I remember using gripe water for my kids. I did not used it for a long time , but I always wondered about the effects of it on my babies. Drowsiness was a major symptom. I was surprised to see how quick they fell asleep. I never gave them the required dose because I did not think they really needed it. They always fell asleep with just the under dose.
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But really, how safe is gripe water for babies. Lets get a deep dive into it’s affects. I remember alcohol being a main ingredient. Things have changed since my era -1994.
Today the ingredients consist of agave, ginger and purified water. Sugar water has been used in hospitals as a way to soothe babies and reduce pain during procedures, but it’s never used in regular doses over long periods of time. Other ingredients might include herbs like
- lemon balm
- preservatives, or sodium bicarbonate (salt).
Many parents are struggling to find ways to allow their little star to sleep without medication. Babies cry a lot. Growth spurts are an important reason for that. These growing seasons in your baby’s life can last up to 9 months after birth. This situation can make you as a mother or father very anxious and uncomfortable giving rise to the urge to giving formula.
This is also an opportunity for mom to increase her milk supply. You can use these times to breastfeed often and bond with your baby. The main reason why parents give their babies gripe water is to catch up on some well needed rest or to put a damper during the fussy period.
What is gripe water?
Gripe water is very common in many households. The ingredients in gripe water can vary based on the brand and where you buy it. There are many different types available.
Previously, gripe water consisted of sugar and alcohol, sometimes in startlingly high amounts. Today, it tends to consist of ingredients such as agave, purified water, and ginger flavor.
How safe is gripe water?
No standardization of gripe water
There is a lack of standardization and regulation of herbal products, including gripe water. Most companies claim to be alcohol-free, not all forms of gripe water are alcohol-free. One study found that gripe water sold in India, for example, did contain alcohol.1
Also, gripe water containing sodium bicarbonate can lead to alkalosis and milk-alkali syndrome, if given continuously in large amounts. So we see here that there is no standardization on the market for gripe water.
Increased vomiting and constipation
Other potential risks of gripe water include increased vomiting and constipation in babies. The Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics also notes that gripe water can put a baby at an increased risk for exposure to harmful things like bacteria and allergens.3 Gripe water, because it generally contains high levels of sugars, may also lead to early-onset issues with developing teeth.
Malnourishment, and teeth decay if given too often
One of the biggest issues with gripe water is not necessarily what gripe water does to babies, but what it takes away from them. More specifically, if you are giving your baby a lot of gripe water throughout the day or night, he or she might be getting full just from gripe water.This can be dangerous. Your baby needs nutrients more than the gripe water.–
If babies drink too much gripe water, they may not be hungry for breast milk or formula. Gripe water does not have any nutritional value, so babies miss out on the key nutrition and ingredients that they need to grow and develop. If this happens consistently, your baby may develop problems such as delayed or slowed growth or inadequate weight gain. It may also interfere with the microbes in the digestive system that may play a role in digestion and overall health. Good bacteria are helpful for our bodies, especially in babies, whose immune systems are still developing.
Is gripe water good for anything?
Absolutely! Since the herbs in gripe water theoretically help with digestion, this remedy is thought to help with colic caused by gassiness. Gripe water is also used for teething pain and hiccups.
However you must be careful about the ingredients. Stay away from the sugar and alcohol as these can be very dangerous to your little star.
Mama, it’s important to only use gripe water that’s 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, shouldn’t be given to colicky babies unless prescribed by a doctor. Sodium bicarbonate can interfere with the natural pH level in your baby’s stomach. This can cause too much alkalinity and worsen colic symptoms.
Watch out for gripe water containing peppermint. It could potentially worsen a baby’s reflux symptoms. You should also avoid gripe water containing gluten, dairy, parabens, and vegetable carbon. No study has proven that gripe water works for any of its intended purposes. In fact, all of the studies that have been done have shown that gripe water does not seem to be effective at all.
Although gripe water is generally safe, it’s not recommended for babies younger than 1 month. The digestive tract is sensitive and still developing at this age. You can check here for grip water or any purchase
How to give gripe water to a baby
Mama please do not give your baby gripe water without first reading the instructions, and only give your baby the recommended dosage. Never more.
If your baby suffers from colic, the pain may come in waves and worsen after each feeding. You can give gripe water immediately after feedings to help your baby avoid gas pain.
Gripe water typically has a good taste, so some babies don’t mind taking a dose. You might be tempted to mix gripe water with your baby’s formula or breast milk. That’s perfectly safe, but for maximum results you should give your baby gripe water by itself.
Are there any side effects from gripe water?
Gripe water is generally safe, but it’s important to keep an open eye for signs of an allergic reaction. Allergy symptoms can vary.
After giving gripe water to your baby, check for:
- watery eyes
- swelling of the lips or tongue
- a change in breathing
If you suspect an allergic reaction, discontinue use and contact your doctor.
How can I sooth my fussy baby?
You can also use gripe water in conjunction with other soothing techniques.
For example, colic symptoms occasionally may be caused by a particular formula. Some babies are more sensitive to formulas containing cow’s milk.
Switching to a soy-based formula may soothe their stomachs and reduce symptoms, though this has only been shown in a few small studies. Talk to your baby’s doctor before changing formulas.
Gently massaging your baby’s stomach may ease symptoms of colic. This soft pressure can relieve discomfort because it helps your baby burp or pass gas.
Swaddling babies in a warm blanket and rocking them back and forth may also calm fussiness, as well as soothing background noise.
Make sure your baby is upright during feedings to ease gassiness. If you’re breastfeeding, removing certain foods from your diet might also reduce fussiness in your baby, though studies do not show a definite link.
Foods to eliminate from your diet can include:
Talk to your doctor before changing your diet.
You can also change up your baby’s bottle to see if you notice a difference. Choose bottles with a disposable, collapsible bag. These bottles lessen the amount of air your baby swallows and reduce gas.
Alternatives to Gripe Water for infants and children
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If you choose to give your baby gripe water, be sure to talk with your doctor about how to best use it and watch your baby carefully after administering gripe water for any potential side effects.
It’s especially important to make sure you never use gripe water as a substitute for feeding because using it on a regular basis could lead to your baby missing out on important nutrients he or she needs to grow and develop in a healthy way.
If you have a baby who seems 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. You can also try other solutions, such as cutting common irritants out of your diet if you are a breastfeeding mother, including caffeine and dairy.
Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you learned something to help you during your baby’s colicky days. Read your labels and avoid the toxic ingredients mentioned. Remember you still get good results if you use less than recommended. Watch out for teething times. I wish you every success in your motherhood journey. Please like this post if you did and feel free to comment below.
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