What is gripe water? Is it safe for your baby? Can you give it to newborns? Let’s answer all your gripe water-related questions.
When your little one cries, you’ll do absolutely anything to soothe them.
But sometimes, feeding, burping, changing and cuddling them just doesn’t seem to be enough.
If they’re continuing to fuss, could gripe water be the answer?
In this article: 📝
- What is gripe water?
- What is gripe water used for?
- What are some gripe water ingredients?
- Is gripe water safe for babies?
- What does gripe water do for a baby?
- Gripe water side effects
- Is it OK to give gripe water to newborns?
- How often can I give gripe water?
- The bottom line
What is gripe water?
Gripe water is a liquid herbal supplement.
It’s been around for generations — like, since the 1850s — and was originally a homemade remedy.
But today, you can pick it up over the counter at pharmacies, health stores, and certain grocery stores.
What is gripe water used for?
Well, advocates claim that it eases gas and tummy issues in babies, as well as teething pain, hiccups, and even that stressful and exhausting troublemaker, colic.
Gripe water certainly has its believers (some mamas swear by it), but there’s actually no hard evidence to suggest that it works, especially for colic.
Most of the evidence out there is anecdotal at best.
Before you give your baby gripe water, we recommend having a chat with your doctor.
They’ll be able to advise you best.
What are some gripe water ingredients?
While gripe water has evolved since the 1850s, some might say that it hasn’t quite evolved enough.
One of its earliest ingredients was alcohol, and there are still formulas that contain alcohol today.
These should be a total no-go.
Alcohol isn’t good for babies at all, and should never be given to them.
There are different variations of gripe water, but most of them contain a combination of:
- Lemon balm
The general advice is to avoid gripe water made with alcohol or sugar (another common ingredient), and look for brands that are manufactured in the US.
Is gripe water safe for babies?
Since it’s a supplement and not a medication, gripe water doesn’t need to be approved by the FDA to be sold.
This means that it hasn’t been subjected to rigorous tests and studies.
That said, gripe water is probably safe.
As long as you have the go-ahead from your doctor, and are following their recommendations closely, your little one should be fine.
Looking for tips on how to give gripe water to a baby?
What does gripe water do for a baby?
In an ideal scenario, it calms their digestive issues, and eases gas and colic.
And what about sleep?
Does gripe water help baby sleep?
No, sorry mama, probably not.
If you give your baby gripe water and they fall asleep, it’s likely that they’ve just tired themselves out.
There are also some side effects and allergic reactions to be aware of.
Gripe water side effects
If you notice that your baby has any of these symptoms, stop using gripe water right away and call your doctor:
- Watery eyes
If your little one’s lips or tongue are swelling or they’re struggling to breathe, take them to the ER ASAP.
Is it OK to give gripe water to newborns?
It’s best not to give your baby gripe water until they’re at least two weeks old — and ideally four to six weeks old.
Newborns’ digestive systems are very immature, so it’s best to not introduce anything other than breast milk or formula in the first few weeks.
How often can I give gripe water?
Follow the dosing advice that your doctor gives you.
They’ll know best about how often to give gripe water to your little one.
Be careful not to give your little one too much, and don’t use it as a substitute for milk.
At this stage, your little peanut should be enjoying a delicious diet of breast milk, formula, or a combination of the two.
The bottom line
If you chat with your doctor, check the ingredients closely, and stick to the gripe water for newborns dosage recommendations, it’s probably safe to give gripe water a try.
Remember that colic normally subsides on its own in about four months.
While that might seem like a lifetime during those long, tearful nights, it will end, mama.
Be sure to ask for help in the meantime.
This can be a difficult and exhausting period, but reaching out to your partner, a friend, or family member, can help to lighten the load.
And of course, your Peanut community is here for you.