Babies generally develop colic and stomach upset during their early stage of infancy. This can occur more frequently as they grow their teeth and start eating more varieties of solid food. Discomforts in the stomach may occur when they take in new foods to which they are not yet accustomed. A common home remedy when babies (and even adults) have minor stomach ailments is gripe water.
Gripe water is usually homemade. It is a blend of herb extracts that are believed to provide comfort for gastric disorder. There is also gripe water available in the market, but you should take extra care when administering commercial gripe water to babies because of its alcohol and sodium bicarbonate contents, which are not good for children below 12 years old. The best way as always, is to make your own gripe water.
To make gripe water, here are the steps:
- You will need these ingredients: fennel seeds, dill seeds, water and sugar (as desired)
- You will need these materials: strainer, pan, stove, mortar and pestle, baby bottle and medicine dropper.
- Measure a teaspoonful of fennel seeds and place into the mortar.
- Grind the fennel seeds in the mortar using the pestle. If you don’t have these materials, you may place the fennel seeds inside a plastic bag, seal the bag and crush the seeds with the use of a hammer. You can use a kitchen hammer or an ordinary carpenter’s hammer. Make sure you grind or pound the fennel seeds very well.
- In a pan, pour water (about four cups) and place over a high heat stove. Let it boil.
- As the water boils, add the finely crushed fennel seeds. Include some dill seeds (about a teaspoon) and let the mixture boil at low fire for twenty minutes until the water is reduced to half from its pre-boiling amount. Add sugar or any fruit extract to sweeten and flavor the formula.
- Remove the pan from the stove. Place the strainer over a bowl and pour the mixture to strain out the fennel and dill seeds.
- Let the mixture cool off for several minutes.
- Transfer the strained liquid in a bottle and store at room temperature. Use the mixture within five days, after which unused portions should be discarded to avoid contamination and bacteria formation. If needed, you can make another batch for your next use.
- Use a dropper in administering gripe water to your baby. Give him five to ten drops. You may mix the water in the milk formula if the baby does not want to have the mixture straight from the dropper. On the other hand, adults may take the mixture right from a tablespoon or small medicine cup.
Babies develop their sense of taste early hence they tend to refuse alien-tasting food or drink. To make gripe water more flavorful, you may add a little amount of sweetener like natural fruit flavors to make it more acceptable for picky babies. Lastly, be sure that the ingredients and materials used in making gripe water are clean and safe.