If you ever have cared for a colicky baby you will know why I love gripe water so much. Gripe water is an herbal remedy for teething pain and colic, gastrointestinal issues, or other stomach ailments.
It was first used by English nannies in the 1850s and quickly made its way to the U.S., where it was sold as a prescription medicine made from alcohol, bicarbonate, sugar, ginger, dill, fennel, and chamomile.
Of course today there is no alcohol or sugar in gripe water. Sodium bicarbonate should be avoided as it can upset little-one’s tummies. Instead read the labels and look for herbs such as fennel, dill, ginger, and chamomile.
Gripe water is available in the U.S. as an over-the-counter medicine. Just be sure to check with the parents and their pediatrician before giving any kind of herbal supplement to the baby in your care.
Before using gripe water try:
Switch Formulas: A quick cure for some colicky babies could be a simple switch from using standard cow’s-milk formula to using one that doesn’t contain cow’s milk. Studies have found that hypoallergenic whey-hydrolyzed formula decreases colic symptoms in babies, but it’s important to note that these hypoallergenic formulas can be costly. Steer clear of casein-hydrolyzed formula, soy, or partially hydrolyzed formulas, since there is little evidence of their success.
Give Infant Massage: A nice, relaxing rubdown is a soothing way to curb colicky cries. It’s also a great opportunity for mommy-and-baby bonding.
Swaddle: Wrap up the little one nice and tight in a warm blanket. Try rocking and dancing while holding her in your arms for an extra soothing sensation.
Apply Tummy Pressure: Some colicky babies find relief when pressure is placed on their bellies. To do this, simply put your sweetie face down on your lap or sitting up on your lap with her tummy against your hand, and then gently rub or pat her back.
How to pick safe gripe water:
Read the Ingredients Carefully: Avoid brands that contain sodium bicarbonate. Avoid vegetable carbon (charcoal), as it may cause constipation or blackened stool. Gripe waters that are made from herbal oils are the safest and most natural options.
Follow Box Instructions: Since some gripe water brands have different ingredients, most have different instructions.
Check for Allergies: There is a slight chance that a baby could be allergic to one or more of the ingredients in gripe water. Be on the lookout for allergenic symptoms including hives, itchiness, watery eyes, swelling of the lips or tongue, trouble swallowing or breathing, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Here are some popular brands of gripe water: