If you have ever lived in India you would be very familiar with Woodward’s Gripe Water. As a new mom you will be advised by a huge number of ladies to give gripe water to your crying baby. Many mothers claim to soothe colicky babies with gripe water.
The major content of most gripe water brands is the combination of dill seed oil, alcohol and sodium bicarbonate. The crying baby gets comforted due to the effect of alcohol. Nowadays many gripe water brands like Woodward’s do not include alcohol, but unfortunately, it is replaced by high sugar content.
The sugary sweetness calms the crying infant. Many brands of gripe water claim to contain several herbs and oils to soothe the infant but there is almost nil scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of gripe water.
Why Gripe water is not safe for babies
- Alcohol: The crying infant is soothed instantly due to the alcohol in it, and goes to sleep. In olden days the content of alcohol was way too high.
- Sugar: The alcohol content is replaced by the sugar. Sugar solutions are very effective in soothing colic in babies, but the sugar content can have a negative impact on erupting baby teeth. Also doctors advise no salt and no sugar till the age of one – as early exposure to sugar causes diabetes.
- Dill Oil: This component is used to ease the pain caused due to gas in baby’s intestines. The gas is the main reason for colic in infants. Experts recommend only breastmilk for the first 6 months. Long term effects of dill oil on babies needs more study, and shouldn’t be given unless advised by a doctor.
- Sodium bicarbonate: This ingredient does not have much effect to cure colic in babies. additionally, it can have a negative impact and lead to alkalosis.
Therefore it is best to avoid the use of gripe water. here are some alternative methods to care your colicky baby.
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How to reduce colic in babies without Woodwards gripe water?
It is a great way to bond with the baby. Gently massage the baby’s tummy with fingers. The baby will feel relaxed and it will soothe her stomach and release gas.
#2. Feeding Positions
Colic happens in babies due to swallowing of air during the feed. It is best to keep your little one as upright as possible. Also, offer small and frequent feeds to the baby, to avoid putting pressure on her developing digestive system.
#3. Burping Technique
It is crucial to burp the baby after a feed, as this process will release the trapped air. Place a cloth on your shoulder, place the baby upright and gently rub their lower back. After they burp they might spit out little milk, which is normal.
#4. Rhythmic Movements
Rhythmic, slow and gentle movements soothe the infant. That’s why cradles always follow swinging mechanism so that baby is comfortable. You can take the baby for a small walk or even take them for a stroll in the pram for a while. Rock the little one in your arms for best results.
#5. Move away from over stimulating environments
During the initial days, the infant needs a lot of love and care. But too much attention from relatives and well wishers can result in over stimulation. This can have an adverse effect on the baby especially after a feed. Make sure the baby is well fed, dry and comfortable and not over stimulated. Avoid too much noise around the baby.
Also Read: Why You Need A Pregnancy Pillow?
Have you tried Woodwards Gripe Water? Did it work for you? Were you aware of these harmful ingredients in Gripe water? Share below!