Tea And Babies – Can They Mix?

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So, fun fact – my sister-in-law, Amanda, is going to be bringing a baby boy into the world any day now! (worth noting that the picture to the right is not Amanda) Everyone in my family is excited for little Michael William, and all have been preparing for his arrival (everyone is also secretly hoping he is born on the 29th, making him a Leap Year Baby, but only time can tell that one). Whether it’s knitting or crocheting endless baby blankets, or getting ready to spoil that kid rotten, we are all preparing for the new joy about the bless our household.

Amanda is a huge tea fan like myself. I would even venture to say even more so. While I am also an avid coffee drinker, choosing tea more so when I am in the mood to relax, she strictly drinks tea for all scenarios. Sick? Drink tea. Tired? Tea. Relaxing? Tea.

But that got me thinking – what happens if you give a baby tea?

<insert disclaimer about how I am not a doctor and you should seek a medical professional’s advice before pursuing anything related to health>

According to WebMD, about 9% of mothers give herbal supplements to their infants under 1 year old. Mothers who use herbal supplements themselves were more likely to use them on their children.

Some baby bloggers are all on board the baby tea train. One blogger cites all the health benefits associated with rooibos tea, even going as far as to say there are no side effects associated with the beverage (warning, anyone that ever has the audacity to make such a claim either did not do their due diligent research or is flat out lying to you. Everything has side effects, whether good or bad. It’s just a matter of balancing them. To be fair, at the very end of the blog, the person does state to consult doctors and that side effects exist, they are rare, contradicting their earlier statements). And it’s true, there are a lot of health benefits associated with rooibos for adults. Another blogger goes into how to make a safe chamomile brew for your baby. Many cite tea as being a cure for colic.

That being said though, your baby is brand new to the world and will inherently react differently to things compared to good ole’ Mom and Dad. What might be good for you as an adult may not be good for your child. Though the jury is still out whether or not it is OK to give your infant teas and herbal supplements, babies under six months should still only receive breast milk and formula, using vitamins and supplements as directed by the doctor. Additionally, with tea being less regulated, numerous risks exist. And regardless, colicky babies should NOT be given tea as a form of medicine due to neurological risks.

In the end? Giving tea to babies may not be ruled as safe or unsafe yet, but it can be risky. Best suggestion from someone who is not a doctor? Leave the tea to the adults. If you are going to have a tea party with your infant, use formula only for now. At least until they are three years old.

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