When a child under the age of 1 has trouble sleeping, there is usually an underlying physical issue that needs to be addressed. You can help your infant sleep using homeopathic remedies, which are safe even for newborns. However, if your child has continuing sleep problems, is under a pediatrician’s care for an ongoing condition, or shows any signs of serious illness, consult your pediatrician.
In his book “Easy Homeopathy: The 7 Essential Remedies You Need for Common Illness and First Aid,” Dr. Edward Shalts calls chamomilla “your homeopathic babysitter.” Chamomilla is a classic remedy for several childhood conditions, including teething pain, earache, colic, anxiety, diarrhea and sleeplessness. Chamomilla will help soothe infants who are crying, whiny, fussy and extremely irritable. A newborn who can benefit from this remedy may want to be constantly held and object loudly if you try to set her down. An older infant may act hungry, then reject the bottle or breast when it is offered. A still-older infant may clamor for a certain toy or object, then reject it when it is offered. One 30c dose of chamomilla is usually enough to soothe him enough so that he can sleep. If you see an improvement, you can repeat the dose in several hours or the next day if needed. If you do not see an improvement, try a different remedy.
According to Dr. Shalts, belladonna is the “homeopathic pediatrician” and is indicated for fevers, colds, earaches, flu, sore throats, and colic. (Note, however, that fever is a natural response to illnesses that can be dangerous in infants, so exercise caution.) If your infant appears very sleepy, but cannot fall asleep, try one 30c dose of belladonna. This is the remedy of choice for infants who sleep better sitting up than lying down. If your baby’s eyes look glassy and his pupils are large, try a dose of belladonna to help him sleep.
Some infants have trouble sleeping because of nightmares, night terrors or a fear of the dark. Belladonna can be given for nightmares. However, a child who experiences night terrors, fear of the dark, a fear of dogs and nightmares will benefit more from stramonium.
Giving Homeopathic Remedies
There are homeopathic remedies made specifically for infants and children that are sold as liquids or pellets with a base of lactose (milk sugar) that dissolves as quickly as you place them in your infant‘s mouth. If you are unable to find a remedy made specifically for children, Dr. Shalts gives two ways to prepare remedies. The first is to crush one to three 30c pellets of the chosen remedy into a powder between two spoons. Add a drop of water to the powder to create a paste to give to your child; this counts as one dose. Another method is to pour out one-third of a small bottle of spring water. Add three 30c pellets of a remedy to the water, and let it sit for five minutes. Shake the bottle vigorously. One tsp. of this liquid is one dose. The water does not require refrigeration and can be used for up to two days. Shake before each use.