What is gripe water?
As a parent, you are the best person to know your baby’s screams, so you may tell right away whether your child is hungry, tired, or in need of a hug. Even though crying is common, your baby may occasionally cry uncontrollably even after being fed and changed. This can be a sign of another issue, like colic or teething.
For generations, parents have used the folk cure gripe water to treat colic and other digestive problems in infants. It is a natural liquid mixture that has been produced to relax the digestive system. In this article, we’ll examine the origins and components of gripe water, how well it treats colic and other digestive problems, as well as any possible negative effects or complications.
History of Gripe Water
Gripe water has been used as a home medicine for infant teething pain, colic, and gastrointestinal discomfort since it was first invented in 1851. When William Woodward, an American, modified the formula frequently used to treat malaria patients to treat infants, and noticed that it provided much-needed relief.
Alcohol, dill oil, water, sugar, sodium bicarbonate, and other ingredients made up Woodward’s original recipe. At the time, gripe water was regarded as something of a miracle medication, growing in popularity with mothers all over the world—simply because it worked to lessen their child’s pain. Now, every brand has come up with its interpretation of gripe water to cater to its consumer base.
Common Ingredients in Gripe Water
- Fennel :A Mediterranean native plant, fennel is frequently used to treat digestive problems in conventional medicine. It has a flavor that is sweet and licorice-like and is thought to relax the digestive tract. Anethole and fenchone, two substances found in fennel, relax the muscles in the digestive tract and lessen bloating and gas.
- Ginger :To alleviate nausea, vomiting, and other digestive problems, ginger is a spice used in traditional medicine. It contains substances with anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects known as gingerols. Bloating and gas can be lessened because of ginger’s ability to encourage the production of digestive enzymes and aid in digestive system regulation.
- Chamomile :For its relaxing effects, chamomile is a popular herb. It is thought to help lessen anxiety and encourage relaxation because of the soft, soothing influence it has on the nervous system. The digestive tract may experience less irritation because of the anti-inflammatory qualities of chamomile.
- Baking soda :Commonly known as sodium bicarbonate, is a moderate antacid that can assist in balancing stomach acid. It is said to have a calming impact on the digestive tract and may also help lessen acid reflux and heartburn. It is crucial to remember that using sodium bicarbonate excessively might result in elevated blood sodium levels, which can be dangerous for newborns.
How does gripe water work?
Since ancient times, gripe water has been used as a natural remedy to help babies with colic and other digestive problems. Herbs and other organic components with calming and soothing effects are frequently included in it.
- Relieves symptoms of colic and other digestive problems by relaxing the digestive system’s muscles. Gripe water contains natural substances that support this relaxation. For instance, the relaxing effects of chamomile make it a popular addition to gripe water.
- Reduces bloating and gas :Fennel, one of the constituents in gripe water, is thought to aid in reducing bloating and gas in the digestive tract. This may lessen discomfort and facilitate gas-passing in infants.
- Reduces inflammation :Ginger and peppermint, two components in gripe water, are said to have anti-inflammatory qualities. This can assist to ease digestive system irritation and ease discomfort.
- Provides hydration : Gripe water, as the name constitutes has the major ingredient as water, which can help to provide additional hydration. This is particularly important for babies who may be experiencing diarrhea or vomiting.
How to give gripe water to newborns?
It can be provided in a variety of ways and is commonly given orally. They have a pleasant taste, newborns don’t relay mind it. Here are a few of the most typical methods for giving newborns gripe water:
If your newborn is too young to drink from a bottle or you want to be sure they are receiving the right dosage, a syringe is a frequent technique to provide gripe water. Simply fill the syringe with the recommended quantity of gripe water, then gently squirt it into the infant’s mouth.
Giving babies gripe water using a dropper is another option. This is especially helpful if you need to give the baby a tiny bit of gripe water at a time or are on the go. Draw a desired amount into the dropper and carefully release it into the baby’s mouth. It is also spillproof. Gently press the dropper on the cheek’s inside. Before giving them more, give them a little at a time so they can swallow it.
Mixed with milk
Some parents prefer to mix gripe water with their baby’s milk or formula. This can be done by adding the recommended amount of gripe water to the bottle before feeding the baby. However, it’s important to note that gripe water should never be added to hot liquids, as this can destroy the effectiveness of the natural ingredients.
Mixed with water
Gripe water can also be mixed with water and given to the baby in a bottle or with a dropper. Simply mix the recommended amount of gripe water with a small amount of water and administer it to the baby.
Is gripe water safe for newborns?
Since gripe water is a dietary supplement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have to give its approval before it can be sold in the US. Manufacturers must adhere to FDA standards, which specify which components are acceptable and prohibited for use in baby bottled water. Since every brand has a different ingredient set, it is advisable to consult your doctor first.
It’s difficult to guarantee that every bottle of gripe water on store shelves is completely safe given that the FDA doesn’t monitor it. It’s possible that a specific ingredient wasn’t properly dissolved and created a choking risk.
However, gripe water for infants and newborns remains a popular product. Alcohol-free and sucrose-free formulations are generally regarded as safe. Gripe water with sugar does not pose a major threat to the baby, it is recommended to stir clear of added sugar as it may harm their emerging teeth.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, should not be administered to colicky infants unless a doctor prescribes it. The pH balance in your baby’s stomach naturally varies, and sodium bicarbonate may interfere. This may result in an excess of alkalinity and aggravate colic symptoms.
Avoid gripe water that contains peppermint. It can conceivably make a baby’s reflux issues worse. Grip water that contains gluten, dairy, parabens, and vegetable carbon should also be avoided.
Gripe water dosage for newborn
Depending on the type and particular product, the dosage of gripe water for infants can change. It’s crucial to carefully read the directions on the container and adhere to the suggested dosage recommendations.
In general, the majority of gripe water products advise giving newborns up to 6 months old 5 milliliters (one teaspoon) of gripe water up to six times each day. It’s crucial to keep in mind that some products may call for a different dosage, so be sure to thoroughly read the directions. If you have any concerns about the dosage of gripe water for your newborn, or if your baby is experiencing severe or persistent symptoms, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician.
Side effects of gripe water
When used as instructed, gripe water is typically regarded as secure. But there are some possible negative effects to be aware of, such as:
- Some babies may experience allergic reactions to gripe water constituents including fennel, chamomile, or ginger. An allergic reaction could cause a rash, itching, swelling, breathing problems, or diarrhea.
- Giving too much or giving it too frequently can cause an upset stomach, which can result in symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration.
- Tooth decay :If consumed often over an extended length of time, sugar or other sweeteners found in some gripe water solutions can raise the risk of tooth decay.
- Medication interaction :whether your infant is taking any other drugs, talk to your pediatrician before giving them gripe water to see whether any interactions need to be avoided.
- Contamination : Since certain gripe water solutions could be tainted with dangerous bacteria, it’s crucial to select a reputable brand and carefully abide by the suggested usage and storage guidelines.
When giving gripe water to your baby, it’s crucial to keep a close eye out for any side effects or allergic reactions and to stop using it right away if you do. It’s crucial to speak with your pediatrician if your kid exhibits severe or persistent symptoms or if you have any worries about their health.
Alternatives to gripe water
Unfortunately, a baby can’t express their discomfort when it occurs, so you have to assume whether they have a sore stomach or are having gas pains. Parents may find it challenging to distinguish between typical hunger screams and distress cries, but using the process of elimination can aid in your investigation. You might decide that it’s time to try gripe water at some point. There are several gripe water alternatives to take into account, though, if you’re not quite ready to go that route (or if your baby has an allergy). Here are a few techniques for soothing newborns and possibly curing upset stomachs without resorting to baby-safe gripe water.
- Provide light compression :The baby’s belly can be gently pressed to ease gas bubbles and offer comfort. Try holding the infant’s tummy down while supporting their abdomen with your arm, or place the infant over your knees while massaging their back. The infant can also be placed on their back while you gently rub their belly in a circular motion.
- Examine a fresh bottle : The soreness may be coming from your bottle. Baby can ingest air along with the milk, which might result in gas bubbles. (This is also the reason it’s crucial to stop frequently urinating.) An air-filled bottle with a vent or valve system can reduce this. If the infant also appears to be breathing too quickly,
- Alter the formula for the baby :As the Cleveland Clinic says, a milk protein intolerance may be causing your baby’s pain, so talking to your pediatrician about switching to a dairy-free formula may help if the issue is severe.
- Examine the baby’s food : Breastfeeding? You might think about changing your diet to see if anything you often consume bothers the infant. Love broccoli? Cruciferous veggies are infamous for making you and your baby feel bloated. Just keep in mind to employ the process of elimination when eliminating possible offenders to identify the problematic foods while continuing to consume a healthy, balanced diet.
- Get up and go :Get going if everything else fails. The baby became used to the constant swinging in your uterus, which let them fall asleep in the small spaces they loved for more than nine months. The baby may enjoy being rocked in a glider, bassinet, swing, or in your arms to achieve this. Another option is to carry the infant while pacing the home or going around the block. You’ll get your daily steps in as a bonus!
- Swaddling : Babies can feel comfortable and safe, similar to how they did in the womb when they are properly and tightly swaddled. For a little new person, the big, terrible world can be overwhelming, but with a few creature comforts, they can remain peaceful and quiet.
Both you and your kid may feel distressed by excessive crying and fussiness. Fortunately, colic symptoms usually go away by 3 to 4 months of age. Despite not having been proven to be a successful alternative for calming colicky infants, gripe water is probably secure. Read the components carefully, follow the dose guidelines, and first consult with your baby’s doctor. Don’t forget to use additional calming methods. Make an appointment with your doctor if you’ve tried a variety of home cures but your baby’s condition doesn’t change or gets worse.