Is gripe water safe for babies?
Gripe water for newborns how much to give?
Alternatives to gripe water
Gripe water ingredients
Gripe water is something every new mother has heard of if not used. But there are many options on the subject of gripe water. I also keep receiving many queries from our readers and I thought it best to try and answer the queries in the form of an article.
What is gripe water?
Gripe water is an over the counter formulation which is given to babies when they are in some unexplainable discomfort like colic, teething pain, gas, indigestion, stomach ache etc.
History of gripe water
Gripe water has been given to babies for a long, long time. You will perhaps hear about it if you speak to your mother and grandmother. It is considered a one product solution for many problems in babies whether it is indigestion, stomach pain, gas or even teething pain. If you remember an old advertisement that used to run, it implied if the baby is crying and you’re not sure what to do, just give gripe water. That’s how prevalent the use was.
I have heard stories from my mother and mother-in-law, how they would give a teaspoon of gripe water when the baby was crying uncontrollably and magically the baby would just calm down and sleep.
What is in gripe water?/ Gripe water ingredients
There are many opinions around the usage of gripe water and the primary reason was the composition. Years ago, when the gripe water was first formulated, it contained a good amount of alcohol along with various herb oil, sugar and water. So, when unsuspecting mothers gave gripe water to colicky babies and they went to sleep soon after, it was perhaps the alcohol at work.
Most formulations also have big amounts of sugar in them which may also be a reason for babies calming down.
Some of the brands may also contain artificial sweeteners which are worse than sugar. So, if you are planning to buy a bottle of gripe water, do check the ingredient list out.
As there was more research of the effects of these ingredients on baby’s health, the composition has changed significantly and you will not find alcohol in any of the modern formulations.
Can gripe water be given to babies?
Though many claim to have given gripe water to babies as young as a months old, it is best not to give anything other than breastmilk for the first 6 months.
Is gripe water safe for babies?
There are conflicting opinions on the effectiveness of gripe water, but experts believe that gripe water could soothe babies simply because it has a lot of sugar. Do discuss this with your baby’s doctor before deciding to give gripe water to your baby.
If you decide to buy gripe water for your baby , remember to:
- Check out the ingredients carefully: Ensure the ingredients list does not not have alcohol in any form or even sucrose or sugar content.
- Read the instructions carefully : Do not forget to read the instructions on the pack carefully to see the package date, expiry date, how to use etc.
- Watch out for any adverse reactions : As with any thing that you introduce for the first time, remember to observe the baby for any allergic reactions.
What are the homemade alternatives to gripe water?
Gripe water is considered effective for problems like flatulence or gas, stomach pain, teething pain etc. The new formulations are mostly herbal and claim to have herbs like dill, fennel etc. There are many homemade remedies that you can try for these problems.
Ajwain water/ Fennel water for Nursing mothers to relive colic
When I was nursing my daughter, one of my friends suggested that I take ajwain water, which is excellent for gassiness and indigestion, to ensure my daughter will not have colic. So, this is a remedy that can be taken by nursing mothers and the benefits reach the baby with breastmilk, no need to give anything extra. Similar benefits can also be reaped by taking fennel water.
Boil 1 tablespoon of ajwain/ fennel seeds in 300 ml of water and boil till water becomes half. Strain and cool down. Drink through out the day.
Once babies are more than 6 months old, you may also give the same homemade fennel water to babies in case they have problem of gassiness.
Massage baby’s tummy in case of tummy ache
Stomach pain, flatulence can often be relieved by massaging baby’s tummy gently. Use below home remedy in case baby or toddler has tummy ache.
Mix equal quantities coconut oil and water and mix it vigorously till it forms a foam.
Now take this and gently massage baby’s tummy.
If baby/ toddler is crying uncontrollably
In case a toddler is crying uncontrollably, you try washing his/her feet with cold water. Also wash face gently with water. It sometimes helps to cool them down.
Swaddle baby in case baby is upset
If a newborn seems very upset, try swaddling in a blanket. It often provides them the comfort of the womb and helps them to calm down. You can also try rocking and singing to the baby.
Hope this article answered some of your questions about gripe water. Have you used gripe water or know someone who has used it for their baby? What is you opinion about gripe water?