Best Gripe Water – The Perfect Buying Guide For Worried Moms

Your baby has colic? The chance is you’re going to need gripe water. Don’t fret - today we’re going to help you out! Let’s talk about this topic and find out what’s important when choosing the best gripe water for your toddler.

At the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive knowledge about gripe water products, and will have an easy decision!

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Let’s begin!

Gripe water was first formulated in the mid-1800s by pharmacist William Woodward. He was the first to discover that a special remedy formulated to fight malaria-like fever could also help relieve symptoms in colicky babies.

Today, gripe water is commonly used by parents to treat symptoms of colic, gas, and gastrointestinal distress in babies.

I love Mommy’s Bliss! It is available in regular and nighttime formulas (this is the nighttime one). There is not much difference between the two except for the addition of chamomile and lemon balm in the nighttime formula, which provide a soothing effect that aids in babies’ sleep.

This great all-natural option does not need to be refrigerated after opening. Ginger and fennel extract help gently relieve stomach discomfort. Alcohol-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free, this gripe water is great for all dietary needs.

​PROS

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    Chamomile and lemon balm aid sleep.

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    Ginger and fennel extract calm stomach discomfort and bloating.
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    No need to refrigerate after opening.

​CONS

  • Need to wait until after 1 month to give to baby.
  • Has a sour taste, which babies may not like.
  • Does not always stop hiccups.

If you think the name of this gripe water looks familiar to you, you would be correct. This gripe water is, indeed, named after the original gripe water inventor, William Woodward. Used worldwide for over 150 years, this is the best-known gripe water on the market.

The formula has been altered over the years – obviously, alcohol is no longer an ingredient – but the general premise has remained the same, relying on the combination of baking soda and dill oil to provide relief.

​PROS

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    Relies on the proven combination of baking soda and dill oil to alleviate stomach problems.

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    Trusted for over 150 years by thousands of mothers worldwide.
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    Has a relatively pleasant taste.

​CONS

  • Contains sugar, which many parents may not wish to introduce to their little ones.
  • When taken in excess, baking soda can disrupt babies’ pH balance.
  • Comes in plastic bottle, which may leak.

I am all about finding a good budget-friendly product – without sacrificing quality, of course – and that is what makes Little Remedies so great. Having used several of their products, I was excited to find that they had an affordable gripe water as well.

Just like Mommy’s Bliss, this gripe water relies on the proven herbal combination of ginger and fennel extract to relieve stomach pain. It is safe for all ages (no need to wait until baby is a month old), and is available at just about any drugstore.

​PROS

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    Ginger and fennel extract herbal remedy.

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    Suitable and safe for all ages.
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    Affordable and widely available at most general and drug stores.

​CONS

  • Many claim it does not work quickly or at all.
  • Difficult to reach the bottom of the bottle with the dropper when the level is low.
  • Has a bit of a bitter taste.

While I am a bargain shopper, I also do not like to place a price on my baby’s health and comfort. If I notice my baby in pain, and that pain has prolonged, I want to find the best product available that will work, no matter the cost.

That is where the Colic Calm Homeopathic gripe water comes in. It does have a steep price point compared to other gripe water products, but you are definitely paying for quality. There are absolutely no additives or artificial ingredients whatsoever, providing a natural way for your baby’s body to fight gastrointestinal problems.

​PROS

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    Contains no alcohol, simethicone, baking soda, sugar citric acid, soy, dairy or other animal products, or artificial flavors or colors.

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    FDA regulated and registered.
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    Homeopathic, which means it employs natural ingredients to help the body fight ailments on its own, rather than relying on the medicine itself to heal.

​CONS

  • The dark color will easily stain anything it comes into contact with.
  • May not relieve symptoms as quickly as you would like.
  • Many babies do not like the taste.

While there are several products on my list that are all-natural, Wellements gripe water is my choice when it comes to “organic.” It is USDA-certified organic, which makes it a top choice for parents and pediatricians alike.

There are no chemical preservatives, which is good news for your baby’s health. However, it also creates just a bit of hassle, since it needs to be stored in the refrigerator after opening, expires after 4 weeks, and may start to grow mold if it is not used before the expiration date.

While these things may seem like major inconveniences, this product is still a great choice for babies who have chronic intestinal distress or are perpetually colicky, since you will need to use a lot of it and rather quickly.

​PROS

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    No chemical preservatives.

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    USDA-certified organic.
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    Mild and pleasant taste, like white grape or apple.

​CONS

  • Goes sour if not refrigerated.
  • Grows mold quickly even when refrigerated or unopened.
  • ​Expires after only 4 weeks; you may have to throw out leftover unused liquid.

What To Look For When Selecting A Gripe Water Product

Relief Of Symptoms


Gas is a common problem in both breastfed and bottle-fed babies. It is often characterized by excessive crying, burping, spitting up, bloating, and flatulence. Gas bubbles form in the baby’s stomach and intestinal tract when excess air is swallowed while feeding, due to either bottle-feeding or a poor latch.

Other causes of gas can include excessive crying (especially due to colic), dietary sensitivities or allergies (mostly due to formula), and an immature digestive system, just to name a few.

Thanks to specific ingredients found in gripe water, it is commonly used to treat many common symptoms due to colic and gastrointestinal distress – such as gas, hiccups, reflux, and constipation.

Ingredients


The original recipe included sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), dill oil, and alcohol, as well as other pharmaceutical ingredients. Though the recipe has slightly changed over the years, changing ingredient percentages and adding newer ingredients, gripe water is still as effective today as it was then.

Thanks to the variety of ingredients that have been discovered and tested since the 1800s, gripe water is now commonly used not only to treat the mysterious symptoms of colic, but also to treat gas, constipation, and other intestinal discomforts in infants and toddlers.

Some commonly used ingredients today include:

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    Fennel – loaded with dietary fiber to aid in digestion
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    Ginger – known to relieve gastrointestinal irritation
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    Chamomile, licorice, cinnamon – anti-inflammatories and antioxidants
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    Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)
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    Lemon balm – protects the immune system by detoxifying the liver
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    Clove
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    Peppermint

Some may also include sweeteners, preservatives, or natural flavoring (fennel, apple, etc.), but you can find products without these additives if that is what you wish.

All-Natural or Organic


Many parents – myself included – prefer to feed only natural products their babies. This means no artificial flavors or colors, no preservatives, and no chemicals of any kind. Introducing some of these substances to babies, who have immature immune systems, could lead to an adverse reaction.

Thankfully, most gripe water recipes are all-natural, or even organic, without any unwanted additives. Just take a look at the ingredients before purchasing.

Age and Dosage


You always want to read the bottle for the appropriate age restrictions. Each gripe water recipe is different, so one product may be suitable for your baby while the other is not. Some formulas include ingredients that should not be ingested by babies younger than one month.

You should also be aware of the dosage requirements. Several gripe water products require that you administer it to your baby multiple times a day in order to be effective. Be sure you follow the directions, as a missed dosage could hinder your baby’s improvement.

FDA Approvement


Gripe water falls under the category of dietary supplements in the United States, which means it is not required to receive FDA approval before it hits the store shelves, since supplements are not intended to “treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases.

This may seem scary, especially when it comes to products for your baby. However, the FDA does still have rules and regulations regarding the ingredients that can be used in these products.

It may make us feel better to have the FDA’s stamp of approval on any product our baby ingests, but there is little to worry about in regards to gripe water. However, if you do want something FDA approved, you can purchase the only gripe water that is FDA listed: Colic Calm (which is on my list).

Be Wary of Baking Soda


Some gripe water products contain sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), which may or may not do more harm than good when it comes to your baby’s colic symptoms. When ingested, it neutralizes stomach acids, but in excess it can upset the body’s pH balance, causing an increase in alkalinity and worse symptoms.

If you have any questions or concerns about baking soda in your baby’s gripe water, consult your pediatrician. They will be able to give you guidance on how to properly treat your baby’s indigestion and colic.

Possible Side Effects


There are very few side effects to worry about with gripe water. However, you do need to bear in mind that you are essentially introducing a “solid” to your baby who is otherwise accustomed to only having breast milk or formula.

Side effects are rare but may still include:

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    Side effects are rare but may still include:
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    Risk of infection due to pH imbalance
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    Decrease in appetite (after continuous gripe water ingestion over one month)
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    Diarrhea (the most likely side effect)
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    Erosion of erupting teeth due to sugar content
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    Side effects from alcohol content (not a widely used ingredient anymore, but may still be present in some products)

If you have any concerns about your baby’s behavior or health, or if you have any questions regarding a gripe water product you may be want to use, do not hesitate to consult your pediatrician.

Conclusion

When it comes to the best gripe water, my top pick would have to be Mommy’s Bliss. Coming in both regular and nighttime formulas, you can find natural relief for your baby no matter the time of day. It employs the natural effects of ginger and fennel extract to provide relief for gas and bloating, and the nighttime version adds chamomile and lemon balm to calm baby and aid in sleep.

Unlike some other organic and all-natural options, this one does not need to be refrigerated after opening, which is one less thing for you to worry about. Your baby can benefit from this gripe water no matter their dietary needs since it is alcohol-, dairy-, and gluten-free.

It does have a sour taste, which may not be something your baby is fond of, and you do need to wait until your baby is a month old before administering, but these are minor compared to the benefits this product offers.

Nancy Shaw
 

Hi. My name is Nancy. I am a nurse by profession and a writer by passion and ever since I became a mother, I’ve become very active in sharing useful and important information about basically anything under the sun and a full-time mother to a 21-month old boy. Read more about me here.

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