Does Your Baby Have Colic?
How can you tell if your baby really has colic or not? To help you make the determination, ask:
Is your infant in pain, shrieking and inconsolable, for more than three hours a day around the same time of day?
Is your baby healthy, but this keeps happening at least three days a week for at least three weeks?
You can tell that your baby is not just being fussy, they are in significant physical discomfort, pulling their legs up to their belly, clenching their fists and arching their back. When this pattern of behavior appears in a baby that is less than three months old, it is likely colic.¹ This is often referred to as the “rule of three”.
Rates of colic occur at equal frequency irrespective of whether a baby was bottle-fed or formula-fed and without regard to birth order, gender or culture. While the exact cause of colic is unknown, leading theories include:²
- Spasms in the muscles of a baby’s immature digestive system;
- Excessive amounts of air being swallowed during normal bouts of crying, resulting in painful gas and bloating;
- An irregular ratio of “good” to “bad” bacteria in the digestive tract.
What to Do?
To soothe a colicky baby try holding them in different positions (you can find some ideas on You Tube), extended babywearing, swaddling, burping, infant massage or a warm bath. These are all options that may provide some relief.
But, if none of these options work, some parents choose to use gripe water.
Gripe Water to Help With Colic
Gripe water was developed in the mid-1800s. One of the first formulations was Woodward’s Gripe Water, which like many other gripe water formulations of the time, contained sodium bicarbonate and alcohol.
Today’s formulations are different: most no longer contain alcohol and only a few now contain sodium bicarbonate, both ingredients that are not necessary and may cause further health issues in an infant. However, many gripe water products still contain ingredients that are far from ideal: excess sugar, unnecessary preservatives such as benzoates, sorbates or parabens and artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners.
The Cleanest and Simplest is Critical
A newborn is busy building the foundations of all of its bodily systems: the brain, the immune system, the nervous system. The utmost care must be taken to not introduce anything unnecessary or toxic that could interfere with this most important time of development. Gripe water may be the first liquid a baby experiences beyond breast milk or formula, thus it is vitally important that it be free of impurities and unnecessary chemicals, and that it contain only safe, natural and time-tested ingredients.
Best Product Award: ChildLife® Organic Gripe Water
ChildLife® Organic Gripe Water provides baby with safe, gentle relief from stomach discomfort, bloating and gas.
It contains six ingredients:
- organic ginger root
- organic dill essential oil
- organic kiwifruit extract
- organic fennel seed essential oil
- organic vegetable glycerin
- purified water
It is free of gluten, casein, alcohol, milk, eggs, wheat, yeast, corn, benzoates, sorbates, parabens and artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners.
Known for containing health promoting anti-oxidant compounds called gingerols, ginger has been used for millennia as a soothing remedy for all forms of stomach discomfort, as it helps relieve nausea, indigestion, bloating and stomach cramps.³
A perennial herb native to the Mediterranean, fennel is commonly used in the treatment of colic, bloating, and other stomach ailments because it is a natural carminative and helps to relax a spasmodic colon, release trapped gas, and act as a mild laxative. 4
Like Fennel, dill is also native to the Mediterranean and is used to dispel flatulence, relax the muscles of the digestive tract and settle the stomach. In addition, dill is thought to reduce excess stomach acid and has been used as a remedy for hiccups since medieval times.5
Organic Kiwifruit Extract
Sourced from New Zealand, kiwifruit contains a host of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients, in addition to beneficial soluble and insoluble fiber that helps maintain bowel regularity and the natural ecology of “good” bacteria in your baby’s digestive tract.6, 7
Why ChildLife® Organic Gripe Water Deserves a Best Product Award
In reviewing many of the gripe water products on the market, we found that ChildLife® Organic Gripe Water had the cleanest and simplest formulation. Here’s why:
USDA Certified Organic
Having the cleanest ingredients is a must, especially when it’s intended for infants whose immune systems are still developing. Very few gripe water brands are certified organic and if you want the cleanest product there is no question – it needs to be third party certified organic.
Formulated by a Pioneer in Holistic Pediatrics
Though many brands are doctor recommended, ChildLife® Organic Gripe Water is doctor-formulated. Created by Dr. Murray Clarke, a pioneer in holistic pediatrics with degrees in Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Acupuncture and Herbology, this formula draws on his 25 years of experience treating children.
No Ingredient is Included Solely to Sweeten
Many brands add ingredients solely for the purpose of making the product sweeter or taste a certain way, such as sugar, agave, xylitol or natural flavors. ChildLife® Organic Gripe Water derives its flavor from the therapeutic active ingredients and the organic vegetable glycerin which primarily serves as a natural preservative and stabilizer so that the product keeps working throughout its shelf life.
ChildLife® Organic Gripe Water contains only six ingredients. The product was designed with the delicate infant in mind: a formula that provides the maximum amount of benefit with the least amount of ingredients.
ChildLife® Organic Gripe Water does not need to be refrigerated.
For infants from birth – 6 months: 2 mL as needed
6 months and older: 2 – 4 mL as needed
Do not give this product to a child if they are allergic to any of the ingredients. Since infants and children have immature immune systems, always consult your healthcare provider prior to use.
¹Leung, AK, Lemay, JF. Infantile colic: a review. J R Soc Promot Health. 2004 Jul;124(4):162-6.
²The University of Maryland Medical Center.
³Ghayur, MN, Gilani, AH. Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of ginger in gastrointestinal disorders. Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Oct;50(10):1889-97.
4Harb, T., Matsuyama, M., David, M., Hill, R. Infant Colic – What works: A Systematic Review of Interventions for Breastfed Infants. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Dec 10.
6Drummond, L., Geary, RB. Kiwifruit modulation of gastrointestinal motility. Adv Fod Nutr Res 2013, 68 219-32
7Ansell, J, Parker, S, Paturi, G,. Rosenclale, D., Blatchford, P. Modification of the colonic microbiota. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2013, 68 205-17