Is Gripe Water Safe for Your Baby, Infant and When Can Give ?
Created by Bharti Updated on Nov 13, 2019
While your mother and grandmothers have been safely administering the gripe water since ages, it is in the recent years that the safety issues concerning the gripe water has been doing rounds. With paediatricians saying no to the use of gripe water, the elderly in the family insist on giving it to the babies.
So whether it is safe for your baby or not is another question, the most important one being what is gripe water? How is it helpful for babies? So let’s read what gripe water is.
What Is Gripe Water & Its Uses ?
Gripe water has been around since ages. Gripe water is essentially a water based dietary supplement that has water, dill oil, fennel, sodium bicarbonate, sugar, and some amount of alcohol, and is used as a tonic to soothe colic, indigestion, teething pain in newborn child.
Is Gripe Water Is Safe For My Child?
Considering the ingredients of the gripe water – it is not considered safe for babies. And while there are mixed views on the safety of gripe water for babies; however paediatricians say no for gripe water. In addition, the ingredients of the gripe water composition are known to provide relief single-handedly as well and perhaps that’s one of the reasons why even paediatricians say no to gripe water. Here are few reasons why the safety of gripe water for babies is a concern amongst new mommies.
- Alcohol is a strict no-no for babies: Alcohol is a strict no-no for babies and most of the gripe water manufacturing use alcohol in the composition. Hence the safety of gripe water for your baby is a huge concern. So if you have to give gripe water to your baby please check out the label and if there is no alcohol mentioned on it the label, then use your discretion because it could be a market gimmick as well to sell the product by misleading the customer
- Sodium bicarbonate is not good for babies: Sodium bicarbonate is essentially what you know as baking soda, an ingredient that can alleviate acidity in babies. Moreover a baby less than 6 months is exclusively on breast milk and hence giving gripe water is not a safe option
- Herbs in gripe water are useful in digestion: Herbs like dill oil and fennel seed oil or saunf are useful in digestion and is believed to relieve to colic babies as well. However, there have been instances where the fennel seed oil has offered relieve to one baby and caused allergic reaction in the other. So before you buy a gripe water composition check your baby for allergic reaction by giving him or her fennel seed water
- Sugar soothes the colic baby: It is believed that the sweet taste of sugar is what helps calm down the colic babies, however, it anything sweet can do the work. And here’s a catch excessive sweet is also not good for your baby as it can lead to problems in gums and tooth decay as well in 8+ months old babies
- Ingredients used in gripe water can provide relief independently as well: Researches show that the ingredients used in gripe water except for alcohol and baking soda, are capable of providing relief independently to the colic baby. It essentially means that there is no point in taking risk of mixing the ingredients and then offering to the colic baby
- No scientific reason behind the relief offering properties: There has been no scientific proof that says gripe water is effective in colic babies; in fact there has been no research to show that it is an effective medicine for colic babies. Hence if you still want to use gripe water for colic babies then please consult your paediatrician first.
When Can I Use Gripe Water For My Baby?
While there are numerous used for gripe water here I am listing few common ones for which gripe water is used
- When the baby shows signs of colic: If your baby is showing signs of colic and is crying inconsolably then you may use gripe water to soothe him or her. However, consult your doctor first
- During teething and pain: If your baby is showing signs of teething with swollen gums or is in pain due to some vaccination then also you can use gripe water but again consult your doctor first
- Flatulence and other tummy problems: Gripe water’s ingredients like dill seed oil and fennel seed oil are good ingredients to ease digestion so if your baby is showing signs of flatulence then you may administer gripe water to your baby however, ensure that you have checked with your doctor first
Can I Give Gripe Water On An Empty Stomach?
No, you should not give gripe water on an empty stomach as the stomach lining of your baby is quite delicate that can be affected by the alkaline nature of baking soda or sodium bicarbonate in the gripe water.
Can I Add Gripe Water To Formula Milk?
No, you should no add gripe water to formula milk as there are chances of adverse chemical reactions. Hence if you want to administer gripe water to your baby do it after his or her feed.
Like we have said earlier that safety of gripe water is a debatable issue it is always good to take your paediatrician’s advice before administering anything to your baby.
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