Adventures in Drool: We’ve got the gripe

February 7, 2012
Tummy trouble is never fun, but it is especially painful with a baby. SOURCE GOOGLE IMAGES

In Spanish, gripe (pronounced gree-pah) means cold or flu, but in my experience, it is often used to describe common maladies as well.

In English, gripe means to complain naggingly or to have sharp pains in the bowels. In many cases, I would imagine, having sharp pains in the bowels does lead to nagging complaints, especially in the male of our species. (Wink.)

This week, Droolface had several bowel complaints, leading a worried mama to find solutions to his gripes.

One recommendation:  Gripe water. Have you ever used this stuff?

It is described by Wikipedia as “a home remedy for infants with colic, gastrointestinal discomfort, teething pain, reflux and other stomach ailments. Its ingredients vary, and may include alcohol, a bicarbonate, ginger, dill, fennel and chamomile. It is typically given to an infant with a dropper in liquid form, and adults may also take gripe water for soothing intestinal pains, gas or other stomach ailments.”

Wiki goes on to say no clinical evidence exists to support whether gripe water works.

Formulated in England and often used by English nannies, gripe water was later prescribed by physicians to ease stomach distress. This type of stomach distress of unknown origins is now often called colic.

While colic exists, it doesn’t have any medical basis - meaning no one knows why it happens to some babies and not to others. Any mama with a colicky baby knows all about it, however, and will try anything to soothe the little one.

Gripe water is one of those products that is easily marketed to any mama with a sad baby. So, I tried it. I wish I could tell you it worked or tell you that it didn’t work. In fact, I have no idea if it helped or not.

Droolface seems better, but I can’t say for sure if it was because of the product. If it helped at all, I am thankful. I will keep it on hand and try it in the future if any stomach distress rears its head again.

Another suggestion we received was a product called Colic Calm. I didn’t find this product anywhere, so if you have used it and it works, please let me know.

From what I understand (via Google, where we gain most of our knowledge on these topics), it is very similar to gripe water.

Do you use any home recipes to cure baby’s stomach distress?

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  • Real Parents. Real Food. Real Fun.

    Welcome to Adventures in Drool! Talking about green living, getting rid of plastics and toxic chemicals in our homes and raising happy kids on a budget. Join the conversation ( and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!

    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."