Newborns typically experience gas or colic during their first few weeks due to a still maturing digestive system. Gas and colic could make sleep difficult, and they may cry a lot from the pain. For a worried first time mom, this is of course very worrying and heartbreaking. So we did our research and stumbled upon gripe water Malaysia.
Now we started to ask ourselves, what is gripe water? Why is it often associated with children that have colic problem? Is it just another old folks’ remedy or would it actually work?
To be fair the best treatment for colic is time, as it goes away when the baby’s digestive systems become more mature. But in the meantime, moms are advised to burp their babies, hold them upright after a feed, try tummy rubs and the one recommended by everyone’s mum and aunty: Give them some gripe water after every meal.
So what is gripe water? Can I buy gripe water in Malaysia?
The formula for the first gripe water was created in England by a pharmacist named William Woodward in 1851. He claims it not only cures colic but calms the baby’s hiccups, teething pains, flatulence and other conditions. Back then the formula also consisted of 3.6% alcohol!
Today, we know better than to give babies alcohol. So the formula of gripe water today contains – sodium bicarbonate, ginger, fennel, liquorice, cinnamon, dill, chamomile, cardamom, peppermint, lemon balm and such. The exact ingredients depend on the country of origin and the brand that manufactures it.
Does it work and is it safe to use?
You may be surprised to learn that such a commonly used cure for colic has minimal scientific evidence of effectively relieving colic. Yet many parents do swear by its use. Believers say dill liquorice, fennel and ginger relieve the gas and stomach discomfort that are believed to be a cause of colic.
And yes, gripe water is safe to use as long as it doesn’t contain alcohol or sucrose which can cause tooth decay. Also, make sure to check the instructions and follow them carefully. As with any supplement or medication, always check with your doctor before using!
If you are sceptical of gripe water and wish to skip it, be glad to know that some things do work to relieve gas – burping, holding baby upright, massaging baby’s tummy and bending their legs back to the tummy are all time-proven methods of helping them expel gas.
Are there side effect to gripe water?
It is said that gripe water is safe for your baby, however, it is advisable to get an opinion from your medical practitioner before you give it to your child. Some parents notice that their child will be drowsier than usual. But does this mean gripe water make your baby sleepy? Not exactly.
They’re probably just tired of being fussy all day long. With our without gripe water, a baby finally calms down after hours of crying will start to tire out easily.
The rule of thumb is whenever your baby starts to cry erratically after few hours, along with swollen lips and difficulty to breath, go to the emergency room right away. That could mean a serious sign of an allergy. You should also look out for watery eyes, hives, itchiness, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Alternatives to gripe water
If you are not convinced or comfortable with using gripe water, you can always try other safer alternatives:
- Try antigas drops – Check with your paediatrician for some recommendations and suggestions. If she advises against it, try something else instead.
- Check your baby’s formula milk – If your baby has started drinking formula milk, you need to make sure to prepare the milk correctly. Instead of shaking vigorously, use a spoon to stir the milk. Another quick solution is to change your baby’s milk to the ones that do not contain cow’s milk or formulated especially for sensitive stomach.
- Massage, massage, massage – A nice, smooth massage will help to calm down your baby. Not only your baby will feel at ease, but you also get to bond with them. Make sure you practise bicycle-wheel motion exercise as often as possible as that would improve his gas situation.
- Check your diet – If you still breastfeed your child, you might want to take a look at your own diet as sometimes your daily meal like soy or dairy, could be one of the main culprits.
Gripe water Malaysia is easily accessible at your local pharmacy, but be cautious, not all babies can take the medication. If all else fails, do check with your paediatricians for further investigation. Your baby might not be able to share his feelings via words, but those cries and tears alone should indicate that he is unhappy. Good luck mommies!
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Read more: Hugging and kissing your baby can make him smarter: Study