Colic is frustrating and usually scary for parents with a new child. Otherwise healthy babies having colic can cry for at least two to three hours a day for three or more days a week for no known reason. Doctors speculate that colic is caused by an infant having stomach pain or upset. Despite this, many mothers use gripe water, or water mixed with nutritional herbs, to soothe a baby's upset stomach. However, parents considering using gripe water as a colic remedy should take the advice of their paediatrician first.

What is colic?
Colic is a malady that causes an otherwise healthy and well-fed infant to cry for 3 or more hours per day for more than three days per week. Babies with colic will cry heavily and may curl their legs and clench their fists during the crying episodes. Colic begins when a baby is around 2-3 weeks old and may last until a baby is around four months old. It is considered that some babies are quite sensitive to stimulation from their environment than others. This overstimulation causes them stress, which makes them cry.

What is gripe water?
Gripe water is a blend of water, baking soda, and herbs that many parents use as a remedy for colic in babies. Most commercially available gripe water comprises a mix of the following herbs:

  • Fennel
  • Lemon balm
  • Ginger
  • Chamomile

All gripe waters comprise a mixture of herbs and water. Most include sodium bicarbonate. Additional components may include a combination the basic ingredients with Dill oil and preservatives for freshness. In theory, these herbs should help ease gas, thus reducing the discomfort which is causing the baby to cry. The original mixture of baking soda, alcohol, and herbs became common with British mothers and nannies by the 1850s.

How is gripe water used?
Before using gripe water, a parent should first consult with a doctor. If the paediatrician approves, parents should read all the instructions on the gripe water. The guidance will include information on how much gripe water to be given to the baby. You can buy Colic Calm Gripe Water as many pediatricians recommend it. It is best to provide the gripe with water to the baby without mixing it with anything else, like breast milk or formula. Most babies like the sugary taste of gripe water and will not spit it out, as they will with some other medicines.

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