For more than a century, gripe water is known to be a common remedy for babies suffering from indigestion, flatulence, colic, teething pain and hiccups. It is sold over the counter as a water-based dietary supplement and used by parents all over the world. However, some parents struggle to give it to their children. Hence, in this article, we will be telling you how to give gripe water to baby.
It was in the 19th century that gripe water was first commercially sold by the British pharmacist William Woodward. Back in the day, the original composition of gripe water included dill oil, water, sodium bicarbonate, sugar and 3.6% of alcohol. Although today, a majority of the manufacturers have dropped the alcohol content due to objection by parents and medical professionals.
Below, we will tell you exactly how to give gripe water to baby and answer some FAQs about gripe water.
How to Give Gripe Water to Baby?
Most brands provide the recommended dosage on the pack. However, it would be ideal to consult your pediatrician first, to know how much gripe water you should give your infant.
There are various ways of giving gripe water to the infant. If the child is unable to sit still, it is a you may give the gripe water to the infant by feeding him or her slowly in small dosage. It is absolutely normal for new parents to struggle a little to feed their child the gripe water. If you find yourself in that position, speak to the pediatrician and ask him or her to guide you.
Gripe water is safe for children as young as two weeks old. It is imperative though to administer the water in a very safe and effective manner. There are a few things you need to keep in mind before you give your infant gripe water.
You can use a calibrated dropper or dispenser, or even an empty bottle to put the recommended dosage. Alternatively, you can also use a teaspoon but majority of the brands comes with a calibrated dropper.
- Do not mix the gripe water with any other liquid.
- If you are using a dropper, practice it by using some water on your infant.
- Ensure that your infant is sitting upright.
- It is imperative that you give the gripe water slowly, drop by drop. Aim for the side of the infant’s mouth, the inside of the cheek.
- Under NO circumstance should you squirt the water or aim for the back of the throat. This will result in the infant gagging.
- Administer very small servings at one time and take ample breaks between each serving.
Ideally, gripe water shows effect within a couple of minutes. But that may depend on several factors, such as, how old is the child and how severe is his or her condition. Usually, it is given once a day, but some brands may recommend giving a higher dosage and frequency. If unsure, it’s best to consult your pediatrician. Like every other supplement, gripe water has an expiration date so do not forget to check the labels before giving it to your child.
Can Gripe Water be Given Along with Formula Milk?
Oftentimes, parents of restless children find it tempting to give gripe water by mixing it with the infant’s formula milk. However, this is a bad idea. The composition of gripe water and formula milk are very different, so there is a high possibility that there could be a chemical reaction when you combined the two.
When is it Ideal to Give the Infant Gripe Water?
Gripe water is not a daily supplement. You only need to give it to your infant when he or she shows symptoms of colic, flatulence, ingestion, etc. It is also important to remember that you should not give gripe water on an empty stomach. Infants have a very sensitive and delicate stomach lining, and the alkaline sodium bicarbonate could affect them substantially.
When Should You Give Gripe Water?
You should give your infant gripe water only after feeding. Some infants tend to eat their food fast or gulp quite a bit of air between their feeding and hence tend to become gassy. So, you should wait for about 30 minutes after the meal before giving the water, which is adequate time for the food to digest.
Administering gripe water soon after your infant’s meal will result in the infant vomiting. This is because he or she is still too full from their meal and the ingredients in the water may not mix well with the contents of the stomach.
Are There Other Alternatives to Gripe Water?
Yes, there are a couple of other alternatives that may help your infant. Some of them are:
Massaging the Tummy
It is a simple way to get rid of the abdominal gas and tension. Additionally, massages are also good for the infant’s muscles and overall growth.
Changing the Formula Milk
There could be a possibility that the milk your infant consumes is not suitable for him or her. In cases like those, you should switch to another brand and see which suits your infant the most.
Let the Infant Burp
This is a very common practice as there could always be gas stuck inside the baby’s tummy. To effectively get rid of gas, gently tap the infant’s back while holding him or her in your arms.
Swaddle the Infant
Wrapping your infant’s body comfortably in a soft blanket will provide warmth and thus, soothe him or her. You could also hold your child in your arms as they are being swaddled.
We hope this article helps you on how to give gripe water to baby. We recommend that you speak to your pediatrician before administering the water. Always choose a reputed brand of gripe water and be sure to read the label to know all the information about the product before using it. It is also important to remember that you should only give the gripe water when your infant needs it.