Colic and baby wind drops – do they actually work?

Babies get wind by swallowing tiny air bubbles when feeding which become trapped, causing pressure and discomfort in their tiny tummies. It’s heartbreaking seeing a little one uncomfortable and inconsolable, and sometimes no amount of burping, bicycle legs, and cuddling seems to work.

To provide some relief to infant wind, or to prevent further griping pain and colic, many parents turn to over-the-counter remedies such as wind drops. But, do they actually work, and how do they compare to gripe water, homeopathic remedies, and probiotics?

Do baby wind drops actually work?

Wind drops  such as Infacol, typically contain the active ingredient simethicone—a defoaming agent that’s been around since 1952. It causes the small bubbles of gas in the baby’s stomach to join together, forming a larger bubble which can easily be expelled. To be effective, it is recommended they be given before every feed to help relieve infant wind before colic like symptoms occur. Continued usage may also help to provide further relief over several days.

Suitable from birth, wind drops work on your baby’s tummy and aren’t absorbed into your baby’s bloodstream, making them a safe option. They’ve long been a favourite of parents to treat the windy tummies of both breastfed and bottle-fed babies. Some parents have found them to be less effective or not consistently effective, so the best way is to try them for yourself.

How do wind drops compare to other remedies?

Gripe water is typically a mix of baking soda and herbs which are believed to help relieve tummy discomfort and gas. The advice regarding gripe water is to be aware of added alcohol, and ingredients that are deemed ‘natural’ or ‘homeopathic’, that may be unsafe or untested. Another option is probiotics, of which there is some evidence that a certain strain can be effective with colic in breastfed babies.

How will I know which remedy is going to work for my baby?

You will find supporters of one remedy over another, some even claiming that a particular remedy works like magic. As with many home remedies, the act of doing something might be the key to how well a product works. Excessive crying and wind are a normal part of being a baby, but as a parent you reach a point when you want to try anything to console your baby. Remember to consult your GP or maternal and child health nurse before giving your baby any type of medication.


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