You might have heard of gripe water before, but you may not be sure about what it does or when to use it. Gripe water is a non-prescription product, meaning that you can get it easily and in many stores. There are different ones that have various formulas.
You can find it in many countries. Generally, you use it when you have a colicky baby. You might also utilize it if the baby has other gastrointestinal issues.
We’ll take a moment right now to break down what you might find in gripe water and when you should use it.
Gripe water is a product used when you have a colicky baby or if the baby has other gastrointestinal issues.
What’s in Gripe Water?
As you start to learn about gripe water, the first thing you’ll want to know is that sodium bicarbonate is almost always the primary ingredient. That’s the base, but companies will add other components depending on their proprietary formulas.
You will often get peppermint or lemon balm in it. Some come with dill, chamomile, ginger, or fennel. Different cultures have used gripe water for many years. The ones that you might see on a store shelf may not differ all that much from one that a midwife might give you more than a hundred years ago.
When Should You Use It?
Most gripe waters claim to relieve gas pain and pressure. If a baby is having those issues, it’s going to be very uncomfortable for them. Because they’re an infant, they don’t know how to relieve these issues, so they probably will keep crying until you do something about it.
Many times, a mother might use gripe water if the baby is having teething pain. Some try it with hiccups too.
If an infant has colic or gastrointestinal discomfort, many mothers and grandmothers swear by the dill, ginger, and fennel in the typical gripe water formula.
If an infant has colic or gastrointestinal discomfort, many mothers swear by the dill, ginger, and fennel in the typical gripe water formula.
Is There Scientific Evidence That It Works?
As for whether scientific evidence exists that gripe water does all of the things that some people attribute to it, essentially, the answer is no. Some doctors feel like babies react favorably to it because it’s usually sweet, and they like the taste. However, what’s not certain is whether they quiet down because of the gripe water or whether their hiccups or other issues simply die down on their own after a time.
What most doctors do seem to agree on, though, is that gripe water will not harm a child. If the healing properties are more coincidental than anything else, that’s fine, provided you don’t give the baby more than a spoonful a couple of times per day.
How Exactly Does It Work?
In theory, when you give the baby the gripe water, the simethicone in it works as an anti-foaming agent. This breaks up bubbles in the baby’s digestive tract, and the hiccups or colicky symptoms soon dissipate.
Again, there’s no real evidence that this is the case, but the American Academy of Pediatrics does endorse it. They are a recognized, reputable body, so you can say this remedy at least has that going for it.
Doctors say that you can use it when other options have failed. Before going to it, you might try leg bicycling or abdominal massage.
You might also speak to your doctor about what brand you are using since the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t usually regulate these products. Doctors seem to endorse specific brands over others, so talk to your physician before using it with your infant.
Which Ones Should You Avoid?
As for ones you won’t want to use, there might not be particular brands, but you can certainly look at the additives. You never want to see added sugars or food coloring. You also want to avoid all of the most common allergens.
Some companies might try to sneak in some alcohol. That’s the one thing you want to avoid. English moms and nannies in the middle 1800s put alcohol in their gripe water formulas. That was certain to quiet the baby, but not for the right reasons.
When Should You No Longer Use It?
Most doctors feel like if you are going to use these products, you should stop by the time the baby is 4-6 months old. By that point, gassiness usually is not such an issue. If it persists, talk to your doctor rather than continuing this treatment.
Now that you know about gripe water, you might feel comfortable adding it to your medicine cabinet if you have a new baby in the family.
Have you used gripe water with you baby?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.
“PIN & SHARE”