Can I Make My Own Gripe Water
Yes, you can! Fennel water, a type of gripe water, has been used for centuries to ease the discomfort of colic in babies caused by gas and constipation. You should always consult your childs doctor, however, before you give anything new to a newborn and always be on alert for allergies. That said, you can boil some fennel seeds over a slow simmer for 10 minutes and let cool to room temperature. Strain all the seeds and follow the same procedure as gripe water when giving to the baby.
How Does Gripe Water Work
The original gripe water, first used by nannies and moms in England in the 1850s, contained alcohol which people used to think relaxed babies .
Today experts dont fully understand how gripe water might help soothe tummy troubles, but its thought that ingredients like dill, fennel and ginger can help with gas relief and stomach discomfort.
If youd like to give it a try, be sure to get the green light from your babys pediatrician first to make sure that he or she is on board with giving gripe water.
If you get your doctor’s approval, consider using gripe water only as a backup when other gas relief methods like abdominal massage, tummy time or leg bicycling dont seem to be making your baby more comfortable.
You should also have your doctor confirm that the brand youre using is okay, since gripe water products arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration . Check the packaging for specific dosing instructions and get your pediatrician’s approval first about how much and how often to give it to your baby. The general limit is four doses a day, but only under the care of your practitioner.
If your doctor says gripe water is fine for your baby and it seems to work, you should stop using it by the time your little one is 4 to 6 months old, when gassiness typically becomes less of an issue.
What Are Gas Drops
It may seem counterintuitive, but if youre a fan of natural remedies, OTC pharmaceutical baby gas drops may be the better gas treatment for your infant. Thats because the active ingredient used in gas drops is simethicone, which, unlike gripe water, isnt absorbed into your infants system. After its job is done, it passes right through to your babys diaper. Simethicone simply helps gently break gas bubbles down to help your baby expel them naturally on their own.
Gas drops like our and formulas star simethicone as their hero ingredient. Theyre also the #1 pediatrician-recommended brand and free of saccharin, alcohol, artificial flavors, and gluten. Unlike gripe water, their claims are regulated by the FDA. The standard dose for babies is also only a fraction of a milliliter much less than a dose of gripe water.
And because each dose of our gas drops is so much smaller than a dose of gripe water, theyre more economical too. In comparison, gripe water costs about four times more per dose.
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Tips For Choosing & Giving Gripe Water
If you must give your baby gripe water, use these tips to ensure you find the right type of gripe water for your little one.
- Dont choose a solution which contains sodium bicarbonate, as it can cause imbalances in the pH levels of your babys stomach.
- Go through the ingredients list carefully to ensure there is nothing your baby is allergic to.
- Keep an eye out for any side effects or allergic reactions.
- Consult with your doctor about the dosage and the brand to be used.
- Try to find a brand that uses as many natural ingredients as possible.
- Dont buy gripe water that contains alcohol.
- Steer clear of solutions which have sucrose, vegetable carbon, or charcoal.
- Read the instructions carefully and administer the right dosage as recommended by the paediatrician.
Cranky babies and colic have been around for as long as there have been babies in this world! But gripe water might not be the solution every time. You need to try and understand why your baby is irritated or in pain. The next step is soothing and comforting the little one without the use of any external agents. This might be difficult if you are a first-time parent as nothing you do may seem to work. However, once you get the hang of it, things will settle down, and you will know exactly how to calm your baby down.
Disclaimer: This information is just a guide and not a substitute for medical advice from a qualified professional.
Can Gripe Water Be Given Along With Formula Milk
Oftentimes, parents of restless children find it tempting to give gripe water by mixing it with the infants formula milk. However, this is a bad idea. The composition of gripe water and formula milk are very different, so there is a high possibility that there could be a chemical reaction when you combined the two.
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How Do You Give A Baby Gripe Water
If you buy an over-the-counter boxed brand, make sure you read the instructions carefully they can differ from brand to brand. Other than that, the box should give you clear details about how to administer gripe water to your child. The bottles usually come with their own little droppers or syringe for easy use. As you may have guessed from the ingredient list, gripe water can have a strong flavor that isnt pleasing to babies. Should your little one decide they dont like it, you can try mixing it with breast milk or formula. However, its considered most effective on its own.
To administer, its first important to note that you should never give liquids to a crying baby. Hold your baby upright and insert the syringe against the inside corner of your babys cheek. Administer slowly, allowing your baby to swallow after each application.
Watch for allergies when introducing any new foods or medication to a baby, if your baby develops hives, turns red, or acts fussy, immediately call your pediatrician for a consult.
Is Gripe Water Safe For Babies
There are different types of gripe water. If youre only familiar with traditional formulas that include alcohol and sugar, you may shy away from giving this supplement to your baby.
Too much sugar can increase the risk of tooth decay, and it may affect your babys feeding habits.
Understand, however, that while some formulas of gripe water include alcohol, sugar, and artificial flavors, these ingredients arent included in all formulas. Its important to only use gripe water thats designed specifically for babies.
Make sure you read the ingredients listed on the package. Some forms of gripe water also contain sodium bicarbonate and peppermint.
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, shouldnt be given to colicky babies unless prescribed by a doctor. Sodium bicarbonate can interfere with the natural pH level in your babys stomach. This can cause too much alkalinity and worsen colic symptoms.
Watch out for gripe water containing peppermint. It could potentially worsen a babys reflux symptoms. You should also avoid gripe water containing gluten, dairy, parabens, and vegetable carbon.
Although gripe water is generally safe, its not recommended for babies younger than 1 month. The digestive tract is sensitive and still developing at this age.
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Traditional Ingredients Of Gripe Water
Generations of parents have sworn by gripe water since its invention in England in the mid-1800s. Numerous variations have been formulated over the years, improving its safety, quality and effectiveness. The modern product frequently contains sodium bicarbonate . Most gripe water contains a blend of several naturally-calming ingredients, such as ginger, fennel, lemon balm, cinnamon, peppermint, chamomile and licorice. Several types of gripe water contain sugar and artificial flavors, and sometimes even alcohol .
See A Doctor Only If The Hiccups Are Uncontrollable
You have no reason to worry about your babys hiccups unless their regular feeds and sleep are taking a hit. It is important to know that hiccups are more frequent in babies suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease , often accompanied by spitting and coughing.
If your baby has very frequent bouts of uncontrollable hiccups, especially after they turn 1, its best you discuss it with a pediatrician. You should also be alert and check that your little one isnt in pain.
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Alternatives To Gripe Water
If you have a baby who is unusually fussy, has problems with digestion, or you suspect has colic, it is best to work with a pediatrician or doctor to try to find a solution. There may be an underlying medical condition, such as acid reflux or food sensitivity, that can be treated.
If your doctor has ruled out these medical issues and your baby is still extremely fussy or colicky, there are some other remedies you can try before resorting to the use of gripe water. Here are a few things that may help calm your baby:
- Learn to swaddle your baby so they feel snug and secure
- Cut common irritants out of your diet if you are a breastfeeding mother, including caffeine, spicy foods, and dairy
- Ask your pediatrician for recommendations on a gentler or allergen-free formula if you are formula feeding or try a new bottle
- Wear your baby in a sling around the house when they are fussy
- Try using white noise or standing by a faucet with the water running
- Rub your baby’s tummy in gentle, circular motions to help move gas
- Apply very light pressure to your baby’s tummy or increase their tummy play time during the day
- Bicycle your baby’s legs to see if the movement helps move gas along
- Take a car ride, use a baby swing, or determine if another type of movement helps calm your baby
- Try walking or dancing with your baby to see if that alleviates the fussiness
- Learn how to give an infant massage
How Often Should You Use It
All gripe water is different. Thoroughly read the directions and give your little one the recommended daily dosage. All babies are different too, so you will have to see if administering gripe water before or after a feeding is better for your baby. Always burp your baby immediately after each feeding. If you can produce a good burp, you might not need to administer gripe water at that time. A maximum of about six doses throughout the day, as needed, is usually recommended. If your child is colicky or appears to be experiencing any type of mild discomfort, you can give gripe water a go.
Gripe water is safe for most babies, and it’s many parents’ go-to for a simple and quick remedy. It never hurts to try other soothing methods first. Here are a few possibilities for comforting your little one:
- A gentle belly massage can help alleviate a tummy ache by allowing the baby to pass gas or burp more easily.
- Swaddling can do wonders to calm a fussy infant.
- You can calm little ones by holding them securely and gently rocking back and forth or in a rocking chair.
- Some soft, soothing music or other relaxing sounds playing in the background can help drown out other noise and calm a baby’s mind.
You can also try different methods of feeding:
- Try to always feed your child in a more upright posture. This position will help to reduce the chance of gas buildup.
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Gripe Water For Colic
Many families turn to gripe water in the hope of a magic cure for their colicky baby. But can gripe water help colic?
What isgripe water?
Gripe water is an over the counter liquid remedy to help aid colic in babies which usually contains a mix of herbs and sodium bicarbonate.
It can be overwhelming for parents when there is such a large range of colic remedies available. In this article, I am going to run through the most popular gripe waters and tell you what they contain and how they work to settle your crying baby.
Woodwards Gripe Water for Colic
Woodwards contains dill oil, which is claimed to settle griping tummies by soothing the muscles. It also contains sodium bicarbonate which is thought to neutralise stomach acid. However, the sodium bicarbonate can cause a chemical reaction with the stomach acid in your babys tummy. It can create more gas, making your babys colic worse. This gripe water can be administered to babies from the age of 1 month old.
This gripe water contains fennel and ginger to settle and soothe little tummies but it also contains sodium bicarbonate. It also contains potassium sorbate as a preservative. The manufacturer recommends giving this tonic to babies from 2 weeks old.
Boots chemist has its own gripe water, which is apple flavoured. The active ingredient is sodium bicarbonate and it contains corn syrup , amongst other E numbers. It doesnt contain any herbs or other natural ingredients.
When Can Babies Have Gripe Water
The manufacturers of gripe water claim that it can be given to babies as young as two weeks. However, it is not advisable to offer it to babies under the age of six months, since their digestive tract is still developing and is sensitive. Many people also believe that babies should not be given anything other than breast milk or formula until they are six months old. So, the best option is to consult with your paediatrician before giving gripe water to your baby.
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Weighing The Risks And Benefits
If youre curious and want to give gripe water a try, Dr. Vann says its important to weigh the risks and benefits and talk with your pediatrician about your babys symptoms. If you have a one-month-old whos crying so much youre up all night, then he needs to be seen by a doctor, says Dr. Vann. This is one of the reasons why gripe water is not recommended for newborns.
/5is It Safe For Baby
Gripe water has been used across the world for a long time and is believed to be quite effective, but the paediatrician does not support this claim.
As per Dr Rohit Arora, Head of Neonatology & Pediatric, Miracles Mediclinic & Apollo Cradle Hospital, parents should completely avoid giving gripe water to their child. “I won’t recommend gripe water at all. The companies selling gripe water are not regulated. So they do not exactly specify the ingredients they use to process the liquid. You do not know if the ingredients are safe or not.”
Although Dr Arora does not recommend gripe water, he said if you are still willing to give it then it is important to remember two things- “First It should not be given to a baby less than three-month-old and second it should be homemade.”
Even Dr Sumit Kumar Gupta, Consultant Paediatrician, Columbia Asia, Ghaziabad, supported Dr Aroras statement and added that gripe water is neither beneficial nor harmful. “Gripe water is just fennel seed water. Sometimes it even contains chemicals. So, we don’t advise parents to give gripe water to their child. It is useless.”
As per a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, giving anything other than breast milk to the infants in the first six months may increase the risk of introducing bacteria, causing allergies and irritating their intestine. The same thing applies with gripe water.
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