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Wendy Sue Swanson, MD

Gripe Water?

Does gripe water really work?

Any parent who’s had to face seemingly endless crying from their newborn is eager to for a safe, natural solution to quiet things down. But unfortunately, there’s not a lot of good evidence that shows gripe water can help reduce crying. Research published in the journal Pediatrics found complementary or alternative treatments like gripe water (which typically contains ginger and fennel extract), mixed herbal teas and sugar solutions had a minimal effect on helping “colicky” babies stop crying. The good news is, if you want to try gripe water, there’s also not a lot of risk of using it — as long as you use it in small amounts, as directed.

Know that most of these crying jags will peak at about six or eight weeks. In the meantime do what you can to help soothe your little one — changing, burping, feeding, rocking, holding, walking, or whatever else you can think of to keep him calm. And remember it’s okay to take a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed, since dealing with a crying baby can be stressful for everyone in the house. Talk to your pediatrician about support solutions, or to find out if your baby has an allergy or intolerance that might be making him cry more than usual.

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