Friday, August 10, 2012

My "Green" Medicine Cabinet: Baby Gas

As I've shared before, I love finding green swaps for traditional medications, such as for treating pink eye, diaper rash, seasonal allergies, and baby teething (all of which you can find in the tab up top called, "Green Medicine"). But today I'm talking about gas...baby gas that is. Nothing is more frustrating as a parent than knowing your child is hurting or fussy because of gas, but yet there's nothing you can do about it. I'm lucky that Avery's a little older now and I can usually tell by her talking to me what the problem is. But back when she was younger it was difficult, as she would be crying and even though I could hear the little gas bubbles in her tummy, I didn't know how to get them out.

Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water...a green
alternative for treating baby gas.

Sometimes baby massage, like I shared in this post, helped relieve the gas, but not all the time. That's when I started looking for some type of medicine or supplement that I could give Avery to help ease her discomfort.

Below is a picture of Avery one day after a nap when she woke up with some gas.  As I was nursing her, she would "toot" and look down at herself like, "What the heck was that?" I would say, "It was a toot....just some gas." As if she understood what I meant, but still, I thought it would at least help to give it a name.  Then every time it happened there after, she would stare down, clueless, as to what was going on in her little tummy. That's when I knew it was time to break out some medicine to help, but which kind? More on that in a second.
"What was that sound guys?"

Symptoms experienced with this ailment:
  • burping
  • flatulence
  • fussiness
  • bloating
  • cramps
  • crying
  • sometimes babies will lay down and pull at their feet and legs, almost as if trying to help the gas release

Traditional medicine: 
I think the one brand synonymous with treating baby gas is Mylicon. One of their top selling products is Mylicon Infant Gas Drops.  The drops, as stated on their website:"...are the #1 pediatrician-recommended anti-gas medicine, and relieves the discomfort of infant gas frequently caused by air swallowing or by certain formulas or foods.  MYLICON® drops are safe enough for even the newest of newborns. They're safe enough to give with every feeding."

Let's see how the Mylicon drops rank in "greenness"... by reading the ingredient list (which I found here).  
Ingredients:
Active: Simethicone 20 mg: Antigas
Inactive: anhydrous citric acid, benzoic acid, D&C Red #22, D&C Red #28, flavors, glycerides (C14-18, mono- and di-), maltitol, methylcellulose, microcrystalline cellulose and carboxymethylcellulose sodium, polyoxyl 40 stearate, polysorbate 65, purified water, silica gel, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, xanthan gum

Eww, eww, eww! Are you kidding me? Look at all those artificial colors, preservatives, and additives. How could that be safe to give "even the newest of newborns" after every feeding? 

Now Mylicon tries to sugar coat it, saying: "Mylicon is safe because the drops are not absorbed into your baby's system." But even though I'm not a scientist, or a doctor, I don't understand how this could be true? So they "eat" the drops, which break up the tiny gas bubbles in their tummy, but yet the medication isn't absorbed through their body? Can somebody explain this to me? Oh forget it! I'm moving on to a green alternative...

"Green Medicine Cabinet" alternative:  Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water




According to their website:
"Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water is a safe and effective all natural herbal supplement used to ease gas and stomach discomfort often associated with colic, hiccups and teething.  Our gentle and effective liquid formula is Pediatrician Recommended and is the #1 selling natural remedy for colic and gas.
  • safe, natural & effective
  • made with organic ginger & fennel
  • liquid formula is fast acting
  • needs no refrigeration after opening
  • EZY Dose Dropper included in every box!"



How I used it:
 As I said above, I use the gripe water anytime I can hear gas in Avery's tummy, or hear it being released (eww...like how I'm avoiding the word "farting"? I think I'll stick with "releasing,"  it sounds so much nicer!).  I don't have to give her the gripe water very often, maybe once every two weeks or so.

Here's the dosing information directly from the bottle:
  • Babies 2 weeks to 1 month of age 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) 
  • Infants 1 to 6 months of age 1 tsp. (5 ml) 
  • Children 6 months and older 2 tsp. (10 ml) 
  • Adults 2 tbsp. (30 ml)

Take as needed, up to 6 times in a 24 hour period.

By the way, I love the "EZY Dose dropper" that comes with the bottle.  It is the best way I've found to give Avery liquid medication!  I've even saved a few of the droppers from the past, washed them out, and kept them on hand in case I need to give Avery any type of liquid medicine. 
Getting her dose of gripe water to help
with the gas.  She's going to love me
for this post when she's older-he he!

But I do use the gripe water for other occasions, even if she doesn't have gas, like if she just seems extra fussy and "gripey".  Usually I'll try some teething tablets, like I shared in this post, and if she's still fussy (despite being fed and changed), I'll then give her a dropper or two of the gripe water. After a few hours, I'll see how she's doing and possibly follow up with another dropper full just to make sure she's feeling better.

How it's greener:
Remember that nasty ingredient list from above with all those preservatives and artificial colors, well let's see how Mommy's Bliss compares...

Ingredients:
Deionized Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Fructose, Sodium Bicarbonate, Citrus Bioflavonoid Extract, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Organic Zingiber officinale (Ginger Root) Extract, Organic Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel Seed) Extract, Natural Fennel Flavor.

I don't know about you, but I love to see actual ingredients I recognize like ginger root, fennel seed, sodium bicaronate (baking soda) and water.  Yeah, you passed the green test!  Granted, some people may think the baking soda ingredient is debatable, so if you're on the fence, here's baking soda-free gripe water called, "Colic Calm."  For us, the Mommy's Bliss works great.

Another way it's greener is that Mylicon uses a single active ingredient to fight the gas, while Mommy's Bliss gripe water uses a combination of herbs and other natural ingredients to soothe gas pains and stomach discomfort. 


Even better, Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water does not contain any of the following: gluten, starch, dairy products, wheat, yeast, dill, chamomile, alcohol, parabens, artificial colors, artificial flavors, binders, sucrose (table sugar), fillers or petroleum-based by-products, and it is 100% vegetarian & vegan. 

Here's a short little video I found on YouTube that explains Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water and how to administer it:





Just a head's up: Gripe water is not limited just to babies. I read online that it can help adults too, so one time when I  had a bloated stomach and need I say...some "releasing" I took about 2 Tbs. of the Gripe Water. The result...it really did help make me feel better, just as it does with Avery. Gotta love sharing green and natural meds with my baby!

All smiles now that the gas is gone.

Where to find it:
I get mine from Wal-Mart where it only costs $7-8. You can also find it online at Amazon.com. The bottle linked to Amazon costs about $9, but they also have a 2 pack that only costs $15, which you can find here.

Also, in my research for "green remedies for baby gas" I discovered some other interesting tips and products, such as:
  • making sure to give babies lots of opportunities for tummy time to help release the gas bubbles if present
  • bicycle their legs
  • Now although most "experts" point the finger of baby gas issues at the mom and something she has ate, here's an interesting article at KellyMom.com that offers other ideas and solutions
  • Products:  
    • The Windi ($15): a soft tube that you insert, you know where, and help the baby release their gas without any drugs or medication.
    source
source

So that's how we've gone green with our baby gas medicine. Have you ever tried using a "gripe water" for digestive discomfort for your baby or even yourself? Or do you have any other tricks or tips that you've found helpful for relieving baby gas? Share below.

Now if if the Gripe Water could just do something for this wicked case of "bed head," we'd be good! ( :
Whoa baby...crazy hair!

See you next time for another peek inside my "green" medicine cabinet.

My disclaimer- I am not a medical doctor or a pharmacist. So while I can share what has worked with me, it may not work for you. I would say to talk with your "health care provider" but they will probably just tell you to take the traditional over-the-counter or prescription medication. Instead you could do your own research or talk with someone at a natural health food store.

This post was also linked up to "Your Green Resource" where a variety of bloggers get together and share their green ideas, solutions and resources. You can check out the link up party on any one of their four hosting sites: Andrea at The Greenbacks Gal, Stacy at A Delightful Home, Emily at Live Renewed, or Megan at Sorta Crunchy. There's a plethora of amazing green ideas and tips on these blogs and links so go check it out!


2 comments:

  1. Hey! Look at all of her hair, she's BEAUTIFUL! I haven't read in awhile, for obvious reasons, but was catching up and saw this post. Did you use this stuff at all when she was a tiny baby? I heard it helps with reflux too and was wondering if I should try it with Lemon. Or do you have any other suggestions? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't been able to get to a store but i read that a lil baking soda n water can help witg gas, Do u think this is safe?

    ReplyDelete

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