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Gripe Water For Baby: Benefits, Uses & Safety 

Newborns and infants at times cry for no evident reason. The nappy is clean and fresh, the tummy is full, they are well-rested, and nothing around is harsh or uncomfortable. And yet you would find them crying uncontrollably. The reason for this, as per experts, is colic pain. The intestines of a newborn baby are still developing and adjusting to the new way of getting the nutrition – breastmilk. This change can cause discomfort and pain. This, among others, is considered the significant reason for colic pain in babies. 

Many parents opt for gripe water to help with this situation. Gripe water is a solution known to soothe this discomfort and relieve colic pain in babies. In this article, we will understand what is gripe water for baby made of, safety tips, the benefits and gripe water for newborns dosage etc. 

Ingredients For Gripe Water For Babies

Different brands have different ways of preparing gripe water for baby or also known as dry water for baby. In the olden days, the ingredient for gripe water contained alcohol, sugar, and a few other harmful components that were not suitable for a newborn. Thus, eventually, they were discontinued, and a safer version of gripe water for baby emerged. 

These days, the gripe water consists of fennel, ginger, liquorice, chamomile, dill, peppermint or lemon balm and other natural pain-relieving and gas and colic relieving ingredients that are safe in moderation for babies. 

How Does Gripe Water For Babies Work 

The ingredients like dill and fennel present in the gripe water break the gas down and help it pass easily through the track and out of your baby's system. There is no evidence whether or not gripe water for baby is helpful. Still, there have been no side effects associated with gripe water for baby. Many parents have experienced the benefits of kids feeling less fussy and sleeping better after gripe water. 

Benefits Of Gripe Water For Babies

Many parents and caregivers have experienced the benefits of gripe water for their babies during their difficult, painful and uncomfortable times. Here are the benefits that people have shared of gripe water for baby(1):

  • ▪ It helps in curing an upset tummy caused by a new food item. 
  • ▪ Gripe water is known to reduce colic pain and discomfort in babies. 
  • ▪ The herbs present in the gripe water soothe the pain caused by gas or digestive issues and thus helps your baby relax and sleep better. 

When Can Your Baby Have Gripe Water

Your baby's digestive tract is still sensitive and developing during the initial months after their birth. Thus, although manufacturers claim that it is safe to give gripe water to babies as early as two weeks, avoid doing that. For anything your baby would consume orally, including gripe water for baby, apart from the breast milk, the best practice is to let the thought run past their pediatricians and let them take a call based on your baby's health, birth medical history and nutritional needs. 

Safety Tips For Choosing & Giving Gripe Water

  • ▪ You might find many brands offering gripe water over the counter. Choose the one provided by a trusted and popular brand. 
  • ▪ If there are any that are certified by any certifying body to be safe for kids, go for that one. 
  • ▪ Although there is a ban on selling gripe water containing alcohol, sometimes those make it to the market due to a lack of regulations. Therefore, check the label before buying. Then, choose one with natural ingredients. 
  • ▪ You can also go by personal recommendations from other parents who have first-hand experience using them. 
  • ▪ Although many gripe water for baby brands recommend that you start giving it to the kids as soon as they turn two weeks, doctors and lactation experts advise that nothing apart from breastmilk or baby formula should be given to babies until the age of six months. So, check with your baby's doctor before giving gripe water to your baby.  
  • ▪ Whenever you start giving gripe water to your baby, give it 10 minutes after they have had their feed.  

Side-effects Of Gripe Water

People have been giving gripe water to babies for ages, and there are no significant side effects of gripe water. However, if your baby is allergic to any ingredient present in the gripe water for baby, it might cause an allergic reaction such as an upset tummy or a skin rash. Some babies also tend to sleep longer after having gripe water for baby, but that might be because they feel relaxed after the pain and fuss, they have experienced and thus sleep peacefully.

If you notice anything unusual, like skin rashes, vomiting, itchy skin, watery eyes, etc., immediately stop giving them gripe water for baby and talk to the doctor. 

Alternatives To Gripe Water For Soothing Your Baby

Not all parents would be comfortable using gripe water for baby, as a few researches and experts also advise against the same. Mainly for store-bought mass-produced and packaged gripe water, you can never be sure of the hygiene. So, are there other alternatives? Consider trying the following:

  • ▪ Colic Massage

    Giving a light clockwise massage in your baby's tummy and moving their legs in cycling motion helps them get rid of trapped gas and relieve colic pain. 
  • ▪ Swaddling 

    Wrapping the baby in soft and breathable Mulmul Swaddles helps them feel comfortable, relieves gas and colic pain, and helps them sleep better. 
  • ▪ Change The Bottle Or Formula

    Sometimes, the flow of the teat or the particular formula you are using might not suit them, which can cause colic pain. Check with your child's pediatrician and look for the best-suited formula and bottle for your baby instead of gripe water for the baby. 
  • ▪ Gas Drops

    If your baby has a severe colic issue, your doctor might prescribe gas drops that help break down the gas and help the baby sleep peacefully and pain-free. Some experts recommend gas drops over gripe water for babies. 

Whether or not you decide to go ahead with gripe water for the baby is completely your decision to make. As long as you are informed and understand the benefits, the risks and gripe water uses for the baby; you are equipped to make that decision. Just make sure that you run this decision by your child's doctor and take their go-ahead. Until your baby doesn't start solid foods, their doctor should know about everything that your baby consumes orally apart from breast milk. Happy Parenting!  

Some Common Questions Parents Ask

Q1 – My daughter is three months old and suffers from colic pain. Can I offer gripe water to her?

It is suggested that nothing apart from breast milk should be offered to a baby who is not six months old yet. Based on your baby's health, their pediatrician is the best person to suggest whether in this condition you need to start gripe water or any other course of medication for your baby.  

Q2 – How much gripe water should I give my baby?

The suggested dosage for a particular brand of gripe water would be mentioned on the packaging. However, it is safe to run it past the pediatrician before you start giving it to the baby regularly.  

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