Gripe water for babies: what is it and what is it for?

Calming a crying baby is not that easy. Desperation could be a complicated ailment for adults to understand. Is it convenient to give him “gripe water” in these cases?

Last update: 22 March, 2022

Stomach pain, discomfort due to teething and gas are some of the discomforts that could be treated with flu water or complaint water for babies. How to know if the infant has these symptoms? It is usually inferred by parents or caregivers for uncontrollable crying.

The Argentine Pediatric Archives explain that irritability during the first months of life is related to organic conditions. This characteristic is a frequent reason for consultation.

One of the painkillers commonly used and over-the-counter in pharmacies for these reactions is complaint water. Although it is considered a natural preparation, the correct thing is that the pediatrician authorizes its consumption and approves the doses.

What is influenza water and what is it used for?

The flu water it’s a non-prescription liquid supplement with purported relaxing properties. Typically, this natural remedy contains chamomile, fennel, lemon balm, licorice, ginger, and cinnamon.

Some recipes vary the herbs to take advantage of other benefits. For example, formulas with dill and mint are available. Also, the concoction has a base of purified water or baking soda.

The complaint water is known throughout the world. Even in countries like India, children are used to receiving regular doses of the syrup up to 6 months.

What is it used for?


The Revista Sanitaria de Investigación points out that infant colic causes uncertainty in parents, due to complaints and pain. To crack the annoyance, a post by Gastrohnup refers to “the rule of 3”: crying for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 times a week and for at least 3 weeks.

Although for this pathology there is the possibility of physiotherapy, In many cases caregivers choose the flu water. In any case, there is no convincing scientific evidence on its effectiveness.

Infant colic is an uncontrollable crying situation that many parents don’t know how to deal with.

Upset stomach and gas

There are those who confuse the complaint water with the drops for gases, but they are different in composition. The first blends natural ingredients that would be aimed at improving indigestion. The latter contain simethicone, an antiflatulent that eliminates gas bubbles trapped in the digestive tract.

Chamomile, fennel, mint and licorice would be some plants empirically associated with the relief of digestive disorders. But as is always clear, these herbs have not been studied in depth in the pediatric age.


Crying is useful for babies for different reasons. In addition to asking for food or having his diaper changed, it is the child’s way of expressing other intense sensations and releasing tension, as stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

When a dose of flu water to the infant, it is supposed to calm him down and make him rest well. Anyway, about this There is also no convincing evidence to support its effect on children..

teething pain

When the first teeth begin to erupt, the child is likely to become more restless from the pain. The gum becomes red and swollen, as mentioned by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP).

Based on anecdotes from third parties, some dads appeal to flu water as an analgesic. In fact, the AEP warns about the toxicity that natural medicines could cause to treat teething pain and advises against them.

How to supply influenza water?

The complaint water preferably ingested alone. However, there are those who mix it with breast milk. Before giving the dose to the infant, it is essential to read the instructions described on the label.

The pediatrician has to endorse the posology, which it almost always ranges between 5 and 10 drops. Its intake after meals is common.

Regarding the safety of the natural supplement, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported in 2019 that a laboratory withdrew the product from the market. complaint water due to the presence of an undissolved ingredient. The publication clarifies that it is not dangerous, but the batch could cause difficulty in swallowing in sensitive people.

In the same order of ideas, it is advisable to verify that the product does not contain alcohol. You also have to check that it is low in sodium bicarbonate.

Some potential contraindications are allergies to any of its ingredients, the presence of cavities in the first teeth, vomiting and constipation.

The anecdotal uses of this preparation have not been supported by the scientific literature, although its sale is free in almost all countries.

Other alternatives to complaint water

For those who are not convinced of calming the discomforts of babies with complaint waterand if the specialist has already confirmed that there are no medical problems, applying different methods to control child irritability is possible.

Massages and walking or dancing with the child relieve discomfort. Also gently rub the belly, wrap it to convey security and make it feel comfortable, as well as move it slowly on a swing.

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