Back in the olden days, mothers used gripe water to deal with colic and gastro-related problems in babies. And it seemed to have worked quite well! But have you wondered what this water is, really? Here’s your guide to know everything about the effective potion.
What Is Gripe Water?
It differs from one country to another as to what ingredients are used to make Gripe water. However, the main active ingredients remain same for most of it, all through the years gone by as well. Experts say, in gripe water there would be two main active ingredients, namely an antacid, which is sodium hydrogen carbonate and the oil of dill seed, which helps reduce gas in the baby’s stomach. But there would be other ingredients too in gripe water, such as fennel and ginger. In some gripe water formulations, there would be added sweeteners or even glucose too.
What Does Gripe Water Do?
Mothers would relate to this the most, when we say what would you do if your baby suffered from a sore stomach? Most mothers would opt for Gripe water in such cases, which is an instant remedy for the baby to get more comfort. What happens is that the acids in the stomach that play up, would be doused by sodium bicarbonate in the gripe water- it plays the role of a natural anti-acid, say experts. In addition to that, Gripe water, which has fennel, ginger or even dill in it, seems to help with the baby’s digestion powers, and that is why, these herbs are used. They help bring calmness to the tummy, and that is why some gripe water has them as ingredients.
How Does Gripe Water Work?
Experts still are studying about how Gripe water for babies works, and there isnt any scientific evidence as such to prove the same. However, even with low evidence about the workings of gripe water, most mothers with little ones have sworn by the remedy. Gripe water, most experts say would be suitable for all age group babies, but some say it is not okay to give it to newborns, while some say otherwise.
How Do You Give Gripe Water To Your Baby?
There are many ways in which you can give gripe water to your baby. Some say one should read the label before giving the gripe water to the little one. This is because, if too much is given, it could have side effects on the child. Hence, one should follow what the label says and give the dose accordingly. It is typically given with the help of a dropper or an oral syringe, say experts. However, in some countries, new mothers mix gripe water with feeding formula or even with breastmilk and give it to their little ones.
Now that we have given you an overview about gripe water for babies, let’s talk a little about Gripe water for adults, shall we?
Just as most moms treat the stomach issues of their little ones with gripe water, experts say, if adults feel their tummies rumbling, they too can use it. It is but stressful to have sleepless nights, because of such issues. Your stomach needs to calm down big time, but does gripe water for babies help adults too?
Oh yes, you can have gripe water just as you give it to your little one, say experts. If you suffer from a gassy tummy or bloating problem just like the little one, while you treat the baby to a little of the gripe water, you too can have a little for relief as well. The taste could be a little bitter, so you can add a little water to it and then consume. Wait for sometime after having the gripe water and then decide if the gripe water really helps you or not. For faster results, you can speak to your doctor to know if there are other medications that can be used, instead of gripe water.
You Could Have Chamomile Tea an Alternative
To relax your body and mind, you can have chamomile tea. It is an active ingredient which is found in many gripe water formulations. You can start having the tea and there would be an improvement in the nerves and the tummy. This is a tea that would completely relax you, and hence you can have more than a cup.
Breaks a Must
In some cases, experts say that the tummy acts up when you are with your little one around, since it is psychological. You tend to eat more when you walk around trying to soothe the little one and with no sleep most of the times, this makes it a disaster for the stomach. This is why you should take a break and have someone else carry the little one after the feeding is done, and you should take rest.
We shall now take a look at the Gripe water benefits and side effects to let you know more about it.
Most of the gripe water formulas out in the market are deemed to be very safe for babies, but there are side effects associated with gripe water too. Although it is very popular to treat gas pains and colic in babies, there are no evidences to prove that it eases the pain in the stomach as well. Here are some of the risks to be aware of:
- Gripe water can cause allergies and reactions
- An introduction of bacteria in the baby’s system may take place
- If given to newborns right after they are born, it can be an obstacle to milk supply and breastfeeding.
While the benefits speak of easing the gas pain and colic issues in a baby’s stomach, parents have to be wary about the risks and perceived benefits as well. So speak to your doctor before giving gripe water, say experts. Even the USFDA does not talk in favour of giving gripe water if the baby has colic, or any stomach conditions.
Is Gripe Water Safe For Babies?
There are many types of gripe water available in the market for the babies to have. However, if you are of the old school traditional formula loving mother, your gripe water then would have sugar and alcohol in it, which you may or may not give your little one. This is because, too much of the traditional gripe water formula can affect the little one’s feeding ways and also provoke tooth decay as well. But not all formulas would have these ingredients, and that is why we insist that you speak to your doctor to know which is the best gripe water formula to use for your baby.
As a mother picking up gripe water for the little one, it is important that you read the label and the ingredients on the packaging. There are some forms of the gripe water that have sodium bicarbonate in them and peppermint too. But sodium bicarbonate can also interfere with the babies natural pH levels of their stomachs. This would create a lot of alkalinity and make the colic symptoms worse, and that is why babies that are colicky should not be given such formulas, say experts.
Even gripe water which has peppermint in it should be kept away from babies, since it can worsen the reflux symptoms of the little one. Gluten, paraben, dairy and vegetable carbon based gripe waters, experts say, should be avoided too. For babies that are under a month old, gripe water should not be given as well, since the digestion system of the little one is too sensitive to handle anything. However, when you speak to your doctor and get the right gripe water formula to give your little one, you must also keep an eye to check if there are any allergic reactions. Some reactions would include.
- Watery eyes
- Tongue and lip swelling
- Breathing changes
If you see any of these symptoms, it would be to connect with your doctor at once.
We hope this information on Gripe water for new borns comes in handy. We shall conclude by saying, the information given here is through pure research only. We want you to always talk to your health care specialist or your doctor, before you choose gripe water for your baby. Their words take precedence over what is written here and elsewhere online.