If you are a first-time Mom still you don’t need an introduction to what gripe water is. Your mother or mother-in-law must have advised to keep a bottle handy, soon after you delivered your baby. (I hope so, as mine did that)
That’s because they know what is gripe water used for, and believe it to be the most efficacious remedy for the relief of gas, stomach troubles, and colic in babies and toddlers.
But, a dilemma grips you at the moment. Should you believe in this age-old formula? Because many doctors today don’t recommend gripe water for newborns!
I was here 4 years ago when the continuous crying of my baby made me anxious. So, today, I wish to share my experience; what I did to relieve the fussiness in my baby.
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What persuaded me to try gripe water for my baby?
Like every mother, I used to get worried and annoyed by the continuous crying of my baby when nothing would appease him. Being a doctor I could diagnose the cause – ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT.
All my relatives suggested me to use gripe water but my paediatrician forbid me. He recommended that gripe water might cause an allergic reaction in my little baby.
I used the colic drops prescribed by him, but found them ineffective.
Soon, when my son turned 4 months, I started using gripe water for my baby. And Voila! I saw a wonderful improvement in his colic episodes. He could sleep well. (and me too )
Other Mummies in my friend’s group had the same experience.
How does gripe water help babies?
Gripe water helps to relieve gas, stomach troubles, and colic in babies and toddlers. Attribute this to the ingredients found in gripe water.
Invented in 1851 by William Woodward, an English pharmacist, the common ingredients in gripe water are:
- Fennel– it is an aromatic herb which has flatulence reducing properties and treats indigestion. It also acts as a natural laxative and thus, helps to keep the digestive system healthy.
- Ginger– It is a natural remedy for indigestion, constipation and flatulence.
- Chamomile– It soothes tummy aches and cramps, gas and indigestion. It is also well-known for its sedation properties, so it helps to promote good sleep.
- Liquorice- This herb has the anti-bacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties.
- Cinnamon- This spice is a strong anti-oxidant and possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It is an immunity booster.
- Lemon balm- This herb also has anti-microbial properties and strengthens the neurological system. It is considered a great remedy for digestive disorders.
My Final Verdict on using Gripe water for newborns
Scientific research and evidence hold a value, but we, the mothers trust our instinct and what we see with our eyes.
With such amazing, natural and safe elements in gripe water, it’s absolutely safe for your baby.
I observed its wonderful effects on my baby without any reactions.
So, as a mother (doctor in me is still silent), I think all parents must try this compound, however with certain cautions.
Use gripe water only in infants above 4-5 months of age (as most formulas have sodium bicarbonate which can interfere with the normal acidity of the baby’s stomach)
Don’t get tempted to give gripe water to your baby now and then. Use it only if all these methods to relieve colic have failed.
Check the product label before buying:
- Although the use of alcohol has been discontinued in current formulas, one should be doubly sure about it (alcohol might cause addiction in babies).
- Some brands use artificial sweeteners which can be harmful to your baby’s health. Check for it.
- Peppermint found in few brands may worsen the baby’s gastric symptoms.
- Avoid buying formulas containing gluten, dairy, soy or paraben.
The recommended dosage mentioned on the product is according to the age and you should follow it to derive full benefits.
By reading the research articles, one might get unenthusiastic about gripe water. However, by just buying it a bit cautiously, it might prove a boon for your distressed infant.
Though the magnitude of the benefits might differ from baby to baby, it will surely prove to be an elixir for appeasing a colicky, fussy and crying infant, and thus might help to reduce your sleepless hours.
So, go and grab a bottle now, but take care to follow the cautions given above.
Have more concerns about gripe water for newborns or its side-effects? Drop them in the comments below and I will answer them.
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