For most of us, catnip is just a fun treat that drives our feline friends wild. But what happens when your baby ends up tasting it? It’s not an everyday question, but it’s one that needs answering. Here’s a guide on understanding what catnip is, and what to do if your baby accidentally consumes it.
Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family. It’s known for the strong effects it has on cats, making them playful, excited, or even a bit hyperactive. The key component that impacts cats is nepetalactone, but its effects on humans, especially babies, are significantly different.
Is Catnip Dangerous for Babies?
While it’s unlikely to cause serious harm if a small amount is consumed, it’s essential to know the potential effects and symptoms if your baby does happen to ingest catnip.
What to Do If Your Baby Eats Catnip
If your baby has ingested catnip, it’s crucial to monitor them closely for any signs of an allergic reaction or digestive discomfort. If any serious symptoms appear, seek immediate medical attention.
Helping Your Baby After Eating Catnip
The first step is to keep calm and carefully remove any remaining catnip from your baby’s mouth. Ensure they are hydrated and monitor them closely for the next few hours. If any unusual symptoms occur, consult your pediatrician immediately.
What Other Parents Say:
“I had just come back from the kitchen when I found my 10-month old daughter, Lacey, sitting on the living room floor, happily chewing on something. I almost laughed thinking she had found one of her toys until I realized it was a spilled bag of catnip that our tabby, Whiskers, had knocked off the shelf. I instantly felt my heart racing as I swiftly removed the remnants from her tiny hands. She seemed okay, but I watched her like a hawk for the rest of the day, ready to rush her to the pediatrician at the slightest sign of discomfort.”
– Emily, Maine
“You never think about catnip being a problem until it is. Our son, Liam, managed to sneak into our cat, Paws’, stash when he was a little over a year old. For the next few hours, he was unusually fussy and refused his afternoon nap. We later learned from our pediatrician that while catnip isn’t typically harmful, it can cause minor digestive upset in some kids. That was an afternoon I’ll never forget.”
– Daniel, Seattle
“Our twins, Lily and Jake, have always been curious, especially about our cats’ things. One day, they managed to get hold of a catnip toy while I was folding laundry. To my dismay, I found Jake tasting the stuffing! Luckily, our pediatrician reassured us that small amounts wouldn’t harm him, but I still felt my heart skip a beat at the sight.”
– Martha, Chicago
“I walked into the living room one day to find my 18-month old daughter, Avery, munching on some of the catnip I’d left out for our cat, Pepper. She’d always been a curious baby, but I was taken aback and immediately worried. I watched her closely over the next several hours, ready to dial our pediatrician. Luckily, she didn’t have any adverse reactions, but it sure gave me a scare. It was a lesson learned the hard way about keeping pet supplies out of her reach.”
– Allison, Austin
Can Catnip Affect Your Baby’s Sleep?
While catnip is sometimes used in herbal teas to promote relaxation in adults, it’s not suitable or recommended for babies. Any new food or herb can affect your baby’s sleep, especially if they have an allergic reaction or digestive upset.
SleepBaby.org Can Help
If your baby’s sleep routine has been disrupted due to this incident or any other reason, SleepBaby.org is here to assist. We offer expert advice and effective methods to help soothe your baby and restore their sleep routine. Our techniques can help your baby achieve better sleep, providing a sense of normalcy for both you and your little one in situations like this.
Preventing Future Incidents
Keeping catnip (and all pet items) out of reach from your curious explorer is the best way to prevent these incidents. Make sure you also educate older children about the importance of not sharing their pet’s treats with their little sibling.
While a baby eating catnip might give parents a scare, remember that in small amounts, it’s typically not harmful. Keep an eye on your child and reach out to a healthcare professional if any concerns arise. With the right measures, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your little one, even with a mischievous feline in the house.