What is Gripe Water?
Gripe water is a liquid home treatment to soothe fussy babies. The ingredients of gripe water can greatly differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, but some of the common ingredients in traditional gripe water include alcohol, sugar, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and simethicone. There are now all-natural homeopathic versions of gripe water available that contain blends of herbs like chamomile, fennel, ginger and aloe, in addition to peppermint and vegetable charcoal.
What is Gripe Water Used For?
Gripe water is used to treat colicky babies (babies who cry for long periods of time with no detectable reason). It is also used to treat babies with gas, reflux or other digestive discomforts.
How Does Gripe Water Work?
Active ingredients are chosen for their calming properties on the digestive track. Babies are born with an immature digestive system, so at first some babies cannot properly digest proteins found in formula and in breast milk, resulting in excess gas in the digestive track. Gas also gets into babies' systems as they suck on the breast or bottle, or if breastfeeding mothers eat gas-causing food like broccoli or cauliflower. Although burping a baby can help to eliminate gas, gas can sometimes stay trapped in a baby's digestive track, causing bloating, discomfort or pain. The active ingredients in gripe water are thought to absorb excess gas, settle the acid in the stomach and relax the digestive track, allowing gas to pass out easily.