When To Give Gripe Water To Babies
It’s late at night, and you’ve checked to see if the baby is sleeping soundly. For a Mom or Dad, making sure that a baby is comfortably sleeping is the top priority. However, a baby’s crying can shatter the evening’s peace and quiet.
You check if he’s hungry, wet, carry him and sing him to sleep, but nothing works.
What could it be? Yes, it could be colic.
They say giving gripe water to babies is an old wive’s tale or something that technology has already superseded.
However, gripe water is more than just a home remedy for colic. Parents also use it to relieve teething pain and other signs of discomfort in babies.
So when to give gripe water to babies?
What Our Expert Says
Gripe water is one of the oldest commercially available remedies for colic, first being produced for sale in 1851. Its original formula contained sugar and alcohol, but todays mix is completely safe, comprising of dill seed oil and sodium bicarbonate, says Dr Philippa Kaye.
The exact reasons for colic are unknown, but its thought to be related to trapped wind and indigestion. The active ingredients in gripe water help combat it by neutralising excess acid in the stomach and breaking down trapped air bubbles.
It comes in a liquid form which you can give to your baby, via a dropper, up to six times a day. Whether youre breast or bottle feeding, you simply fill the dropper with the recommended dose and drop it into his mouth, or let him suck it out.
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.
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How Do I Know Which Brand To Buy
Although Woodwards Gripe Water is the original medicine that helped relieve the discomfort associated with colic, there are various other over-the-counter remedies. Brands, such as Dentinox, Infacol and Colief, have developed their own formulas using slightly different ingredients, so finding the one that works for your baby may be a case of trial and error.
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When To Give Gripe Water To Your Baby
Gripe water should preferably be given only when your baby shows signs of colic, indigestion or flatulence and cant be soothed by any other means. You must avoid giving it to him on an empty stomach since the stomach lining in babies is delicate and could be affected by the alkaline sodium bicarbonate.
Is Gripe Water Safe For Newborns
It depends on the specific brand and ingredients. You should always ask your doctor for a recommendation for gripe water and any other remedy you’re thinking of giving your baby.
Gripe water made with alcohol definitely isn’t safe, and other formulas, including those labeled “natural” or “homeopathic” , contain a variety of other ingredients that may be unsafe or untested.
Gripe water made with sucrose, while not dangerous, might not be the best choice either. Sugar has the potential to harm your babys gums or emerging teeth. Plus, you dont want to get your baby used to being soothed with sweets. So always check with your doctor first about a specific brand and kind of gripe water. If it doesnt work, let him or her know.
And remember, even if you do try gripe water as a remedy for digestive troubles with your pediatrician’s approval, it should never be given in large quantities to a baby or used as a dietary substitute. Infants this age should be fed breast milk or formula only.
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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 its 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 babys 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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The Baby Is Thrashing And Crying
The next step is visual discomfort is when your baby goes from being restless to being outright uncomfortable.
Babies cannot speak as infants, and they communicate by crying. If crying is left unchecked, the baby may wave his or her arms and kick their legs frantically. This is a sure sign that something is wrong.
A tip for calming thrashing and crying is to calmly pick up your baby and walk around while patting your little one on the back.
You can also lay your baby down for tummy time, lay them on their side, and gently massage the belly and back. Combined with a dose of all-natural gripe water, these techniques should help your baby with their stomach discomfort.
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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.
Mommys Bliss Gripe Water
If your LO is crying from colic, Mommys Bliss Gripe Water is a gentle formula that works quickly to remedy pain. This pediatrician-approved gripe water contains 100 percent vegan ingredients, including organic ginger and fennel. The herbal mixture also contains no alcohol or parabens, making it a safer option for instant colic, gas, hiccup and teething relief.
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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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Gripe Water For Newborn Helps Your Infant With Teething
When your baby is teething they are likely to be very fussy. Frequent bouts of crying and irregular breathing can be expected. This causes your little one to inhale more air which can lead to wind. Gripe water is an effective cure to help ease the wind. This in turn helps reduce some of the discomfort related to teething.
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Side Effects Of Gripe Water
Because gripe water is made with gentle herbal ingredients, there are likely to be no side effects when using this product. Parents may notice that their babies become sleepy after administering gripe water. This is because babies who have been suffering from colic, extreme discomfort or gas are often exhausted due to the tension. Gripe water offers much-needed relief which will help them get some much-needed rest.
As with any medicine, whether all-natural or otherwise, we recommend consulting with your pediatrician before giving your little one anything.
Alternatives To Gripe Water For Babies
Unfortunately, baby cant verbalize what plagues them during bouts of discomfortif their belly hurts or theyre experiencing gas pains, youre left guessing. It can be difficult for parents to distinguish normal cries of hunger from those of distress, but process of elimination can help your detective work. Eventually, you might decide that its time to try gripe water. However, if youre not quite ready to go that route , there are some gripe water alternatives to consider. Here are a few ways to soothe baby and potentially alleviate tummy troubles without turning to gripe water for babies.
Bicycle babys legs. Garcia suggests laying baby on their back and gently pumping their legs to help expel trapped gas and mollify pesky tummy pains.
Offer gentle compression. Applying some light pressure to babys belly can help work out gas bubbles and provide comfort. Try holding baby tummy-down with your arm supporting their abdomen, or lay baby tummy-down across your knees and rub their back. Similarly, you can lay baby down on their back and gently massage their belly in a circular motion.
Try a new bottle. Its possible that your bottle could be the source of discomfort. When baby gulps milk, they can also swallow air, which can lead to gas bubbles. A bottle with a vent or valve system can cut down on excessive air consumption. Also if baby seems to be chugging too quickly, Garcia recommends trying a nipple with a slower flow.
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Children: Keep On Tracking
As your child grows, bowel movements should generally be smooth and soft, formed but not too bulky. Stools should come out easily, without pain or too much effort. Frequency is generally daily, but some children go multiple times per day and others every 2 to 3 days.
Stools in older children are generally brown, but the what goes in comes out rule still applies. If your child is sick and only eating crackers, the stool may look lighter or more green. Intense colors like food coloring and beets will come out the same. Yes, you may see that blue cupcake icing again in the toilet! Some foods, such as tomato and corn, may still come out looking whole and undigested.
Constipation is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain in childhood. Constipated poop looks like little balls or very bulky and rocky. If your childs stool has these characteristics and associated abdominal discomfort, they are most likely constipated. Adjusting the mix of poop fruit , fiber, and fluids is an excellent first step. This is the one circumstance in which pediatricians will recommend juice prune or apple juice may be helpful. Also, because we live in a dry environment, making sure your child is drinking enough water may be all it takes to get things back to normal.
I hope that this brief primer on pooping has helped you feel more confident in managing this part of your childs health and well-being.
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Things To Remember About Gripe Water
There are several gripe water products in the market to choose from, and some of the most popular ones are:
- Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water one of the longest-standing products in the market. This brand is alcohol-free, all-organic and parents can use it for other discomforts such as teething and fussiness.
- Wellements Organic Gripe Water for Tummy– alcohol-free, paraben-free, gluten and also soy free. This formulation takes into consideration different allergies that babies might possibly have.
- Woodward’s Gripe Water– this does not contain alcohol but has sodium bicarbonate. It is gentle enough for everyday use and yummy-tasting too.
- DIY gripe water. You can take a look at some recipes here.
Not all gripe water are created equal. There are several things to look out for when buying this pain-reliever for your babies.
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Can I Give Bonnisan To My Baby Daily
Bonnisan helps restore the normal physiological functions of the digestive tract which maintains overall health and well-being in infants and children. For the treatment of common digestive complaints in infants and children As a daily health supplement for infants and children to promote healthy growth.
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Best Gripe Water For Babies
If youve had the chat with your pediatrician and are interested in trying gripe water for baby, read the instructions carefully before offering it to your child, so you know exactly how much to give. Take a minute to also scan the ingredients, in case of an adverse reaction, and avoid formulas containing charcoal, sucrose or alcohol. Again, only purchase gripe water for babies made in the United States.
Here are a few options to check out:
Are Gas Drops Good For Colic
Though the cause of colic is unknown, a colicky baby may also suffer from gas as a result of swallowing air as they cry or feed. In that sense, yes, gas drops can help relieve gaseous symptoms.
And fortunately, we have another tool in our colic-soothing arsenal. The probiotic Bifidobacteria animalis subsp. Lactis in our Infants Mylicon Daily Probiotic Drops has been studied extensively in clinical trials, and has been shown to support immunity and digestive health. This good bacteria has also been clinically shown to help reduce daily crying and fussiness in infants with colic by 50% or more over time when given daily. Thats right, clinically-backed help for colic is out there!
Plus, our probiotic drops dont contain any derivatives of wheat, gluten, artificial flavors, dairy, nuts, eggs, fish, or shellfish. Read more about their benefits in our article Why Babies Benefit From Probiotics.
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Q How Do I Know If My Baby Is Constipated
If your baby is very uncomfortable or clearly in real pain, and his poos are small and hard, then he has some degree of constipation. This is very rare in babies who are solely breastfed, but not uncommon in babies who have formula, or who have solid foods.
Ask your health visitor or the chemist for advice on treatment. Make sure you are making up the formula powder with the correct amount of water. Some formulas are specially targeted at babies who have minor constipation your health visitor can discuss your options.
Persistent constipation needs to be checked out by the doctor.
Are There Side Effects Of Gripe Water
Some parents notice that their babies seem drowsier after a dose of gripe water. But does gripe water actually make babies sleepy? Probably not.
The more likely scenario is that all that fussing tires babies out, to the point where they eventually end up falling asleep whether theyre given gripe water or not.
Aside from the potential snoozefest, its worth watching for possible allergies. While gripe water isnt likely to cause an allergic reaction, as with any new food or drink you introduce to your little one, you should still be on the lookout for symptoms of an allergy such as hives, itchiness, watery eyes, vomiting or diarrhea. Call your doctor if you see any of these signs in your baby.
More serious allergy symptoms like swelling of the lips or tongue and trouble swallowing or breathing can be life-threatening and warrant a call to 911 right away.
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