Gripe Water for Babies: Expiration and Storage Guidelines

Gripe water is an over-the-counter natural supplement commonly used for gas, indigestion, and colic. While most brands have a similar formula, it is crucial to keep in mind that there may be differences in storage instructions and expiration dates.

Does gripe water expire? Yes, gripe water has an expiration date and discard instructions. This information is displayed on the packaging of the product. The life of the product depends heavily on its use of preservatives. If properly stored, gripe water will last until the expiration date. 

Keep reading to learn more about storing gripe water, signs of expiration, and when it’s time to get a new bottle.

Gripe Water Expiration and Storage

Knowing how to store and when to get rid of expired gripe water is important for your child’s safety and health.

While there is a lot of controversy over this on parenting forums, we’ve put together the most important information for you to be aware of. 

Gripe Water Expiration Dates

Gripe water has two expiration dates — one that indicates how long it can be on shelves, unopened, and another that indicates how long it keeps after opening.

The unopened expiration date is usually printed on the outside of the packaging, whereas the discard instructions are included in the directions. 

Gripe water formulas that contain preservatives usually have a longer shelf life, both opened and unopened. 

How Long Does Unopened Gripe Water Last?

Unopened gripe water typically has a shelf life of about two years. At this point, the ingredients in the gripe water may no longer be effective, even when just opened. 

Does Gripe Water Expire if Never Opened? 

Most gripe water has a shelf life of about two years. In fact, many people confuse this expiration date with the “discard after opening” date.

For example, if you open a product on 09/27/2022 that has an expiration date of 05/03/2024 and it says to discard 6 weeks after opening, then the true expiration date of the product in your case is 6 weeks after 09/27/2022. 

What Happens if You Use Expired Gripe Water? 

Symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting have been reported as a result of intaking expired gripe water.

While one instance of using expired gripe water doesn’t likely cause negative effects, the continued use of expired gripe water could cause more serious issues.

Though there have not been many reported cases of severe complications, expiration dates exist for a reason. In general, you should never give a child expired products. 

How To Store Gripe Water Properly

Parents should store gripe water in accordance with packaging instructions. Keep in mind that all medicines and supplements should be kept out of reach of children and animals.

Despite being natural, too much gripe water can be extremely harmful. 

Here are the storage instructions for some of the most popular brands of gripe water:

  • Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water contains natural preservatives and does not need to be refrigerated. 
  • Little Remedies Gripe Water should be stored at room temperature. 
  • Wellements Gripe Water does not contain preservatives and needs to be refrigerated after opening. 
  • Zarbee’s Gripe Water should be stored at room temperature. 
  • Colic Calm should be stored at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. 
  • Woodward’s Gripe Water should be stored at room temperature. 

Is Gripe Water Safe for Newborns?

Gripe water is intended for children ages 2 weeks to 6 months of age. It is generally safe when used according to packaged instructions with pediatric consultation.

However, it is considered an herbal dietary supplement, so it is not FDA regulated. This means that gripe water does not have to meet federal quality and safety standards. 

Close-up look at a screaming newborn being held by his father.

Why Does Gripe Water Work? 

Gripe water claims to work by breaking down the gasses in the baby’s body, allowing it to escape easier.

There is no evidence to suggest that gripe water works for any of its intended uses. In fact, many studies conducted indicate the opposite. However, more research is needed to either verify or deny the product’s claims. 

Gripe Water Ingredients

While the formulations may be slightly different, most gripe waters contain a combination of sodium bicarbonate and various herbs such as chamomile, fennel seed, and dill weed.

Here are the ingredients of some of the most popular brands of gripe water: 

  • Mommy’s Bliss: Purified water, vegetable glycerin, citrus bioflavonoid extract, citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, potassium sorbate (as a preservative), organic ginger root (Zingiber officinale) organic fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare), natural fennel flavor
  • Little Remedies: Zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract, Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) seed extract, purified water, agave vegetable glycerin, glycerin, natural ginger flavor, potassium sorbate, citric acid, xanthan gum
  • Wellements: Water, organic ginger root extract (Zingiber officinale), organic fennel seed extract (Foeniculum vulgare), organic agave nectar, organic lemon juice concentrate, organic glycerin, organic lemon juice powder, sodium bicarbonate, organic chamomile flower extract
  • Zarbees: Chamomile flower extract, fennel seed extract, lemon balm aerial extract, ginger root extract, water, organic agave syrup, natural flavors, citric acid, potassium sorbate (preservative)
  • Colic Calm: Prunus spinosa 3X (blackthorn), Carum carvi 3X (caraway), Chamomilla 3X (chamomile), Foeniculum vulgare 3X (fennel), Zingiber officinale 3X (ginger), Melissa officinalis 3X (lemon balm), Mentha piperita 3X (peppermint), Carbo vegetabilis 1X (vegetable carbon), benzoic acid, citric acid, glycerin, potassium citrate, potassium sorbate, purified water, xylitol
  • Woodward’s: Terpeneless dill seed oil, sodium bicarbonate BP, glycerol EP, activated dimethicone, polysorbate 80, maltitol solution, sodium Methylhydroxybenzoate (E219), Sodium Propylhydroxybenzoate (E217), disodium EDTA, purified water

Gripe Water Uses for Babies

Gripe water can be used to relieve gas, colic, and indigestion. It also claims to stop hiccups and aid in better sleep. 

Related Questions:

Is Too Much Gripe Water Bad for Babies? 

Yes, gripe water contains sodium bicarbonate. This substance is an antacid that can negatively impact the natural pH balance of your child’s stomach.

Does Gripe Water Help With Hiccups? 

When babies eat, they tend to take in a lot of excess air, which can cause hiccups. Gripe water does claim to help with hiccups. Many parents attest to this capability firsthand; however, these claims are strictly anecdotal. There is little empirical evidence to suggest that gripe water helps with hiccups. 

Conclusion

Understanding how to store gripe water and knowing when to discard it is important for your child’s health. Since its expiration date and discard instructions can be different, you should read the directions carefully.

Always keep medications and supplements stored away from your children and animals. If you have any questions, consult your child’s pediatrician.