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Gripe Water - How Safe, How Unsafe

By Ritwika Mutsuddi

22 May, 2018

Busting the Myths about Gripe Water for New-Borns

  Since years now, all new moms have been using gripe water.  I vaguely remember when my brother was born my mom used to give him gripe water and we used to have 1 or 2 spoons as we liked the taste.  Even my grandmother used it for my mother.  So, gripe water has been something that the moms have been giving to their kids for generations now.   Why is gripe water given?  New-born infants don’t have a completely developed digestive system which leads to indigestion and colic.  Also, during crying, they inhale a lot of air which causes gas.  To relieve the infants of this colic pain, gripe water for new-borns is an essential part of most families.   Gripe water for new-borns Gripe water for newborns   Later, when the kids are teething gripe water helps in relieving that pain as well.   There are quite a few Indian companies that produce gripe water those are safe for newborns.  
  1. Mother Sparsh Ayurvedic Baby Gripe Water (Sodium Bicarbonate & Alcohol-Free Gripe Water).
  2. Woodwards Gripe Water.
  3. Dabur Gripe Water.
  4. Babuline Gripe Water.
  But quite sometime now there have been a lot of questions and myths related to gripe water.  Many moms feel it is unsafe to give gripe water to babies and are worried about gripe water side effects.   Gripe Water Gripe Water   Let’s bust some myths related to gripe water.  
  • Gripe water ingredient:   Firstly, let's focus on the gripe water ingredients.  There are a lot of questions about the gripe water ingredients.  Gripe water is a water-based, over-the-counter supplement that constitutes of sodium bicarbonate; herbs such as fennel, dill, peppermint, ginger, chamomile, cardamom, licorice, etc.  The formula varies from company to company.
  • Reliability and safety: One of the most trusted brands that the new moms swear by is the Woodwards gripe water.  I remember my mom using this for my brother and she also used this for me.  I also trusted giving my kids Woodwards gripe water.  It is a brand that is trusted for over years now.  Earlier Woodwards gripe water had 3.6% alcohol content which they have dropped now.  So, it is very safe for use.
  • Gripe water for new-borns: Most new-borns suffer from flatulence, colic, discomfort which is taken care of by gripe water.  It’s a boon for the harassed new moms.  The herbs like fennel, dill, etc. help in relieving the infant’s indigestion and gas issues.
  • Gripe water causes diarrhea or constipation: There is no evidence to prove that gripe water causes these and hence it's just a myth related to gripe water.
  • Gripe water side effects: As I mentioned, earlier Woodwards gripe water had some alcohol content, which was felt unsuitable for babies, but that has now been taken off.  So, it’s absolutely safe.  Most Indian companies, as mentioned above, produce gripe water which is absolutely safe for the babies. The sodium bicarbonate content might cause acidity in the babies.  Some herbs present in the gripe water might cause allergies to the infants.  Gripe water tastes sweet and hence its taste is loved by the babies.  The sweetness also helps calm the babies.  But too much consumption might cause issues in the teeth and gums.
  Always consult the pediatrician before giving gripe water to the new-borns.  Most pediatricians still trust gripe water and give a go-ahead for use. Happy babies are healthy babies!   For more interesting content follow our Lifestyle and Cultural digital magazine Bananivista. Do “Follow” and “Like” our Facebook page for more updates on contests and events.