Gripe Water: Side Effects Every Mom Should Know


Gripe water has been used to cure digestion problems of infants for over 100 years. It is a popular alternative medicine for babies. But very few are aware that gripe can have mild to serious side effects also. There may be allergic reactions in the baby, hormonal effects and also mild skin rash. Some babies may have tooth decay and even infections. Parasitic, bacterial and yeast infections are some of them.
Gripe water has moderately high alcohol content. This alcohol can be harmful for babies. Some infants may develop a declining appetite and even diarrhea from over consumption of gripe water. The contents of gripe water can also cause milk alkali syndrome in babies. Cavities and other teeth problems are also side effects of gripe water. Sometimes, rare side effects like heartburn can also be caused by gripe water.

The side effects of gripe water are as follows

Gripe Water Side Effects Every Mom Should Know


Gripe water contains extracts of chamomile which can be harmful for an infant. It can cause severe allergic reactions in babies. Breathing trouble and swelling of throat are symptoms of allergic reaction from gripe water. Chamomile is usually considered safe but some infants may develop allergy to it. It is best to consult a doctor before giving gripe water to your little one. It is safe to know if your baby is allergic to any ingredient of the gripe water.

Hormonal effects

One of the ingredients in gripe water is extracts of fennel plant. This can cause hormonal imbalance in the infant. Consuming gripe water for a long time can disrupt the hormones and effect the sexual development of the baby. The fennel plant extracts can also lead to premature breast tissue development in infants. It is important to restrict the amount of gripe water given to your baby once the little one starts growing up.

gripe water

Decaying tooth

Gripe water has sweetener which makes it pleasing in taste for the babies. But this sweetener can result in tooth decay of your baby. The quantity of sugar and different other sweeteners in gripe water can cause cavities and other tooth problems. Excessive consumption this water is therefore harmful.


Skin rash

There are various herbal ingredients used in making gripe water. These herbal extracts can sometimes cause skin rashes in babies. This is one of the side effects of gripe water. These skin rashes are usually mild and easily curable. If you notice rashes in your baby’s skin, notify the pediatrician as soon as possible.


One of the side effects of administering gripe water to infants is the risk of infections. it has been reported in various cases that gripe water can result in bacterial and parasitic infections. There are a few instances of yeast infection from gripe water also.
The symptoms of these infections include fever, vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms can occur within 10 days of being contaminated. They can last up to 1 or 2 weeks. Infections in babies can be severe if not treated in time. if your baby shows these symptoms, immediately notify the doctor.

Acid alkali imbalance

Gripe contains an antacid sodium bicarbonate. This is harmful for infants. This antacid can cause the natural acidity level of the stomach to drop. It disrupts the pH level of the body. The natural acid of the stomach help your baby to digest his food.
A low acid level can disturb the normal digestion process. An acid-alkali imbalance in the body can also make your little one vulnerable to various infections. Sodium bicarbonate can also hamper the absorption of necessary minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron in the body.

Lack of appetite

Many reports suggest that continuous intake of gripe water can decrease the appetite of an infant. A continuous dosage for one month can probably make your baby lose interest in normal food. This is not a proven fact yet. But it is a probable side effect of gripe water. If you notice a change in your baby’s appetite, it might be because of gripe water. It is best to consult a pediatrician before administering gripe water to your child.


One of the possible side effects of gripe water is diarrhea. The ingredients of gripe water like herbal extracts, alcohol and antacid can negatively affect your baby’s stomach. It can result in stomach irritation and infection. This can lead to diarrhea. Though gripe water is used to cure stomach problems, it can also cause negative results sometimes. Notify your child’s pediatrician at the earliest in that case.


Gripe water has sufficient amount of alcohol. Almost 9 percent of alcohol is used in making this water. It is said that alcohol soothes the baby in case of stomach problems. But excess consumption of gripe water can make your baby too drowsy all the time. It can even get your baby addicted. This amount of alcohol is not all good for your baby’s health. The dosage of gripe water should always be restricted. Check with your doctor on the safe amount of gripe water to be given to your baby.



In some rare cases, gripe water can cause heartburn in babies. This is one of the serious side effects of gripe water. Though not common, this may happen in some cases. You must get a green signal from the doctor on the safety of giving gripe water to your baby.


Gripe water is an age old cure for acidity and other stomach problems in infants. Most of the mothers swear by its effectiveness in soothing the babies. Gripe water relieves the baby from minor stomach problems and teething pain. The alcohol and sweetener in the water calms the baby. But this magic water is not without several side effects. It is not recommended by doctors to give gripe water to newborn babies since they have very low immunity. Newborn infants should not be given any kind of solid or liquid except natural breast’s milk. If your baby is having tummy problems, best consult a doctor for advice. Gripe water should only be administered to an infant on a doctor’s advice.