If you asked me to tell you something I used for all four of my kids, I would tell you that I always had a bottle of gripe water in my medicine cabinet and diaper bag.
Gripe water is just the thing that babies who are suffering from tummy discomfort need to have. Your baby doesn’t need to feel miserable, whether it’s from discomfort after a meal or endless hiccups in the middle of the night. This little bottle can be magic, or so it feels at times!
I found gripe water when I had my first child ten years ago as I wandered the baby aisle. She had hiccups all the time, and they drove her nuts. The front of the packaging said that gripe water helped with hiccups, so I gave it a shot.
It worked! After that, I kept a bottle on hand for all of my babies.
Never heard of gripe water? Now you have! Let me tell you why you need a bottle or two in your medicine cabinet.
What is Gripe Water?
Gripe water is a mixture of water and herbs, typically dill along with sodium bicarbonate, which helps to break down the extra gas in your baby’s digestive system that could cause discomfort.
You give gripe water to your baby orally. Most brands that you purchase in the stores will have directions on the bottle or box that tells you how much to give your baby, depending on either age or weight. Typically, gripe water isn’t given to babies who are less than two weeks or one month old. That depends on what brand you pick.
Is Gripe Water Safe?
No matter how natural the ingredients might look or be, it’s our job to be sure that whatever we give our children is safe. Since we are introducing this to young babies, you want to be sure it’s as safe as possible.
Most pediatricians and healthcare professionals agree that gripe water is safe for babies. Some lactation consultants recommend that breastfeeding mothers drink soothing herbal teas because your baby can reap the benefits through your breast milk.
How Does Gripe Water Help?
We know that parents have used gripe water or things similar to gripe water since the 1800s. People then understood medicinal herbs, and they believed that the use of these herbal combinations could ease gastrointestinal issues.
The ingredients in gripe water all have a purpose that can help ease digestive discomfort. The purpose of it is to break up the gas or ease the pain caused by discomfort.
If you understand the purpose of each ingredient, you can pick the one that is best for your child.
Chamomile has been used for centuries as a way to ease stomach discomfort. Some people give their babies chamomile tea. It has a history of being used to treat nausea and diarrhea, as well as being a natural way to treat vomiting, colic, and motion sickness.
If you’ve been sick, you might reach for ginger ale, so it makes sense that ginger is added to gripe water. It’s known for its stomach-settling abilities. It’s used to treat nausea, stimulating bile and saliva production, and help ease digestion.
It’s in the mint family, even though it has a lemony flavor. Lemon balm can boost your baby’s body system, stimulating the immune system and aiding sleep.
Fennel is full of dietary fiber, and it can be used to help your baby’s digestive system. It can be used to help ease the process of eating food without leading to discomfort.
You might love the scent of cinnamon, but you might not know that it can be used to eat stomach discomfort. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties.
Are All Brands of Gripe Water The Same?
No, they aren’t all the same, and there are quite a few different brands to pick. It’s best to take a look at the ingredients before you choose one to buy. While the basic elements are the same for all gripe water brands, they do differ. Some contain different herbs than others.
There isn’t a list of ingredients that companies need to follow for gripe water. So, the herbs included can be different. Some different herbs that might be in the brands include:
- Lemon Balm
Some brands might include sugar or alcohol. So, if you aren’t comfortable giving your child sugar at this age, be sure to check the ingredient list.
A few other ingredients that you might want to avoid giving to your child include:
- Vegetable Carbon
Some parents feel conflicted about giving their baby sodium bicarbonate. If you aren’t sure if you should give it to your child, talk to your pediatrician first. Sodium bicarbonate is the chemical name for baking soda, and it could negatively alter the pH level in your baby’s digestive system.
On the flip side, giving this to your baby provides gas relief, and that might be more important to you and your baby.
The 5 Best Brands of Gripe Water
Ready to make a purchase? Here are some of the best brands of gripe water on the market.
One of the most popular brands of gripe water is Little Remedies. They sell a fast-acting type, but you also can find daytime and nighttime gripe water by the same brand. Little Remedies advertises that their brand is useful for gas, unexplained fussiness, hiccups, and colic.
Little Remedies is a dye-free variety that doesn’t include gluten, parabens, and sodium bicarbonate. It does include ginger and fennel, which provides gentle relief of stomach discomfort from gas, colic, and hiccups.
Parents love that Little Remedies is a gentle formula that uses the fewest amount of ingredients possible. So, if you’re concerned about allergies or intolerances, this might be a good choice.
Little Remedies uses both fennel and ginger to help your baby’s digestive process. Best of all, you only need to use a little bit for each dose so that a single bottle will last a long time for you.
|Limited ingredients used
|Can be used for young babies
|Nighttime formula available as well
|The included dropper is hard to use
If you want organic gripe water, Wellements is one of the few choices, but it’s also a good option. Wellements Gripe Water helps to relieve colic, gas, hiccups, and teething.
It’s certified organic by the USDA, free of additives, such as alcohol, dyes, artificial flavors, and coloring. Also, Wellements is free of dairy, soy, gluten, and parabens. So, if your baby struggles to tolerate different ingredients, this could be a great choice. It’s even vegan and kosher!
Something else that you might like is that Wellements is made in the United States, and it’s free of chemical preservatives. That means you do need to keep the bottle in the refrigerator after opening. That means it doesn’t have a long shelf life; it lasts four weeks after opening.
You can use Wellements for all ages, including newborns. They recommend that you give it to your baby 30 minutes before or after feeding to help reduce spit-up. Parents can give this to their baby six times in 24 hours.
|Suitable for those on dietary restrictions
|No alcohol or sucralose included
|Contains sodium bicarbonate
Most parents are familiar with the brand name of Zarbee’s; they sell some of the best all-natural medicine for children. They also sell one of the only natural cough medicines for babies. So, it makes sense that Zarbee’s would create gripe water that is all-natural, an excellent choice for parents.
Zarbee’s Gripe Water is known for being effective, and they pay close attention to the ingredients used and how those ingredients are sourced.
What’s in Zarbee’s Gripe Water? You’ll find chamomile, ginger, fennel, and lemon balm, but what’s most important is what you won’t find in their product. You won’t find any dyes, alcohol, parabens, or gluten.
Now, this does not contain sugar, but they do use agave syrup for a bit of sweetness to help encourage your baby to like the medicine. It doesn’t use any artificial flavors, and it’s designed to be gentle while targeting hiccups, gassiness, colic, and fussiness.
You can use this gripe water for infants aged two weeks old and up.
|No need to refrigerate
|No harmful ingredients
|The dispenser is easy and slow to administer.
|Chamomile makes it great for nighttime discomfort.
|Discard after 90 days
|Could stain clothes
If your baby has problems with gassiness, you might need to consider using a gripe water brand that uses sodium bicarbonate. Mommy’s Bliss is a pediatrician recommended gripe water that uses natural ingredients to comfort your baby.
This is a vegan formula that is made with USDA certified organic ginger, as well as natural fennel. It doesn’t use any artificial coloring or flavoring, and it’s paraben and alcohol-free. Don’t forget that Mommy’s Bliss is dairy, soy, gluten, and sucrose-free.
So, if you and your pediatrician believe that sodium bicarbonate is a safe and appropriate treatment for your child, try Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated so that you can keep it in your diaper bag. This formula is useful for gassiness, stomach upset, and fussiness.
|Great for gassiness
|Keep at room temperature
|Can be used for babies two wees old and up
|Discard after six weeks
|More expensive than other brands
Parents with a colicky baby can tell you that they’ll try anything to give their baby some relief and some peace. Colic Calm might be the answer to your colic problems.
Colic Calm is the only gripe water that is listed by the FDA as medicine. So, while others might claim that their formula is pediatrician recommended, it is the only one that has made the list by the FDA. That’s a difficult classification to receive.
Colic Calm doesn’t contain any sugar, sodium bicarbonate, gluten, dairy, soy, or animal by-products. You also don’ need to worry about anything artificial flavors or colors in the formula.
Unlike other brands, this doesn’t use any herbal oils or extracts, but they do use natural ingredients. Colic Calm uses chamomile, ginger, fennel, and lemon balm.
|Made in the USA and FDA-approved
|Recommended by the ACOG, American Academy of Family Physicians, and more.
How to Pick the Best Gripe Water for Your Baby
Now that you know our top picks for gripe water, you have to pick the best ones for your child. Here are some recommendations to help you make a choice.
First, take a look at the ingredients listed on the gripe water packaging. Remember that not all gripe water brands are the same, and they all offer different ingredients. Pick the one that has the ingredients that closely match your desires.
Storage and Shelf Life
Look at how you need to store the gripe water and how long the shelf life is for each brand. Some brands, such as Wellements, need to be stored in the refrigerator because they don’t use chemical preservatives. That can be a pro or a con for you; only you can decide.
Each packaging should tell you about the shelf life and when it needs to be tossed away. Some last for four weeks, but others can be used for two or three months
Price is always a factor. Some are cheaper than others. If you can afford the premium, organic brands, then go with that option, but more expensive doesn’t always mean better. Stick to your budget and pay most of your attention to the ingredients listed.
Gripe water can be a lifesaver for babies who suffer from gassiness, fussiness, and overall digestive discomfort. It’s a safe, herbal remedy that has been used for years. Give one of these five best gripe water brands a try if your baby needs some relief from tummy discomfort.