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Gripe water is a supplement that most parents are familiar with. A staple in our household, I kept a few bottles on hand to make sure that I could provide relief for my boys as their digestive systems developed. (Which also helped provide for some better sleep!) Sometimes I gave my little ones a dose because it seemed to help with teething pain, colic, and hiccups. Gripe water is often the first port of call for mothers when their babies develop these issues.
Many mothers also believe that gripe water makes their baby sleepy. Is this true? And if it is, is it a bad thing? This article will answer that question, but before that, let’s find out what is in a bottle of this multi-purpose supplement.
What Is Gripe Water?
This is a liquid substance that is usually available over the counter. They usually consist of sodium bicarbonate and a lot of medicinal herbs. Herbs like ginger, fennel, dill, peppermint, chamomile, and lemon balm are the usual components.
The herbs in gripe water have been used in the past to deal with tummy troubles, which is why most mothers are willing to swear by its efficacy. They also claim since it helps to lessen tummy troubles, it should work to reduce the effects of colic in children. Even though science has not been able to prove the potency of this supplement, there is enough anecdotal evidence to lend it enough credibility.
Some people believe that the efficacy of this supplement comes from its sweet taste. They say the sweet taste calms the fussy baby, so it looks as if their tummy troubles or aching teeth are better.
Regardless of the case, pediatrics at least think it is safe enough for mothers to use since it does not pose any health risk to the child.
Is Gripe Water Safe For Children?
While doctors will tell you that gripe waters are safe for children, you should always be careful to pick gripe water formulated for their age. Fun fact: the first formula for gripe water had alcohol and that there are still gripe waters that have alcohol in them? As much as we love our glass of wine, alcohol isn’t healthy for babies. Read the ingredients used to make the gripe water you are buying and ensure that it is appropriate, especially if your little one has any allergies.
For parents concerned about their baby’s reflux, peppermint should not be used as an ingredient in gripe water. Peppermint can aggravate reflux symptoms and is not recommended for babies under one month old. If your baby is experiencing reflux, always consult with your pediatrician before administering any medication.
How Does Gripe Water Work?
Gripe water works through the herbal components in its formula. It reduces gas buildup and settles the stomach. It also helps soothe nausea and stomach discomfort. Ginger has been implicated as the herb that has this effect. This is why ginger is the main ingredient for most gripe waters.
Gas drops are a different product than gripe water. These drops contain an anti-foaming agent called simethicone, which helps break up gas bubbles in the digestive tract. Gas drops have not been proven to be effective, but they are considered safe by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Does Gripe Water Make Babies Sleepy?
Most parents have admitted that their babies got drowsy after a dose of gripe water, and so they believe that gripe water can induce sleepiness. This is not entirely true, but a few scenarios might explain the drowsiness.
Often babies who have been suffering from colic, extreme discomfort, or gas are often exhausted due to the tension. Gripe water can help to relieve some of the discomforts and hopefully allow your baby to get some rest. It could be that your baby is tired from all the fussing, and they would have gone to bed with or without the gripe water.
So does gripe water make babies sleep? As long as you have gotten the right formula, there should be no reason why it should induce sleepiness. However, if your baby is sleepy, it might be due to reasons other than the gripe water.
Does Gripe Water Have Any Side Effects?
Gripe water is a supplement, and it works in different ways for different babies. There have been very rare cases of babies who got sick after taking gripe water. However, there is not enough evidence to prove that gripe water has this effect on babies.
Gripe water can be a lifesaver for exhausted parents of fussy babies, by providing some much-needed relief.
If your baby is experiencing colic, discomfort, or gas, gripe water may be a helpful solution. However, it’s important to watch for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives, itchiness, watery eyes, vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice any of these symptoms, please consult your doctor.
Gripe water is a supplement that mothers have used for the longest time to treat stomach problems. It is usually a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and herbs. These herbs, ginger especially, work to reduce the gas buildup and successfully reduce stomach issues.
If you have been giving your baby gripe water, you may have noticed that they become sleepy afterwards. This is because babies who have been suffering from colic, extreme discomfort, or gas are often exhausted due to the tension.
While gripe water has anecdotal proof of efficacy, it is always important you talk to your doctor to ensure that gripe water is the best option for your child.