What Are the Side Effects of Gripe Water in Infants?


Gripe water is an organic solution touted to alleviate colic, as well as gas, reflux and other intestinal issues. While some parents depend on gripe water to help calm and relieve their infant, it’s not without its dangers, according to a 2004 short article in “American Family doctor.” Before utilizing gripe water for your fussy baby, talk with her pediatrician. As soon as you get approval to use gripe water, try to find specific formulations to avoid risky side effects.

Gripe Water Explained

Gripe water was developed in 1851 by William Woodward, a pharmacist with a credibility for offering efficient solutions for a variety of complaints, consisting of picky babies. The original formulations of gripe water contained alcohol, sugar and herbs such as dill, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, fennel, ginger, peppermint and yarrow, according to the “American Family doctor” post. The addition of alcohol prompted the United States to prohibit gripe water in 1982. That doesn’t indicate that mothers cannot use it, however, since gripe water is readily offered online and in newer solutions that do not include alcohol or sugar, the editors of the book “The Babytalk Expert’s Guide to Your Baby’s First Year” report.

Alcohol and Babies Don’t Mix

One reason gripe water may be so efficient at calming fussy babies and alleviating belly problems is due to the fact that the initial formulation consisted of alcohol. In truth, according Dr. Ivan Blumenthal, in the “Journal of the Royal Society of Medication,” gripe water was 3.6 percent alcohol, so a baby weighing 8.8 pounds and given the recommended dosage would be taking in the equivalent of 4.25 ounces of whiskey. That much alcohol had the side effect of knocking a baby out.

Herbs, Allergies and More

Herbs and herbal solutions are not managed by the U.S. Fda, indicating that gripe water formulas have not been deemed safe or hazardous by the FDA. Side effects of the herbs in gripe water can range from moderate indigestion to a serious allergy. Even more, the benefits of gripe water are thought to originate from the sweet taste it has rather than any of the herbs it contains, according to Blumenthal.

Play It Safe

If you have an interest in using gripe water, constantly talk to your baby’s pediatrician before giving it to the child. Don’t acquire gripe water from Web sources that aren’t trusted, and do not make your own version at home either. These aren’t approved for use in babies in the United States and could be more harmful than excellent. If your doctor authorizes your use of gripe water, purchase blends made in the United States that don’t contain alcohol or sugar. Ask your child’s pediatrician about alternate ways to ease colic or tummy symptoms since there is no assurance that gripe water will work for your little one.


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