Gripe water is a common over-the-counter water-based supplement given to sooth flatulence, colicky pains, teething pain and hiccups in babies. It was made commercially available by a British pharmacist William Woodward back in the 19th century. During the 1840s, there was an outbreak of malaria in England and doctors formulated a medical compound to treat it. They noticed that the medicine was able to soothe babies with tummy problems and this formula was noticed and modified by Woodward to make it commercially available.
The original formula contained water, dill oil, fennel seed oil, sugar, sodium bicarbonate and 3.6% alcohol. But today, manufacturers have dropped alcohol entirely from the composition due to opposition from the medical fraternity.
Gripe water is routinely used for these troubles:
Gripe water must be given only when the baby shows symptoms that cannot be relieved by other means. It is highly recommended to talk to your pediatrician first before giving gripe water to an infant while it is being exclusively breastfed. Some manufacturers also recommend it to be given to infants under two weeks which is very controversial.
Always give gripe water using a teaspoon or a dropper. Gripe water usually shows effects within a few minutes but it also depends on the age of the baby and the intensity of symptoms. Gripe water can be given once or twice a day or as advised by a pediatrician or your family physician. Do not give gripe water after its expiry date.
Gripe water can be given if given a green signal by your pediatrician. Make an informed choice after consulting a pediatrician.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.