Gripe Water For Babies And Newborns: How And When To Give?

7 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

Gripe Water For Babies

There is nothing worse than seeing a crying baby who doesn’t seem to stop. To top it all, if it’s not for hunger, sleep or diaper change and it’s painful, then the parents can feel helpless. One such cry is when the baby is colic. Colic is the most distressing situation for both the baby and the mother.  Gripe water for babies is an effective remedy for this.

Colic is a situation in which the baby keeps crying consistently for a few hours and its cause is not known, strangely no medications are available as well. However, herbal treatment in the form of gripe water works wonders. Since it contains Dill and bicarbonate of soda, gripe water is helpful in breaking down the trapped bubbles of gas that caused colic. Read on to know more.

In This Article

What Is Gripe Water?

Gripe water is used for curing colic situations and also a few gastric ailments related to the intestines. It’s a herbal treatment that is sold in liquid form and comes in a number of variants. Natural gripe water is made from herbs like aloe vera, anise seeds, cardamom, chamomile, dill, fennel, ginger, lemon balm, purified water, and glycerin – all of which help the baby to pass gas.

Gripe water aids in digestion, softens the muscles, and makes the baby feel comfortable if they are gassy. The gripe water helps in getting rid of gas or wind. Additionally, it can be even used for comforting teething pain, consistent hiccups, or bloating.

When To Introduce Gripe Water?

Gripe water can be safely given to the baby as early as one month after birth. Since milk is the main food of the tiny infant, flatulence, gastric trouble, and bloating are common. The baby’s digestive system is still developing and doesn’t have enough good bacteria that can streamline digestion. Gripe water is a unique herbal preparation effective in treating these tummy ailments.

Due to the presence of ingredients such as soda bicarbonate and artificial sweeteners, many doctors do not recommend giving gripe water to babies. But, if you want to give this to your little one, strictly stick to the dosage and instructions mentioned on the pack. You can also consult your pediatrician on the right dose you can safely give to your baby.

Drops such as colicaid are another alternative parents can consider for their babies who are struggling with colic. These medicated drops can be given after consulting your pediatrician who will advise you when you can give it and how much dosage is ideal.

 

When To Use Gripe Water?

When To Use Gripe Water_

Gripe water should be given to babies when they start feeling pain. Generally, the gripe water should be given half an hour after the baby has taken the feed or when the baby starts feeling restless. It is advisable to wait for half an hour after the feed is over as it aids in the digestion of food.

However, if a baby is not able to take the feed due to gastric trouble, in that case, the gripe water can be given prior to feeding.

Does Gripe Water Give Infants Gas And Colic Relief?

The reason behind colic is not scientifically proven, yet it is supposed to be caused by stomach pain or gastric trouble. Doctors do not however have a remedy for the same, but many parents use gripe water to cure colic and gas troubles instantly. And, it seems to work for them.

How Does Gripe Water Work?

The liquid in the gripe water consists of a few drops of ginger, fennel seeds, and a concoction of sodium bicarbonate and these contribute to comfort under nauseatic/discomforting conditions caused by gas or any form of colic. It is believed that gripe water works in a span of five minutes once given.

How And When To Give Gripe Water

How And When To Give Gripe Water

The gripe water box has a dropper provided which should be used. It is important that the baby is sitting straight or when lying down the head should be tilted at an angle. This will prevent the risk of choking on the gripe water. Then turn the baby’s head to one side and drop the liquid slowly inside the baby’s cheek at the side of the mouth. Gripe water should ideally be given to a baby from six weeks to three months or till the baby surpasses abdominal discomfort stage. Find more about giving gripe water to babies here.

What Are The Ingredients in Gripe Water?

Gripe water is an herbal cure and contains a mixture of the following herbs:

  • Fennel seeds
  • Ginger juice
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Lemon balm extracts
  • Chamomile Oil
  • Licorice root

Gripe water also contains sugar, water, sodium bicarbonate, and dill oil. Traditionally gripe water contained alcohol but later, as doctors and parents started objecting, the ingredient was completely removed.

All the brands of gripe water currently available in India are alcohol free.

To be extra-cautious, parents can choose a brand of gripe water that is alcholo free and doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners.

How Many Times A Day Can You Give Gripe Water?

Gripe water can be given to the infant or the baby about three times a day, 1.5ml each. This can only be done if the weight of the child exceeds 3.17 Kgs. Avoid giving daily if the baby gets uncomfortable. If there are no symptoms of gases, it is not mandatory to give the gripe water to the baby.

Tips For Using Gripe Water

You must consult a doctor before giving your baby gripe water and make sure to stick to the recommended dosage only. Refrain from giving gripe water to babies less than 1 month of age as their digestive system is not yet developed to handle this herbal preperation.

Here are some simple tips that will help you in selecting the best gripe water for your tiny bundle of joy:

  • Read the ingredient list carefully before using the gripe water
  • Avoid gripe water that contains sodium bicarbonate as it can disturb the pH balance of your baby’s tiny tummy.
  • Other ingredients to watch out for are gluten, alcohol, dairy, or parabens.
  • Avoid gripe water preparations that contain sucrose as they can cause tooth decay.
  • The usage and expiry of gripe water depend on the brand under which it is manufactured. Every brand which manufactures gripe water has diverse compositions and strengths.
  • Gripe water is one of the safest and most reliable cures for colic and bloating but it is advisable to be on the lookout for specific allergies which might be affecting a few babies if not all.
  • Avoid the gripe water containing vegetable carbon or charcoal as it results in blackened stool and constipation.
  • Use the ones prepared from natural herbal oils as they are the safest ones

Side Effects Of Gripe Water

Side Effects Of Gripe Water

Gripe water has been in existence for a long and is also considered effective to relieve colic pains and teething or even bloating.

However, it is not devoid of the few side effects as below:

1. Allergies

Your baby might be allergic to any of the ingredients so look out for any of these symptoms such as itchiness, watery eyes, difficulty in swallowing, swelling on the tongue or lips, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty in breathing. If any of these symptoms are found after giving gripe water, immediately consult your doctor

2. Can Disturb pH Level

The gripe water is potentially known to cure discomfort arising from an upset tummy, but it also disturbs the innate acidity of the stomach if used persistently.

3. Tooth Decaying

The composition of sugar in gripe water can result in cavity issues and even tooth decaying problems.

Alternatives For Gripe Water

Alternatives For Gripe Water

If one is not comfortable giving gripe water to kids, different alternatives which can be sought to provide comfort to the baby are:

  • Massaging the infant.
  • Chamomile tea 
  • Wrapping up the baby and rocking it to sleep.
  • Rubbing on the baby’s tummy when pressure is applied.
  • Distracting the baby by singing or humming a song or a lullaby.
  • Shifting the baby’s feed from formula milk to any other as the formula contains cow milk which is heavier to digest.

Thus, we can say that gripe water should be taken as a last resort because medical science has still not proved its safety for babies. However, parents can use it as a comforter as nothing soothes the disturbing parents when the baby sleeps peacefully.

FAQ’s

1. Is It OK To Give Gripe Water After Feeding?

It is advisable to wait 30 minutes after eating before giving infants grape water. However, you may provide gripe water immediately after feedings if the infant becomes gassy as a result of eating too quickly or gulping air during feeding.

2. Does Gripe Water Make Baby Sleepy?

When parents give their infants gripe water, they may find that their infants start to drift off to sleep. This is because infants with colic, intense pain, or gas typically get overtired from the stress they’ve been through. Gripe water provides welcome comfort, allowing them to finally catch some sleep.

3. Can I Mix Gripe Water With Formula?

Gripe water has the maximum effect when given itself, so do not mix it with formula or breast milk. Most gripe waters have a pleasant, sweet taste and are liked by babies.

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