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Old 16.05.2011, 13:50
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Should I really give my infant fennel tea?

Have received advice from several quarters - midwife, random women in the post office and train station, etc. - that I should give my infant (six-weeks old) fennel tea in addition to breast feeding. It is apparently a magic cure-all drink. Having always heard that breast milk quenches thirst and provides all the nutrients an infant needs, I admit I am skeptical of this advice (which I have only ever received from Swiss women over 60 years of age). Plus, the tea is essentially lightly flavored brown water and I've also heard that it's bad to give babies water at this age. Anyone have experience giving their very young baby fennel (or other variety) tea? Did it help sooth a fussy baby? Not sure yet that I'll be able to convince baby to take a bottle, as he is thus far exclusively breast-fed, but the crying is definitely wearing on me, and if it will give me a half hour of peace, then it's worth a shot.
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Old 16.05.2011, 13:52
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

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Have received advice from several quarters - midwife, random women in the post office and train station, etc ..... but the crying is definitely wearing on me, and if it will give me a half hour of peace, then it's worth a shot.

Follow your instincts...
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Old 16.05.2011, 13:55
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

Fennel tea?

You will love this thread:
Questions from a curious grandmother?
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Old 16.05.2011, 13:55
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

Maybe you can drink it and pass it on in the breast milk. I know a (german... not that it matters) mother who did that.
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Old 16.05.2011, 13:57
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

I used to give one of my babies fennel tea as she was a very colicy baby and it did help her.

When babies cry sometimes it is because they are thirsty and not because they are hungry and she used to have it just as a drink as she got older.

But, your baby, and you must do what you want and not let anyone influence you - just advise.
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Old 16.05.2011, 13:58
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

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Have received advice from several quarters - midwife, random women in the post office and train station, etc. - that I should give my infant (six-weeks old) fennel tea in addition to breast feeding. It is apparently a magic cure-all drink. Having always heard that breast milk quenches thirst and provides all the nutrients an infant needs, I admit I am skeptical of this advice (which I have only ever received from Swiss women over 60 years of age). Plus, the tea is essentially lightly flavored brown water and I've also heard that it's bad to give babies water at this age. Anyone have experience giving their very young baby fennel (or other variety) tea? Did it help sooth a fussy baby? Not sure yet that I'll be able to convince baby to take a bottle, as he is thus far exclusively breast-fed, but the crying is definitely wearing on me, and if it will give me a half hour of peace, then it's worth a shot.
My boy was born in Belgium and it was advised there as well By doctors as well as random people in the post office). I personally never had to use it as my baby was pretty easy but lots of my friends (all of whom are obviously younger than 60 and not Swiss) swore by it and said it woirked miracles.

Not sure if this is very helpfull but I'd say it was probably worth a shot as there's nothing worse than a screaming baby.
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Old 16.05.2011, 13:59
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

I heard the same thing when I was bfeeding my son. Apparently it can settle their stomach if they are windy / gurgly but I didn't really bother.

About your concerns about feeding them water (i.e. to make up the tea); it should be fine so long as it's boiled and cooled. After all, formula fed babies have to use water to make up their feeds.

Don't use bottled "mineral water", though, the high levels of minerals can give them a bad stomach and make the problem worse.
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:00
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

I was advised to drink it and maybe give my baby it for colic, if your baby doesn't have colic then i wouldn't bother. I read conflicting advise but my babies doc said its best for me to drink it along with breast feeding tea to help the colic but to not give it to the baby as it will replace a milk feed and could affect your supply

I gave my baby fennel tea a few times from around 8 to 10 weeks on particularly bad colic days (it did seem to help) but I do worry and wonder if it caused an issue with my milk supply as I always struggled to get enough

I would trust your judgement as UTH suggests
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:01
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

Well, I'm over 60 and I'm Swiss.
I have 8 grandchildren too and the last little one is now six months old.
They have all been breast-fed.
I can't imagine why you would need to give a 6-week-old baby fennel tea.
Your baby will be getting everything he or she needs from your breast-milk.
Obviously, by the age of six-months, your baby will need more than that, but you're talking about 6 weeks aren't you?
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:03
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

Thanks for all the quick responses. I knew I had read a thread on here somewhere about fennel tea. Will probably start by drinking it myself to see if that helps. I wish it tasted better though! He's been particularly gassy of late, so if it helps to calm him and therefore me, we'll be happy campers.

ETA: yes, ceppych, 6 weeks, not 6 months. And it seems whenever I am out in public and my baby is crying, the well-intentioned Swiss grandmothers I have encountered assume baby is crying because he wants tea!
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:05
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

If your baby has colic try flatulex from the chemist and also some massaging oil from Weleda and massage his/her tummy. I know its tough but really this colic stage is over before you know it, feels like forever while its happening but my baby is now 6 months and those colic days seem like a distant dream (or nightmare maybe )

If you have anyone visiting from the UK then ask if they can bring some infacol or gripe water

Last edited by Nickers; 16.05.2011 at 14:15.
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:05
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

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Well, I'm over 60 and I'm Swiss.
I have 8 grandchildren too and the last little one is now six months old.
They have all been breast-fed.
I can't imagine why you would need to give a 6-week-old baby fennel tea.
Your baby will be getting everything he or she needs from your breast-milk.
Obviously, by the age of six-months, your baby will need more than that, but you're talking about 6 weeks aren't you?
Seems not. These days most paediatricians are advising mums to give their babies vitamin D drops to supplement breast feeding. I was really surprised when I was handed a prescription for Vit D with an instruction to give it to him for the first 12 months but apparently it's a necessity.

Sorry, that was a bit OT
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:06
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

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Thanks for all the quick responses. I knew I had read a thread on here somewhere about fennel tea. Will probably start by drinking it myself to see if that helps. I wish it tasted better though! He's been particularly gassy of late, so if it helps to calm him and therefore me, we'll be happy campers.
Think about what you are eating too, I heard dairy could cause a problem along with onions tomatoes and black tea. I never did bother with seeing if my diet was affecting him as I dont think he ever got really bad but if he did then i may have had a few days eliminating a few things from my diet to see if it improved things

I made the tea then let it cool then gulped it back in one so as to not prolong the agony
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:07
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

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Thanks for all the quick responses. I knew I had read a thread on here somewhere about fennel tea. Will probably start by drinking it myself to see if that helps. I wish it tasted better though! He's been particularly gassy of late, so if it helps to calm him and therefore me, we'll be happy campers.

ETA: yes, ceppych, 6 weeks, not 6 months. And it seems whenever I am out in public and my baby is crying, the well-intentioned Swiss grandmothers I have encountered assume baby is crying because he wants tea!
Good luck with drinking liquid compost-heap!!
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:08
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

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Seems not. These days most paediatricians are advising mums to give their babies vitamin D drops to supplement breast feeding. I was really surprised when I was handed a prescription for Vit D with an instruction to give it to him for the first 12 months but apparently it's a necessity.

Sorry, that was a bit OT
Yeah I got those drops and I am ashamed to say I keep forgetting to give them to him. Its apparently because switzerland doesn't have much sun light but it has a damned site more than the UK and I know UK babies aren't given VitD drops
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:10
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

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Yeah I got those drops and I am ashamed to say I keep forgetting to give them to him. Its apparently because switzerland doesn't have much sun light but it has a damned site more than the UK and I know UK babies aren't given VitD drops
Me too, but then again, I wasn't too upset because the damn thing was mainly alcohol!
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:15
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

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Me too, but then again, I wasn't too upset because the damn thing was mainly alcohol!
I went and got the oil based ones as getting those alcohol drops into him were a nightmare
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:16
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

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Yeah I got those drops and I am ashamed to say I keep forgetting to give them to him. Its apparently because switzerland doesn't have much sun light but it has a damned site more than the UK and I know UK babies aren't given VitD drops
Ah well! There we are then.
All my grandchildren are in the UK.
They do all seem surprisingly healthy on the other hand.
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:25
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Re: Should I really give my infant tea?

The Swiss love their "non-tea teas" (hot water infusions). This one for that, and that one for this - to prevent this or that and aid that and this.

However, fennel "tea", does have properties that do aid digestion and settle the tum - just not sure if at 6wks it's needed.

Both of mine had it (unsurprisingly with Swiss mum, grosi and tantes) as babies - can't remember how old/young they were, though, but probably a bit more than 6 wks.

It has the advantage of introducing another taste at an early age and may help for later - I don't think it can do any harm, either, even at this early age.

If you wanted to try, use bags and boiling water - then let cool. Probably advisable to dilute a bit with cooled, previously boiled water. Give in a sterilised bottle. If baby doesn't like it, then baby wont drink it. In this case you may want to try a few times or wait a while until baby is a bit older - but I would retry later, as it can help if colic is ever a problem (also Flatulex spray which has a fennel flavour/base is good too for this).

Fennel tea powder in a jar is also available, but for toddler age, when sterilising isn't a concern - also it's a bit sweetened - but for very young babies just use the natural tea in tea bags.

Ultimately do as you think best.

EDIT: I was interrupted whilst writing this, and in that time 13 more posts have been made - I will now read those to see if my thoughts are echoed or opposed.
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Old 16.05.2011, 14:38
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Yeah I got those drops and I am ashamed to say I keep forgetting to give them to him. Its apparently because switzerland doesn't have much sun light but it has a damned site more than the UK and I know UK babies aren't given VitD drops
Many UK doctors and health visitors do recommend vitamin d supplements though it tends to only be to breastfwd babies because it's already added to formula milk. I find it a bit OTT personally, it made sense in winter but now it's warmer I think if I take my baby outside to get plenty of sunlight while not covered from head to toe she gets plenty of vit d. Though I have had ladies on the tram tell me they think she needs socks so you just can't avoid the 'advice'!

Fwiw my (young trendy) midwife recommended fennel tea if baby had tummy ache, just a single dip of the teabag in boiled water so it's not strong, cool it and give a couple teaspoonfuls only so it doesn't fill up the tiny stomach and make her not want proper milk feed. Just a natural alternative to medications like flatulex etc.
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