In 1851 an English pharmacist called William Woodward formulated a treatment that was an effective “soother of fretful babies and provided relief from gastrointestinal troubles in infants.” Today gripe water for babies still flies off the shelves as tired mothers try desperately to soothe their little ones. While there has been some controversy over gripe water through the years, particularly in cases where it contains sugar or alcohol, many parents still see it as an effective aid in helping treat an upset baby. Today most remedies avoid these ingredients and it’s considered safe to use. Here we look at 7 possible benefits of using gripe water.
- It treats acid reflux. Sodium Bicarbonate is a known neutraliser of stomach acid. When given to the baby it works as an antacid which aids in the treatment of heartburn, indigestion and wind. As sodium bicarbonate is one of the main ingredients in gripe water, it works as an effective and very fast acting relief for babies with reflux.
- It treats trapped wind and gas. The other main ingredient in gripe water, dill seed oil, is renowned for being a natural soother on stomach muscles and when administered through gripe water, it relaxes your baby’s tummy and breaks down trapped air bubbles which are passed through as wind – instantly relieving the symptoms of gas in your little one.
- It can help with teething. When your baby is teething they are likely to be fussy and when they are fussy they are likely to cry more and breath irregularly. This causes them to take in more air which can lead to wind. Gripe water can help ease this wind and settle a teething baby.
- And other symptoms of teething too. And while on the subject of teething, research also suggests that when a child is teething, their salivary glands are working overtime and produce an enzyme that upsets the stomach. Again, gripe water is considered extremely effective in treating upset tummy’s.
- It can help your baby sleep. At the beginning of the century the reason gripe water helped baby’s catch up on their z’s was probably more likely down to the alcohol content. However due to health and safety concerns, today’s gripe water is almost always alcohol free. Many swear it still works though, and if your little one has been screaming for hours, then the temporary relief that comes with giving them a little gripe water might be exactly what they need to finally drop off and give you both some much needed respite.
- It helps your baby’s tummy. Many gripe water’s contain ginger and fennel so if you are trying gripe water then be sure to purchase a bottle containing one or both of these ingredients. Fennel is known for relieving the symptoms of gas and ginger is commonly known as the perfect reliever for an upset tummy. Pregnant women still use it today as the ideal treatment for morning sickness.
- It’s the oldest & most popular way to treat colic. There is not a parent in the land who hasn’t felt desperate and upset watching what their baby has to go through when suffering from colic. The cause of colic is generally unknown but can cause a great deal of stress to both baby and parent. When faced with such a stressful time, parents will usually try anything in order to help their baby feel better and gripe water is still considered one of the most popular remedies, even today.