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Is Gripe Water Beneficial For Babies?

By Apollo Pharmacy, Published on- 27 October 2023

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Gripe water is a liquid supplement used to soothe digestive discomfort in babies. It typically contains a combination of herbs and other natural ingredients. In Indian households, gripe water has a long history of use as a remedy for colic, gas, and other tummy troubles in infants. In this blog, we will explore the gripe water uses, ingredients and the side effects associated with it, so that you can make an informed decision about whether gripe water for babies is beneficial.

What is Gripe Water?

Gripe water is a popular remedy used to soothe babies experiencing discomfort from colic, gas, or indigestion.

1. Composition & ingredients of gripe water

Gripe water ingredients typically contain a combination of herbal extracts, such as fennel, ginger, chamomile, and lemon. Some formulations may also include sodium bicarbonate, a mild antacid that helps neutralize stomach acid.

2. Traditional versus modern formulations

Earlier, the formulations included gripe water ingredients like alcohol or sugar, which can be harmful to infants. However, modern formulations are alcohol-free and have reduced sugar content to ensure the safety of babies.

3. How does gripe water work to soothe babies?

The gripe water ingredients are believed to have carminative properties, which means they help relieve gas and bloating. Additionally, the soothing properties of certain herbs can help ease digestive discomfort and calm a fussy baby. While gripe water can provide temporary relief for babies, it's essential to consult with your paediatrician before using it to ensure it's suitable for your baby's specific needs.

Potential Benefits of Gripe Water

These are some of the common claims about gripe water:

1. Eases colic and digestive discomfort

Colic in infants is marked by excessive crying and fussiness, typically due to gastrointestinal discomfort, including bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Gripe water ingredients like dill oil, fennel, and ginger, are traditionally used to ease digestive problems by relaxing the gastrointestinal muscles and alleviating colic symptoms.

2. Reduction in excessive gas and bloating

Gripe water can be effective in reducing gas-related issues by relaxing the muscles in the baby's digestive tract. It helps to relieve trapped gas and allows for easier passage of gas, thus providing relief from bloating.

3. Facilitates better sleep patterns

Babies experiencing discomfort due to gas or indigestion can have disrupted sleep patterns. While there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that gripe water may help babies sleep better, there is a lack of scientific studies to support this claim. It's important to consult with your paediatrician before using gripe water solely for improving sleep.

4. Relieves teething discomfort

Teething in babies can cause symptoms such as drooling, irritability, swollen gums, and discomfort. Some babies may also experience pain and inflammation during this time.

Gripe water is believed to relieve teething discomfort, however, you must consult your paediatrician for safe and effective options.

Risks and Side Effects of Gripe Water

If you choose to use gripe water for babies, it is essential to follow certain guidelines to ensure their safety.

  • Firstly, always consult with your paediatrician before using any over-the-counter remedies.
  • Secondly, check the ingredients list for any potential allergens or harmful additives.
  • Lastly, administer the recommended dosage as per your doctor's instructions and monitor your baby closely for any adverse reactions.

Though rare, here are some of the reported gripe water side effects:

1. Allergic reactions

Common ingredients present in gripe water such as fennel, chamomile, and ginger can cause allergies to the baby. If your baby has a known allergy to any of these ingredients, avoid using it to prevent gripe water side effects.

2. Adverse effects on gut microbiota

The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in the overall health and digestion of infants. Gripe water usage may potentially disrupt the delicate balance of gut bacteria, leading to adverse effects on the gut microbiota. This disruption can affect the absorption and digestion of nutrients, potentially leading to gastrointestinal issues.

Remember, while gripe water may provide temporary relief for your baby's stomach troubles, it is crucial to consult a doctor to ensure the safety of your baby.

What are the Alternatives to Gripe Water?

Here are some of the alternatives that can be considered instead of gripe water:

1. Probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can promote a healthy gut in babies, thus reducing the incidents of gas and bloating. Your doctor may suggest some probiotic-rich formula for your baby. You can also feed prebiotic-rich foods, like bananas and oats to your baby to support the growth of healthy bacteria.

2. Lifestyle changes

Making some lifestyle changes can also make a difference in alleviating your baby's colic symptoms.

  • Proper feeding techniques: Ensure that your baby is properly latched during breastfeeding or using the correct nipple size for bottle feeding. This will prevent them from swallowing excess air while feeding.
  • Soothing techniques and baby massage: Gentle techniques such as swaddling, rocking, or carrying your baby can provide comfort and help them relax. Baby massage can also be beneficial in relieving their digestive discomfort.


Remember, it's always important to consult with your paediatrician before trying alternative remedies or making lifestyle changes for your baby's colic and digestive discomfort. They can provide personalized guidance based on your baby's specific needs and health conditions. 

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Q. Can gripe water be given to newborns?

Gripe water is not recommended for newborns as their digestive systems are still developing. It's best to consult a paediatrician for appropriate remedies.

Q. Is gripe water effective in relieving colic symptoms?

While some parents claim that gripe water for babies helps with colic, limited scientific evidence supports this. It's crucial to address your baby's colic symptoms with your paediatrician for proper guidance.

Q. What are the ingredients in gripe water?

Gripe water ingredients typically contain a combination of herbal extracts like fennel, ginger, or chamomile. However, these ingredients may vary across different brands, so always check the label for accurate information.

Q. Can gripe water cause any side effects?

Although rare, some infants may experience minor side effects, such as an allergic reaction or stomach upset. If you notice any gripe water side effects, discontinue its use and seek medical advice.

Q. Are there any alternative remedies to gripe water?

Yes, there are alternative remedies like gentle tummy massages, burping techniques, or changing feeding positions that can help relieve gas and colic symptoms. Consult your paediatrician to explore safe and effective options.


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