I raised my daughter in the early nineties and like any good mother I wanted the best for my baby….
I read every parenting book and of course had my favorites. I was going to make sure I had the most healthy, lovely baby on the planet. I had waited so long to have this little one that I wasn’t about to mess it up. I ate healthy throughout my pregnancy and listened to the advice of the wise women in my life. My go-to was Lila Fennel, a natural therapist, dear friend, and aforementioned wise woman. Lila had a huge impact on my life and it was because of her that I could finally carry a baby. Every two weeks I would pay her a visit and follow her suggestions to the letter – many of the following remedies and solutions were derived from her. While many of these solutions go against current popular ideas on what is healthy for a baby or child, they are simple, within your reach, and cause no harm to your little one. I have used every one of them on my daughter and am proud to say she has always been a healthy girl. I hope you enjoy these remedies and that you also gather the wise women in your life around you. Listen to them, take what resonates and throw the rest out the window! Strengthen your inner guidance and you will always be able to rely on yourself. As my mother told me just prior to the birth of Sophie – let her guide you, she will teach you what she needs; and don’t stress, kids are tough! – These were probably the best and wisest words I ever heard from my mother and I am very grateful because they served me well.
If you can breast feed, do it! This is nature’s way of giving your child the best possible start in life. We are connected to our babies by all these invisible threads that tug at our hearts, raise our stress hormones, and frazzle our nerves. If breast-feeding is proving to be a problem, try taking a few deep breaths to calm you and your baby before trying again.
If your little one develops a fever, don’t panic! The fever is burning off the poisons. Lila taught me to get the baby’s bowels moving so she wouldn’t reabsorb the waste and toxins. I did this by giving her 1-teaspoon of fresh squeezed orange juice – it always did the trick.
Colic is uncomfortable for the baby and stressful for the mama. A simple solution is to soak a cloth in apple cider vinegar, then soak it in hot water and place it over the baby’s tummy. This works fast to dilute the acid build up and very quickly disperses the gas – all will soon be well again in your world. And this method works for all ages!
To address constipation – cantaloupe, butternut squash, or a teaspoon of freshly squeezed orange juice will all do the trick. Keep their diet clean; eliminate dairy, starches, and sugars until they are well again.
When a cold hits and your children are sick with coughs and runny noses, the following tips are what I suggest:
Take mucous-forming dairy out of their diet entirely until they are well again.
Make lemon skin tea by boiling up the skin of a lemon (for no more than 10 minutes), and drink. This will help break the cycle of a cold. Simply peel 1 organic lemon and add the skin to a saucepan of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into a mug and enjoy. Little ones often find this too bitter, so try adding some honey for sweetness.
Whenever a cold strikes in my house, we slice up an onion and add it to our socks before bed so it’s on the soles of our feet. This will shorten a cold and break up mucous, but babies tend to kick off socks at night. Instead, for a baby, crush a clove of garlic, add cornstarch, and make a paste to paint on the soles of their feet. The reason we do this is because babies can’t kick it off. The sulfur in garlic and onions can change the course of a cold quickly. Try sleeping like this for a few nights and you will notice that the cold doesn’t last as long and makes sleeping a bit more comfortable.
It’s a good idea to keep the lymph moving by having lovely warm baths with Dead Sea salt in them. It’s relaxing and helps with the immune system, as the body will absorb all the minerals in the salts.
Another trick I used when my baby had a cold was to put some eucalyptus on a cotton round or tissue and place it in the cradle to help her sleep more readily. Eucalyptus will open up the passageways, making it easier to breathe and sleep.
If a cold still lingered I would blend 2 drops of Eucalyptus in 4 teaspoons of carrier oil, such as olive oil, and rub it on her chest and back.
Cough and Sore Throat
There is nothing worse than listening to your child cough and hack for hours on end. I remember rushing Sophie to the hospital with a severe case of croup. It was awful watching them treat her, and still the doctors could not stop the coughing. Lila taught me to make my own cough syrup using daikon radish. Simply slice or grate some radish and spread it out thinly on a dinner plate. Sprinkle over some sugar and wait until droplets appear. Before too long you will have syrup. One teaspoon stopped the coughing. This is a wonderful remedy and it really works. An alternative method is to dice up the daikon radish, put the pieces into a jar, and cover with honey. This will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Weaning and Diet
For a child that is constantly drooling, Lila would fix this with minerals. Chewing on celery, drinking celery juice, or administering Dr. Schuessler’s cell salts (you can find these in the health food store).
Feed your child clean healthy food. The Weston. A. Price Foundation (westonaprice.org) is a wonderful resource. Sally Fallon has also written books on the subject of feeding and nourishing your children in a holistic way – I highly recommend them.
I remember not knowing what to feed Sophie when she weaned herself. Lila told me to boil up some brown rice with raisins and then blend it. She would get protein, B group vitamins, and iron. Thankfully Sophie loved this. I also would make my own almond milk, a great source of protein, by crushing up almonds in the blender and adding water. I would let this sit overnight and then strain the mixture the next day for Sophie to drink.
I would introduce your child to fermented foods as early as possible. This will keep their gut nice and healthy and balanced.
Remember, you are in charge! Start off by teaching them early that healthy foods are always the first choice. Children will eat what you have in the cupboard. Don’t buy the junk.
It is my experience that when a child is raised with clean healthy food, they develop an instinct for what their body needs. I remember Sophie would ask if she could just have broccoli because she only wanted ‘green trees’ for dinner. There were also times when she wouldn’t eat anything. I never worried I just went with the flow. If Sophie had an upset stomach she learned to ask for grated apple because giving them grated apple allows the pectin to soak up the excess bile and fluids, making them feel better.
I could keep on chatting about all the different remedies I have come across but these are the ones I used the most. After reading all the books on child rearing and what I should do, I ended up heeding my mother’s advice. I relaxed, listened to my daughter’s needs, and took the stress out of child rearing. Sophie weaned herself when she was ready, she toilet trained herself, and she even decided when she wanted to use a knife and fork.
Now gather your wise women around you, take a breath, and enjoy every minute of what’s to come. There is nothing more beautiful than holding your beloved child in your arms.