Crying is the first sign of life from a baby and it is quite natural for a baby to cry for various reasons. However, excessive bouts of crying without any specific reason can be a cause for concern for you as a parent. Colic is those prolonged sessions of crying in babies that is dreaded by most parents throughout the world for the simple reason that a baby cannot communicate the reason for his pain. Without being able to find the reason for the baby’s discomfort, handling colic can be very challenging and frustrating for the parents. So, Is Gripe Water Safe For Babies? Gripe Water Uses And Side Effects.
Uses Of Gripe Water
Gripe water not only aids digestion but also relieves from stomach pain & discomfort due to Colic. The exact causes of colic are unknown and different theories have been put forward to explain it. A developing gastrointestinal system, discomforts in the body, intestinal gas or oversensitivity to certain stimuli can be reasons for colic. Gripe water is a remedy that has been around for quite some time and it is considered by many to provide instant relief from colic. It was invented back in 1851 in England and is easily available over the counter in many countries around the world.
Is Gripe Water Safe For Babies
Gripe water is herbal in nature and contains ingredients like lemon balm, chamomile, fennel, ginger, cinnamon and many others. There was a time when alcohol and sodium bicarbonate were mixed in small proportions while preparing the gripe water. But the present day manufacturers offer a purely herbal recipe. It is widely used throughout India though its effectiveness in treating colic has not been medically established. So before you use gripe water, we need to understand whether gripe water is safe for babies or not. Is Gripe Water Safe For Babies? Gripe Water Uses And Side Effects.
It is always important to keep in mind that as per WHO recommendations, nothing else but mother’s milk is best for babies for their optimum growth and development, during the first six months after birth. Anything else during this phase might increase the chances of infections or allergies in a baby and affect their growth. Gripe water is generally harmless as it is a herbal product but it will be best to consult your doctor or a childcare specialist before you use it as a treatment for colic. If you are planning to buy gripe water for your infant, you need to choose a recipe that is perfect for a baby, without any side effects.
Gripe Water Side Effects
In most cases, you pediatrician will recommend gripe water if your child suffers from constant indigestion & colic. However, over consumption of gripe water can have some side effects in some infants. They include Ashthma or change in breathing, swelling of lips or tongue, watery eyes, itchiness & sleepiness(if alcohol is present). But, these do not occur commonly!
Also read on Natural Remedies For Indigestion In Kids
The Best Gripe Water Brands In India
There are various brands in India which offer gripe water as a remedy for colic and the top 4 are listed under and can be bought here.
Himalaya Bonnisan Gripe Water
Himalaya Bonnisan does not contain alcohol and hence can be given from birth. Many pediatricians recommend Himalay Bonnisan as the safe remedy to deal with Colic in kids as it does not contain any harmful substance that can harm the imbalance of your infant or cause asthama. It helps combat indigestion & promotes weight gain. Priced at Rs. 150 for 200ml.
Woodward’s Gripe Water
Being one of the pioneers in this field of baby products, this brand is a common household name for decades now. It is a good blend of various natural products and is also an acid neutralizer. This product also contains small amount of sugar to soothe the taste buds of the babies. Since its inception, Woodward’s has strived to maintain it’s original taste while following rigid health standards too. Priced at Rs. 40 for 130ml.
Mother Sparsh Ayurvedic Gripe Water
This is a herbal product with absolutely no traces of alcohol, sodium bicarbonate, parabens or any other artificial flavours or colour. The main components being pudina, saunf, dill oil and ajwain help to offer relief from colic pain and thereby foster the overall physical wellbeing of the infant. It’s a new entrant in the market. Priced at Rs.55 for 130ml.
Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water
This brand contains no alcohol, chemicals or artificial flavours. It is 100% vegetarian and sugar free, thereby, making it an ideal choice for babies. The product is also very light with low density making it easier for the baby to swallow. Not easily available since its imported, slightly expensive, but good quality and very effective. Rs.750 for 113ml.
Safe Alternatives To Gripe Water
If you are not comfortable with giving gripe water to your baby there are certain other methods that you can try out. The stomach discomfort in a baby can be due to many reasons and these methods address some of them.
This is a solution that can work for some babies very well and provide them relief from intestinal gas. The various components in these drops break up the gas bubbles gently so that they can easily pass out. Before you use these drops, it is best to take advice from your doctor.
Check your own diet
The diet of the mother makes a great impact on the baby especially during the first six months. So as a mother, one needs to monitor her diet closely. Avoiding foods that can create gas and bloating in the stomach can be a good way to keep the baby comfortable. Spicy foods, dairy, wheat, eggs, caffeine are some items that you can avoid during this period.
Also read on 20 Best Foods That Help Your Child Gain Weight
Check the feeding method
While feeding the baby through a bottle, do make sure that there are no unwanted air bubbles trapped in the milk. You can use a specially designed bottle or nipple and make sure that no excess air gets inside the baby’s system.
A massage or applying tummy pressure
A nice and soothing massage can do wonders in comforting a crying baby. You can also try massaging your baby’s tummy softly while making her lie on her back. Applying gentle pressure on the back and gentle massaging is another way of providing relief to babies suffering from colic. This is done to relieve the body of the gas bubbles formed in the body, particularly the stomach.
Home Made Gripe Water Recipe
Gripe Water could be also prepared at home and you have the liberty to choose a combination of your own ingredients which you feel is the best suited for your baby.
- Ginger: one small slice
- Dried Chamomile: two tbsp.
- Dried Fennel seeds, crushed: one tbsp.
- Dried cardamom, crushed: ½ tbsp.
- Dried cinnamon, ground: ¼ tbsp.
- Natural sugar (no honey): ½ to 1 tbsp.
- Purified water: 2 cups.
You can start by putting the ginger, chamomile, fennel, and cardamom and cinnamon in a clean cloth tea bag.Get the water to boil on a kettle or saucepan and then immerse the tea bag into it. Leave it for about twenty minutes. Then remove the tea bag and strain the liquid to remove any solid particles. You can now add the natural sweetener into the preparation and your gripe water is ready.
You need to store this in an airtight container and keep it under refrigeration. Once prepared this can be used for a week without any problem. This is best given to babies as per the dosage suggested by a doctor, particularly after meals and before their bedtime.
How To Treat Colic In Kids
There are various other methods that you can use to treat colic in your baby.
Closeness and Comfort
Many doctors suggest that the best treatment for colic is not by some alternative medicines but through love and care.The transition from the dark confines of the womb into the bright outer world is a major source of discomfort for the baby. Closeness with the baby and offering her the right warmth and comfort helps to soothe the moods thereby allowing her to relax.
Contact with Nature
It is always good to expose your baby to fresh air and sunlight every day. The contact with the natural elements can bring about a greater level of comfort in the baby and makes a positive impact on their moods. So heading outdoors with your baby is a great way to keep her healthy and happy.
Movement and Sound
Movement is always important to a baby in terms of well-being and rocking movements can often work wonders for a colicky infant. Getting your infant on a rocker or a swing can be an effective way to enhance her conditions. Sound is also another factor that affects the mood of an infant. A child has been exposed to the sounds inside his mother’s body for some time and is used to it. So creating soothing sounds for him to listen and to attract their attention can reduce the bouts of crying.
Hope this article on “Is Gripe Water Safe For Babies? Gripe Water Uses And Side Effects” was very useful. A mother feels helpless when she sees her child cry all through the night! We hope with these remedies you & your child can have a good, peacuful night! Happy Parenting! 🙂
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