you so much for sharing. My son is 14 months now and since birth had problems with stomach and gases to the point that he sleeps on his knees bent in half. My wife and me been waiting till he is over a year to try it since babies may be alergic to tea or honey for that matter. now we can try today first time I hope it will help him coz my heart breaks watching him struggling. :-(

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    1. Poor little guy. :( Chamomile tea is suppose to work wonders for babies with colic/gas pain in addition to acting as a mild sedative so hopefully it will have a magical affect on your sweet son!

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  36. Its working already !!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much you are ★★★★★★

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    1. Oh wow, that is so incredible! Thanks for the update, this made my day!

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  37. I love this story. I applaud you. I never slept for my first born but my second started sleeping through the night nearly when she was three weeks old. The first night she slept through the night I awoke in a complete panic. My husband calmed me down and told me he already checked on her. She's been sleeping the night since then. Of course she's a little porker ;) she is very tall (the size of a three year old at 13 months old) and robust. I started using chamomile recently because she has been sick with a cold and it calms her in the evening. I used it for my son when he was teething as well. It works wonders. My mom also used it for me when I was young and couldn't sleep. Thanks for the great blog.

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  38. Thank you so much for openly discussing your choice not to CIO. This is just so right! Plus, I totally dig the chamomile tea at night for my little guy. Thank you for sharing your peaceful story!

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  39. I don't know if you still check comments but I am trying this tonight and will literally kiss your feet if I meet you and it has worked! I too will be 6 months pregnant with a 17 month old waking every 30-45 minutes! Going to brew tea now!!!

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    1. Oh sweetie, I feel your pain! Looks like you tried this a few nights ago...any luck with better sleeping? Since I wrote this article I have discovered that Baltic amber teething necklaces also have a calming effect that helped both my toddlers sleep. And cutting sugar completely out of their diets for a while (including juice, sugar in cereal and snacks, etc) helps too! I sincerely hope something works for you.

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    2. Hi again! I did try it for my 17 month old and it seemed to help soothe her to sleep a little easier but still a lot of night waking was happening. However, I was so blessed and literally the same night I brought my next daughter home my then 20 month old (the one I originally wrote you about slept through the night for the first time ever! I was re-reading your artile today to see your opinion on giving it to my now 6 month old. She has the teething bracelet (as did my other daughter) but is insanely restless, kicking and trying to continually roll from side to side. She sleeps in her own bed thank goodness bc my other daughter is still in mine but she wakes at least every 45 minutes. So now with terrible twos and diva mentality in full swing I need sleep for my patience level more than ever! (Also my two older boys 9 and 11 are tired of me being grouchy in the am lol) anyways....if you still read this and have anymore insight please please share!! Thank you so much!

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    3. You poor sleep deprived mama! I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time. I would recommend reading The Baby Sleep Book by Dr. Sears. He is a pediatrician who has raised 7 children and the one who came up with the term "attachment parenting". This book covers every scenario you can possibly think of for why your baby may be restless during the night and how to fix it, using the attachment parenting style (no rough love or cry it out). It will be a life saver for you.

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  40. Hi can i mix this with juice? My son hates the taste of it, I tryed freezing it like ice pops and also like a slushy. Still he won't take it, he just tells me yuck and hands it back :( He is 22 months and has never slept good . I put him to sleep in his crib but he just keeps waking up. When i go to sleep I put him in bed with me (its just easier for me and I get to sleep a little better) even co-sleeping he still wakes all night and tosses and turns in between the waking.

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    1. Juice has sugar in it so I would be afraid it would have the opposite affect you are looking for. Could you mash a banana and mix a little tea into the banana mixture? Or mix it into some milk? Several people have posted they have mixed it into their little one's formula. Maybe even mix it with (unsweetened) applesauce and freeze it, or put it in a small fruit smoothie?

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  41. For those mamas that breastfeed your baby babies, you can drink the tea, & it eventually filters into your breast milk. You do have to drink a lot to have any effect, but I have noticed a huge difference in my gassy baby. My favorute method is to cold brew a pitcher in the fridge, over night, & drink it the next day. Keeps you hydrated as well! Hope this method helps some ithers!

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    1. Wow, what a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  42. It's so nice to hear that I'm not alone. My active 17 month old goes down with no problem at 8PM, but is guaranteed to be up at 1AM. We've tried EVERYTHING including the crying out method for 2 days, which made me feel like a bad mother. He now co-sleeps with us when he wakes at 1AM, but end up on the edge of the beds or with feet in our ears or mouths by the morning. I would like to try this tonight with him, I have nothing to lose! I do have a question on if it has the same affect for sleeping if served on Ice? My toddler doesn't do warm drinks well.

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    1. Sure! You can serve it on ice or freeze it into popsicles or slushies. :) Good luck!

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  44. hi there, i was wondering is it safe for a 2 month old? my baby cries all night and we don't get any sleep at all. how would i mix it for a 2 month old? is that too young? can we mix it in the formula?

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    1. I would not feed a 2 month old chamomile tea because babies that young are often allergic to the chamomile plant. Also babies that young are not suppose to sleep through the night. Their sleep cycle is shorter than adults so they are naturally going to wake up several times a night. It would not be safe to put a baby that young in a chamomile induced sleep. I'm sorry that you and your baby are having so much trouble sleeping! Have you tried switching formulas to something gentler? Or talked to your doctor about colic? My baby ended up being allergic to the dairy I was eating and she was getting it through my breastmilk. :/ This caused us several months of horrible sleepless nights before I figured it out! It could also just be a phase, sometimes babies just want to be awake but cry because they are too tired to enjoy being awake. It is so frustrating, but if this has been going on for a long time I would talk to the doctor about a medical cause.

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    2. Ok thank you Rebekah for the advice, I appreciate your feedback. :) I do recommend this tea though, Babies Tea Magic - so far it's kinda worked wonders. But my little one is so smart he knows when I put him down, he gradually wakes up looking for mama's touch. I love him so much. I love your blog by the way, it's very informational and helpful.

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    3. I'm so happy you've found something that works for your little one! My babies never liked to sleep by themselves either. For my first daughter I ended up just setting up a toddler bed next to ours so I could keep my hand on her back all night. :) It is so much easier to really cherish these sweet babies after a good night's rest. :) I'm glad you are enjoying my blog. I have a lot of fun with it! Thanks for reading!

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  45. I love this advice. My son is 14 months old and never slept more than 4 hours a night from birth. I tried chamomile tea and he slept for 10 hours, he woke once. This really works. Thank you fro this.....

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    1. Wow, that is amazing! I'm so happy for you! I love success stories, thank you so much for sharing!

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  46. Great advice, I am going to start giving my 19 month old this....for the past 3 months he has cried over & over until 1am....well most nights. We tried the cry it out method...sometimes it works but I have had some neighbors being concerned if my toddler was ok lol. I mentioned to them he is just a toddler close to the terrible twos lol. Thank God I came across this !!!!

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    1. Could he be getting his two year old molars in? If so the tea will definitely help soothe the pain! Good luck!

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  47. As a nursing mom, could I try drinking the chamomile tea since he is young? I actually just began researching this tonight as I noticed many baby products have some form of chamomile in them.
    Also, I am a new mom and definitely not into the cry it out method...especially since a licensed counselor explained that before a certain age when they don't see the parent for a certain amount of time it is literally as traumatic as if you died because whatever helps them reason that you are returning is not developed yet. Also, he said when we respond to babies needs, we are building a foundation of trust, which again studies are proving to be true is lacking in those who went through the cry it out method. Of course he gave us this information when we asked he said he would never be judgemental toward a parent as he knows every parent who cares is doing what they think is best. Also, as a father of 7 wonderfully well mannered children from college age to 3 years old, he has determined that it is impossible to spoil a baby by tending to them too much. They cry because they are communicating a need not because they are born with the knowledge of being manipulative. Babies cannot speak so every word comes a cry and so what if they want to be held or comforted, I have days like that myself.

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    1. I agree with you 100%! Yes, you could absolutely drink the tea and your baby would get it. Keep in mind that it takes a while for our food to transfer to the milk so I would drink the tea an hour or two before bed in order for your baby to get it by bedtime. There is also a product out there I haven't tried but it has amazing reviews, called Babies' Magic Tea. It's suppose to be safe for babies as little as 1 day old (although I don't think I could feed a newborn baby anything other than breast milk at 1 day old!) BUT it might be worth researching if you find the chamomile tea through your breast milk isn't working out.

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  48. Hi..I am so glad I ran into this post. I have been searching for a way to help my 17 month old and 3 year old sleep!!! Both are always so energized and absolutely refuse to sleep or stay asleep through the entire night. I am really eager to try this on them in hopes that it helps soothe them to sleep but not sure how to best prepare it for them. Should I mix it with their milk bottle, 4 oz of the tea and 4 oz of milk?

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    1. Mixing it with their bottles sounds like a perfect idea! My kids loved chamomile tea popsicles, just prepared like a cup of tea then frozen in homemade popsicle molds. This was especially nice for them when they were teething! They also didn't have any trouble drinking it at room temperature straight up. Whatever their favorite way to drink it is, that's the best way to prepare it. :) I hope it helps and your sweet family will be sleeping peacefully through the night very soon!

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  49. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. Could you please tell me which brand or variety of chamomile tea you use? Thanks!

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    1. Any kind that is pure chamomile with no other spice or herb will work. Make sure it is caffeine free. Organic is best! I don't stick to just one brand. Anything my local health food stores have I will use. :)

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  50. Hi there. This is the dad speaking. Ma needs her sleep so I'm on night juty. My 10 month old hates to sleep as well. The tea sound fantastic so I'm going to try it. Was just wondering if anyone had tryed to make bannana tea. And if so did it work.

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  51. Hi there. This is the dad speaking. Ma needs her sleep so I'm on night juty. My 10 month old hates to sleep as well. The tea sound fantastic so I'm going to try it. Was just wondering if anyone had tryed to make bannana tea. And if so did it work.

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    1. I haven't heard if it works on toddlers, but I have heard of adults who have had success drinking banana tea for insomnia and it has worked for them! I have also tried feeding my toddlers a banana for a bedtime snack and this also seems to work. Bananas have a calming effect plus it fills their tiny tummies...although they can cause constipation which can lead to discomfort so that is one thing to keep in mind before letting your baby binge eat bananas before bed. :) Chamomile tea is a pain reliever so if your little one is possibly teething or having any kind of digestion problems or gas pain I would say chamomile would be the way to go. But I can't imagine it would hurt to try the banana tea as well. :) Good luck and happy sleeping!

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  52. Hi Rebekah I stumbled upon your blog while researching chamomile tea for my babies. I am a mother or Irish twins(16 & 6 months old). My daughter, the 16 month old is a spirited child who is very resistant of bedtime. I totally agree with you on not trying the CIO methods. We currently live with my mom as she helps with taking care of the kids. My daughter has always had sleep issues and we co-sleep. Where I'm from we're not big fans of babies sleeping in separate rooms so that has not even been a thought. I have tried to get her to sleep in her crib or playard but she gets up crying hysterically which wakes my son, the 6 month old. She currently sleeps with my mom while my son sleeps with hubby and I. She has obstructive sleep apnea which is really bad but causes some waking up at night. Do you think that the chamomile tea is safe for her to use? My son is an okay sleeper for now. He may get cranky when he's sleepy but he usually goes off to sleep once he's cuddled. He gets up for feeding every 4-5 hrs or so but goes right back to sleep. He's teething now and I've read that soaking a washcloth with some chamomile tea can help to soothe the sore gums. Thank you for this blog. Sometimes you feel so alone and like a failure when you hear other parents boasting about their kids sleeping through the night. We hope to move back home soon but it's weighing heavily on my little girl getting better sleep.

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    1. Just editing the part about the sleep apnea: it isn't that bad. It does cause her to wake up but it's not like she is struggling to breathe.🙈

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    2. If she were my daughter I would feel safe trying chamomile, even you started with just an ounce or two the first few nights to see how she handles it. You could check with your doctor to make sure, but it should be fine. :) Good luck!

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