If your brand new baby is crying a lot and it seems like they’re in pain, it might be gas. Could it be a good idea, then, to give your newborn gripe water? Let’s find out.
Your newborn is crying. A lot.
They also seem to be very gassy.
It’s so hard to see your newborn in pain and feel like you can’t do anything about it!
Enter: gripe water.
This old-fashioned remedy has been used for generations to try to calm babies’ tummies.
So, is there a gripe water newborns can take to ease stomach pains and stop the crying? Let’s take a look.
In this article: 📝
- What is gripe water?
- Can I give my 2-week-old gripe water?
- What happens if I give my 1 week old gripe water?
- How much gripe water can you give a newborn?
- Which gripe water is best for newborns?
What is gripe water?
Gripe water was originally developed in the 1800s and contained — wait for it — alcohol!
It makes sense that babies calmed down after being given this concoction.
But of course, we now know that alcohol for babies is probably not the best idea.
Over time, gripe water for newborns developed into a herbal tincture to calm the stomach.
It’s commonly made up of ginger and fennel, and most gripe waters also contain glycerin and citric acid.
There are also recipes on the internet to make your own gripe water using methods such as boiling water and fennel.
Can I give my 2-week-old gripe water?
The minimum age for most store-bought gripe waters is two weeks old.
Before then, your baby’s little digestive system is just too sensitive, and it’s best to stick with just breastmilk or formula.
In fact, on the question of when you can give gripe water to a newborn, some pediatricians might say that it’s best to wait until they’re at least one month.
So much is going on with newborns in the first several weeks that it’s often best to wait and see if minor gas evens out on its own.
The good news is, it usually does!
What happens if I give my 1 week old gripe water?
As we’ve discussed, it’s best to wait til two weeks (or even four to six weeks) before introducing gripe water.
That’s because of your baby’s sensitive digestive system.
Another reason not to give very young babies gripe water is that, technically, gripe water is a herbal supplement — and many pediatricians recommend staying away from herbal supplements for babies.
This is because they can sometimes lead to allergic reactions, including hives, watery eyes, itchiness, diarrhea, and vomiting.
If your one-week-old baby is crying a lot or seems to be in pain, it’s worth calling your pediatrician to get their advice.
How much gripe water can you give a newborn?
Before you give gripe water to your newborn, it’s best to consult your pediatrician first.
If they think it’s the right route to go, they can suggest a dosage.
All store-bought gripe waters also list a dosage on the package, including how much gripe water for newborns, so make sure not to exceed that.
If you give your baby a dose of gripe water and it doesn’t seem to do anything, there are some other things you can try instead.
For gas pains, try burping your baby, laying them on their back and bicycling their legs, or changing up your feeding position to something more upright.
Tummy troubles might also be a sign of an allergy or an oversupply of breastmilk.
Loose or watery poops could be a sign of a milk allergy.
If your baby seems fussy and their poop is green and frothy, that might mean you have an oversupply of breastmilk.
Your baby might be getting too much foremilk which contains less fat than hindmilk.
It’s also possible your baby has colic, which means they cry for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks.
Which gripe water is best for newborns?
If you search for gripe water, you might also find links for infant gas drops.
The active ingredient in these is usually simethicone, an anti-foaming agent.
This is supposed to calm down the gas bubbles in your baby’s digestive system.
If you’re positive your baby’s problem is gas, gas drops, such as those from the Little Remedies brand, might be the best bet.
Otherwise, most other gripe waters are fairly similar, so you can go with a brand you like or one your pediatrician recommends.
Mommy’s Bliss gripe water is a popular option.
A gassy baby is no fun! It might help you to know that so many other mamas have been in your shoes and can offer comfort and advice.
If you’re looking for some support, head over to the Peanut community.
We don’t have to do this alone.