Category Archives: Natural Remedies

6 of my must-have baby products

This blog post was supposed to be 5 products, but I really couldn’t choose which one to cull! These are all tried and tested on my own kids, and are products I truly love.  Continue reading

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Filed under Eco baby, Green living, Natural Remedies, Teething

Approaching teething naturally

My gorgeous angel did not pop a single tooth out until she was nearly 12mths old. She then proceeded to pop out 6 in a relatively fuss free 2 months. Cue a deep sigh of relief from hubby and I, as we assumed we had a ‘good’ teether. Damn fools we were.

Little miss then started to cut her last two incisors, and all hell was let loose in our house. Screaming tantrums over everything, poor sleep, constant grumpiness and two overwhelmed parents who were not prepared for this. One day I was holding her while she writhed around in pain, and I realised if I was in this much pain I’d take some nurofen! I dug out the bottle, dosed her up and 20 minutes later we had peace again! Blessed relief. Three days later I realised I was constantly reaching for the nurofen and decided enough was enough. It was time to seek out effective natural remedies.

My first lesson was that to use the natural remedies effectively, you MUST get onto it early. Waiting until you have a screaming baby to administer a treatment is too late. It just won’t work. However starting at the first sign of irritability gives you heaps of time to get on top of it.

I tried a few things, but this is what worked for us….

Hylands homeopathic teething gel
This stuff is gold! It needs to be applied every 15mins, but calms and soothes very quickly. You can get it from most chemists.

Infants friend
This worked beautifully in combination with the gel. Again it soothed bubs irritability. She loved this one and would come running as soon as I got the teaspoon out. Available from most chemists.

An amber necklace
I’ll be honest, I’m still not sure what I think about these necklaces. I never noticed a huge difference, however my daughter knew which shelf it lived on and would often ask for it. She stills does. When she’s had enough she comes over and asks for it off. Who am I to deny her own intuition about what works for her? I was recently privy to an interesting conversation about these necklaces, and the energetic effect they have on children. There were some opinions that they are too grounding, and almost dull the child to their own feelings. I did some reading about the properties of amber, and they are indeed very grounding. One author suggested that the parent should wear the amber first before giving it to the child. I did this, and I only put it on when she requests it. I feel that this would overcome any negativity, and if it makes her feel better than that is great.

Some type of cool teether
Most young babies are more than happy to chew on a teething toy or rusk. One issue we found was that a one year old had NO interest in chewing these things. She did like a frozen icy pole, still in its closed wrapper, and was happy with this solution until one day she bit through the wrapper and was eating the icy pole! Oops! No more icy poles for her. A friend recommended frozen strips of dried banana, which was very clever. Our little ange’ls most favourite though was frozen raspberries. She would eat 1/2 box at a time.

A combination of all the above works wonders for us. Since starting this and learning to recognise the early signs, we have not had to use any pain medications. Teething is still not the happiest time in our house, but it can be handled naturally and effectively.

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Filed under Natural Remedies, Teething

Tis the season to knock your head (and jam your fingers)

My baby girl is well on the move now, crawling and standing and into everything! It is so lovely to watch her little face as she examines new objects, plays with doors and explores her world. Her expressions change from wonder to puzzlement and back again as she finds new things to learn about. It’s such a precious time 🙂

It’s also a time of lots of little accidents though. Bruised knees are ever present, fingers have been jammed, and her head takes knocks all day long. So far for us the biggest problem is the bruised knees. Baby girl loves to explore the paved area outside, but this leaves her with sore, inflamed and bruised knees, which she then avoids crawling on. For the most part I like to allow her body to heal unaided (it needs to learn!), but I have been using some over the counter creams on her knees. My favourite is traumeel cream- a homeopathic cream that helps the soreness and swelling. I have used arnica cream on her too, which is specific for bruising.

Little cuts and scratches are also becoming common (normally on the face to advertise to the world that I’m a bad mother who let her child fall on her face *sigh*). My very favourite remedy for these? Wait for it…. Breastmilk!! Yep that’s right, I express a little milk on my hands and rub it into her cuts. It is amazing stuff! If that’s too weird for you, or you are no longer breastfeeding, then calendula ointment works really well. For older kids, or under dressings, manuka honey is another great option.

All of these things are super simple remedies available from health food stores. They are brilliant for minor oppsies and totally natural.

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Filed under Natural Remedies

Sleeping like a baby

Is there any more ridiculous statement than this? Perhaps if you are describing frequent night waking, resistance to obvious tiredness and long nights insisting someone rock, pat or cuddle you, then this statement would be apt. Its general association with deep sleep is one only the childless would be fooled into believing. Babies are terrible sleepers. Simple as that.

I’m typing this while sitting in the car. It’s parked in the driveway and I’m sucking back a hot chocolate like it’s the holy grail of stimulants (which it is to a breastfeeding mumma whose baby can’t even tolerate black tea). After yet another night waking every couple of hours, little miss had fallen into a lovely deep sleep in the car! I know the minute I pull her out she will decide that she’s slept enough and it’s playtime. Hence the hot chocolate. Fortification for the upcoming adventures.

Sleep must be the biggest issue any mother faces. It’s also the only one that there is no real treatment for. Homeopathy and osteopathy can help if there is an underlying issue, but for most babies they just need to learn to do it better. Sleep routines can take up to three years to develop, so I guess I’m in for the long haul.

I find it easier to treat me than fight baby girl. A good daily multivitamin, and some extra B vitamins and magnesium on really bad days help give me a boost. Good regular meals ensure my blood sugar is stable, removing a common source of low energy. On really bad weeks, I take a herbal formula of adaptogens – awesome herbs that help your body cope with stressors better. These really need to be prescribed by a naturopath, especially if your breastfeeding, but it is well worth the trip to your local practitioner.

Aside from that, you need oodles of patience, love and understanding. And a cafe that will bring you a hot chocolate out to your car.

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Filed under Natural Remedies, Sleep

Treating fever as a friend

My baby girl has her first real fever. I say real as it’s the first from an infection (throat), not just a vaccination-induced fever. After letting the fever run it’s course for 18hrs, it got to the stage where I had a visibly distressed child and a rising temp. So off to the doctors we go, where I am promptly handed a script for antibiotics and baby nurofen and receive no other practical advice. I think we sometimes forget that our doctors advice is not gospel; after some prodding and questioning it becomes clear that antibiotics are not vital yet. I get some guidelines about how sick is too sick (constant temp over 39, floppy, lethargic, no food intake, or still sick after 3 more days) and leave with a resolve to give my daughters immune system a chance to do it’s thing.

The truth is fever is not an evil enemy that must be stamped out promptly. It’s actually an important component of our immune system, especially for young children who have not yet developed specific immunity. Traditional healing methods, including naturopathy, actually try to enhance the fever! What a novel idea in our western culture, with it’s focus on pharmaceuticals for all pains. Obviously young babies should not be allowed to develop dangerously high temps, but reaching for the baby panadol at the first inkling of fever is also unhelpful.

So what to do? I am using a variety of herbs, homeopathic remedies, common sense and cuddles to help my baby get through.

  • I found the ‘pain and fever relief’ liquid from Brauer has been good for bringing the temp down slightly, keeping it below 39.
  • Ginger tea helps keep bub sweating; an important aspect to body temperature control.
  • Chamomile tea is helping soothe her before naps (and me!).
  • Some echinacea tincture is supporting her immune system, allowing it to actively fight the infection and providing an important immune development lesson at the same time. I found the best way to administer this was adding her daily dose to a water bottle and let her sip from it throughout the day.
  • Keeping clothing suitable and an occasional cool cloth on her head is helping her comfort levels.
  • Keeping my sweet baby in arms is giving her a sense of safety and love. We all know how nice it is when someone takes care of us when we are sick, it is therapy in itself!

The antibiotics are in the fridge, ready to use if we do need them. But for now my natural remedies are doing nicely.

(I have used the baby nurofen twice. Both times she needed sleep, but couldn’t relax due to temps approaching 39 degrees. I felt it was more important for her little body to get some rest at those times. I’m not anti-medicine, I think it has a really important place. I just feel that it should be the last resort, not the first option).

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Filed under Fever, Herbal medicine, Natural Remedies