Does Gripe Water Actually Work?

Does gripe water actually work, and if so what brand of gripe water do you recommend?

I tend to be skeptical of many, MANY products related to babies and their development. People’s desperation to give their child every possible advantage, not to mention their desperation to be seen by others as having everything under control combined with sleep deprivation etc etc etc make it easy to be convinced to part with money in exchange for promises, real or otherwise.

For the past couple weeks our little one has been crying and straining often after feedings. All indications point to gas, or attempts to have a bowel movement with discomfort either driving these or caused by them. Generally the cries subside after a reasonably short time, but obviously I’d love to help him a long so that he doesn’t have to go through it each time. I’ve found that sometimes holding him upright and walking around seems to help. The only reason I can think of is that the change in position helps the gas (or whatever) move past any possible obstruction and the changing scenery distracts him while whatever happens happens. Other times he’ll just drop a fart the likes of which can’t be described in text. Once the bomb drops the cries generally subside.

So, this brings me to gripe water. Being someone who until his own child arrived had little to no interest in babies, I consequently had no knowledge of gripe water. Following my description of his troubles a couple people have suggested that I give it a try, and I’ve seen it mentioned in more than a couple forums, I just don’t want to be a sucker and buy it if it’s a parental placebo. Has anyone out there tried gripe water in circumstances like the one described above… and if so did it work… and if so do you know by what mechanism?

That last bit is just personal curiosity. I see it has ginger and I’ve heard that ginger settles the stomach in adults (same for fennel and chamomile… man, the ingredients almost have me buying some for personal consumption), but I’d like to know how much is actual active ingredient vs snake oil.

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