Can You Give Fennel Tea for Babies? The Answer Might Surprise You
There was a time when my baby cried for three hours every night for almost a week, and I did not know what to do. She was only four months, and the sound of her cry almost broke my heart. I tried to soothe her with milk, rocking in my arms or putting on a good music but all to no avail.
I talked to a good friend, and she suggested that I let my baby drink fennel tea. I was surprised because it was the first time that I heard of the option. I asked, “Are fennel tea for babies?” And she said yes because it worked for her before.
What is a Fennel Seed?
Fennel is a sweet and aromatic perennial herb that belongs to the family of parsley. It is filled with a flavor much like anise, and it goes well with other herbs like thyme, mugwort, and nettle. Though widely used all over the world, this herb originated in the Middle and Southern Eastern Asia, particularly in India.
One of its good uses is a spice for culinary dishes. Fennel is a prominent ingredient in most Mediterranean, Arab and Indian cuisines. It is used as a condiment on foods or a flavor for tea.
The seeds of fennel are green to light brown in color and have an oblong or curved shape. It is about 3-4 mm long with vertical stripes on the surface. Fennel is often associated with cumin when it comes to seed appearance. However, the two spices widely differ in taste and smell.
Benefits of Fennel to the Body
- Fennel seed tea is a safe and herbal drink that is used by many households as a means of alternative medicine or natural relief. In most cases, fennel seeds are given to babies who are colic, having constant episodes of crying in the night by a healthy child, often caused by stomach cramps. Fennel is known to relax the intestinal tract and has a flatulence reducing property to relieve gas.
- According to a study from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants who were given a dose of 150 ml of herbal tea consisting fennel and other herbs showed relief in colic. Out of 68 healthy babies between 2 to 8 weeks old, 57 infants showed excellent results.
- Fennel seeds are also an effective remedy for other body conditions such as constipation, digestive disorders, and respiratory diseases. Fennel tea is a natural laxative that will clear off constipation especially in bottle-fed babies and will clean up digestive tract. It can also relieve your child of a cough, bronchitis, and asthma.
- There are also nutritional contents found in fennel seeds. Some of the vitamins found in fennel are Vitamin A, Niacin, Thiamin and Vitamin C. Minerals in fennel include Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium and Iron. Other nutritional components are Carbohydrates and Protein.
When to Give Your Baby Fennel Tea
Fennel Tea simply acts as a natural remedy for certain body conditions. Thus, you may only give your baby fennel tea when they are feeling gassy or constantly in baby colic.
How to Identify Baby Colic
A baby crying is normal. They cry when they need something or when they feel uneasy inside of them. However, this should not be a reason not to mind them of what they need.
A sign of baby colic is when your infant cries for 3 hours a day or at night. Incessant crying is frustrating after doing everything you can to soothe them but without any success.
Another sign is when the crying lasts for at least three days in one week. If your baby does keep crying in these conditions for three consecutive weeks, he is likely has baby colic.
Checking for Symptoms
There are several reasons why babies cry. But, to identify if it is baby colic, you must first check these common reasons for crying.
- Feed him your milk. If he drinks, then he is hungry.
- Check the diaper. If you see a poop or pee, change it because it makes him uncomfortable.
- Rock your baby to sleep. If he falls asleep, he is tired.
- Adjust the temperature in the room. If he stops crying, either he feels hot or cold.
- Hold your baby. If he feels okay, he only needs you to touch him. Apart from these reasons, babies cry when they are not feeling well. Once you tried all these possible reasons but your baby still cries, you can give him fennel tea.
How to Prepare Fennel Tea for Babies
- Just like any other natural teas, fennel seeds can be prepared in two ways. You can either prepare it simply, or on its own, or prepare it in combination with other herbs.
- If it is your first time to introduce fennel tea to your baby, try it simply first. Test the effectiveness of the tea on your baby as well as the reaction to his body. When he feels at ease with the tea, you can try doing combinations later on. Fennel seeds can be combined with dill seeds, thyme, anise or chamomile for a stronger flavor and effect on the body.
- Nursing mothers can also take the fennel tea instead of directly giving it to their babies. However, nursing moms must make sure that the baby is comfortable in drinking the tea and has no allergic reactions to it. A reasonable amount of tea intake also provides precaution both to the mother and to the baby.
How Much Fennel Tea To Give Your Baby
A recommended dose of fennel tea to a child under one-year-old is 1/20 (one twentieth) of an adult dose. Doses of fennel tea for infants must be a weaker brew and not too steep for them to intake. About one teaspoon per 8 ounces with an interval of ½ ounce at a time is ideal.
For a nursing mom, you can take 3 cups each day, ideally one before noon and 2 cups afterward. One tablespoon of fennel seed tea to 8 ounces of water is a good dose to take.
How to Make Fennel Tea
One of the ways to make fennel tea is by using organic fennel seeds. First, crush about one teaspoon of fennel seed and place it on an 8-ounces of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the tea and transfer to a big pot before measuring it to give to your baby.
Alternatively, you can buy ready-made fennel tea bags to reduce the preparation time. Simply steep a tea bag according to the package direction to make tea.
It Will Be Okay!
Seeing your baby cry is a struggle. For us parents, we would rather have those pains and discomforts than see our children go through the process.
Be strong and keep a positive mind! There are challenges in a child’s life that need our constant support and care. We should continue to shower them with love even all through the pain they have to go through - as well as ours.
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Have you experienced seeing your child crying for many long hours? How did you feel? I would love to hear your stories!