My top parenting tip: Camomile lollies

camomile tea ice lollyI am not normally one for dispensing parenting advice, but if you were to ask me for my ultimate, all-time, number one, ‘can’t do without’ tip for looking after little ones it would have to be ‘camomile tea ice lollies’, known in our house as simply, ‘camomile lollies’.

I’m not entirely sure how they came about.

When my first daughter, Gwendolyn, began teething I remember several people recommending frozen breastmilk or a ‘mini mummy milk’ to help soothe her sore gums. Then a lady in a cafe advised me to try lukewarm or cold camomile tea to help calm grumpy toddlers as well as ease the discomfort of teething. Somehow I ended up combining these two excellent pieces of advice and the camomile lolly was born. (Disclaimer: I doubt very much that I’m the first person ever to come up with the idea; there’s no such thing as an original thought anymore!)

There’s no secret recipe to share. I simply brew a cup of camomile tea using a tea bag, let it stand for as long as possible to get it nice and strong and then decant into an ice cube tray or lolly molds before adding lolly sticks and freezing overnight.

I always make sure the ice cube tray is stocked with at least two rows of lollies before going to bed each night. I pack the wherewithal when we go on holiday and wonder how on Earth we’ll manage without them while travelling.

They work like magic.

  • New tooth coming through or sore bitten tongue?
  • Bumped head?
  • Grazed knee?
  • Toy snatched out of hands?
  • Little sister not playing the game properly or refusing to be dressed up like a dolly?
  • Bothersome toys won’t defy gravity and balance on top of one another in an impossible tower?
  • Don’t want to get dressed/ brush teeth/ stop playing and eat tea/ have nappy change/ turn off TV/ go out, etc.

It’s surprising just how often a camomile lolly is the solution to any of the above problems.

Sometimes, we go through eight or more a day.

Sometimes, I even have one too…

Indeed, camomile lollies are so effective that sometimes, just the idea of one is enough. If Gwendolyn wakes in the night, the best way to get her to go back to sleep is to say ‘I’ll just go and get you a camomile lolly’.

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