Colic is a rather unfortunate condition for a baby to have. A baby is said to have colic when he or she cries for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week. While there are no negative long-term affects of colic, colic can still be frustrating. A constantly crying baby can create a good deal of stress in a household, and parents can become extremely frustrated when they can’t seem to comfort their little ones.
Gripe water is one tool that parents have used in order to try to help their baby with colic. Gripe water operates on the assumption that colic is caused, at least in part, by a problem with the digestive tract. While experts aren’t agreed as to whether colic is indeed caused by problems with the digestive tract, many experts do support this idea. Even if there are other causes for colic, it may well be that problems with digestion may be a partial contributor to the problem. Gripe water contains ingredients that are known to be able to help tie digestive system. There are generally herbal ingredients, such as fennel and ginger, which have been used for children and adults alike to calm an upset stomach. Gripe water very often will also have sodium bicarbonate, which can help the colicky baby with gas. Fructose is the final ingredient that is most often found in gripe water. Fructose gives a somewhat pleasant taste to the gripe water, and may also help with upset stomach.
How long gripe water will last depends on several different factors. First, not all colicky babies will respond to gripe water. For the babies that do respond to gripe water, the timing of the administering of the gripe water affects how long it will last. The optimal time to administer the gripe water is right around half an hour after the baby eats, as this will keep the baby from becoming too full. After gripe water is administered, results should occur fairly soon. Gas relief should begin within twenty minutes or so, and may occur sooner. Gripe water should last for several hours, although again this will vary greatly from one baby to the next.