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Warning About Babies And Natural Cures

Dec 21, 2007
Many of us are comfortable experimenting with our own bodies and health with alternative medicines and therapies such as herbal remedies and "natural cures". It is important to realize though, that when it comes to your baby, so-called "natural cures" can be dangerous!

My spouse and I noticed something a little different when we gave our baby girl so-called "all natural" teething tablets. This seemingly reputable over-the-counter option "looked" like a safe and viable solution to help with issues related to teething. The packaging insisted it was safe and natural, and we took that at face value. We called the doctor and asked about it, and they said it was "probably fine". But like I said, after giving it to our child we noticed something a little different that concerned us.

What was different? Well, our baby was sleeping. I don't mean just sleeping normally, but sleeping REALLY well, almost immediately after taking the tablets. The packaging for the tablets said that the child would fall asleep because they were no longer irritated by their teeth. (Yeah right!)

After some investigation, we found that the teething tablets had "natural" sedatives that were the reason the child falls asleep after taking them. We also found out that one of the ingredients was a plant substance that has caused VERY serious side effects in children and infants (including DEATH).

Needless to say, we were shocked... and never gave the tablets to our child again (we threw them away).

The moral of the story? Just because something says "natural" doesn't mean it's safe--and don't assume that it's safe just because you can get it at your local grocery or drug store.

As I heard a TV comedian put it once...

"Heroin is NATURAL... A pack of wolves... is NATURAL..."

Just because it says "natural", doesn't mean it's safe for your baby.

A question that may come to mind is "exactly how can you tell what IS safe?" Our best advice is to read the ingredients on ANYTHING that you feed your baby or give them as a "remedy" for something, and don't give your baby ANYTHING without doing so under the guidance of your doctor. Don't just take the doctor's word for it though, either. Doctors do make mistakes. Look up ingredients online if you don't know what they are. A good way to search for ingredients is go to any popular search engine and type in the substance name along with the phrase "side effects". You could also add the word "baby". (So before you give your baby a sleep aid, you could search for something like "baby sleep aid side effects".)

Since our experience with the teething tablets my spouse and I have taken to "the less outside help, the better." For anything from teething, to sleeping, to tummy aches we have searched for approaches that are the least likely to have any harmful side effects... which usually means trying things that don't involve medicine, or that involve minor changes in diet or routine as opposed to herbal supplements and the like.

Whatever you do, be very careful about what you give your baby, and don't jump on the "natural cure" bandwagon until you've done enough research to know that something is safe. Don't experiment with your baby's life; the risks just aren't worth it. If you really need help, some simple research on your part may turn up solutions that you never knew existed.
About the Author
For information on how to solve one of the most common problems with young babies, visit the author's website: Solving Your Baby's Sleep Problems.
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