Is Woodwards Gripe Water Safe For Babies?

Know More About Is Woodward's Gripe Water Is Safe For Babies

If you have ever lived in India you would be very familiar with Woodward’s Gripe Water.  As a new mom, you will be advised by a huge number of ladies to give gripe water to your crying baby. Many mothers claim to soothe colicky babies with gripe water.

What Is Gripe Water?

Gripe water is a type of supplement made of herbs, sodium bicarbonate and alcohol that promotes the relief of colic, gas and stomach discomforts in infants. It’s effectiveness for these purposes has not been proven and it should only be used after consulting with a healthcare provider.

The main content of most gripe water brands is a combination of dill seed oil, alcohol and sodium bicarbonate. The crying baby gets comforted due to the effect of alcohol. Nowadays many gripe water brands like Woodward’s do not include alcohol, but unfortunately, it is replaced by high sugar content.

The sugary sweetness calms the crying infant. Many brands of gripe water claim to contain several herbs and oils to soothe the infant but there is almost nil scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of gripe water.  

Woodward’s Gripe Water Side Effects

1. Alcohol

The crying infant is soothed instantly due to the alcohol in it and goes to sleep. In the olden days, the content of alcohol was way too high.

2. Sugar

The alcohol content is replaced by sugar. Sugar solutions are very effective in soothing colic in babies, but the sugar content can have a negative impact on erupting baby teeth. Also, doctors advise no salt and no sugar till the age of one – as early exposure to sugar causes diabetes.

3. Dill Oil

This component is used to ease the pain caused due to gas in the baby's intestines. Gas is the main reason for colic in infants. Experts recommend only breastmilk for the first 6 months. The long-term effects of dill oil on babies need more study and shouldn’t be given unless advised by a doctor.

4.Sodium bicarbonate

This ingredient does not have much effect to cure colic in babies. In addition, it can have a negative impact and lead to alkalosis.

Therefore it is best to avoid the use of gripe water. Here are some alternative methods to care for your colicky baby.

Also read: 6 Best Baby Massage Oils

How To Reduce Colic In Babies Without Woodward's Gripe Water?

1. Massage

It is a great way to bond with the baby. Gently massage the baby’s tummy with your fingers. The baby will feel relaxed and it will soothe her stomach and release gas.

2. Baby Feeding Positions

Colic happens in babies due to the swallowing of air during the feed. It is best to keep your little one as upright as possible. Also, offer small and frequent feeds to the baby, to avoid putting pressure on her developing digestive system. 

3. Burping Technique 

It is crucial to burp the baby after a feed, as this process will release the trapped air. Place a cloth on your shoulder, place the baby upright and gently rub their lower back. After they burp they might spit out little milk, which is normal.

Also Read: How To Burp Your Baby?

4. Rhythmic Movements

Rhythmic, slow and gentle movements soothe the infant. That’s why cradles always follow a swinging mechanism so that the baby is comfortable. You can take the baby for a small walk or even take them for a stroll in the pram for a while. Rock the little one in your arms for the best results.

5. Move Away From Over Stimulating Environments

During the initial days, the infant needs a lot of love and care. But too much attention from relatives and well-wishers can result in overstimulation. This can have an adverse effect on the baby, especially after a feed. Ensure the baby is well-fed, dry, comfortable and not overstimulated. Avoid too much noise around the baby.


Woodward’s gripe water is definitely not safe for babies. Gripe water is made of sucrose and alcohol. Try to take the doctor's advice before using, Knowing the ingredients is important. Yet, it is important to note that the active ingredients in Woodwards Gripe Water (sodium bicarbonate and dill oil) may not be suitable for all babies and can cause side effects in some individuals. It’s better if you choose alternate methods for your baby instead of using Woodward’s gripe water. 

Have you tried Woodward's Gripe Water? Did it work for you? Were you aware of these harmful ingredients in Gripe water? Share below!

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