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Colic Relief is No Laughing Matter
Member Name: Hishyeness
Date: 08/11/09, updated on 08/11/09 (375 review reads)
Advantages: Helps baby pass wind and burp up gas
Disadvantages: None to speak of
The birth of our son a little over a month ago has re-acquainted us with the energy-sapping delights of disturbed sleep, especially as the poor little man is suffering from relatively bad wind and colic. After toughing it out for a few nights of zombie-like walking the halls with poppet on shoulder and rhythmically patting his back, vainly hoping to produce a hearty and enthusiastic burp, we decided we needed to try something different to ease his discomfort.
Having travelled this road - albeit less severely - with our daughter four years earlier, we rummaged through our cavernous medicine cabinet in the hopes of finding some instant relief for Baby H (and indeed, ourselves). However, apart from an almost empty and out of date bottle of gripe water, we had nothing suitable.
Then, through the heavy haze of sleep-deprivation, a long-forgotten and deeply buried memory stirred and we remembered the name of our previous aide-de-burp. I was promptly dispatched to our local 24 hour Tesco for a priceless bottle of Infacol.
WHAT IS IT?
Infacol is an orange flavoured syrup, administered by mouth, which, according to the box, is formulated to relieve wind, colic and pain caused by infant gripe. It comes in a 50ml bottle with a handy dropper built in to the cap. To administer it, you draw up the liquid into he dropper and give it orally (0.5ml) before each feed. This can be increased to two dropperfulls (1ml) if necessary.
It is suitable for use from birth (gripe water, on the other hand, can only be used from one month) and each bottle contains up to 100 doses. It is available over the counter from most chemists and supermarkets for around £2.75.
WHAT'S IN IT?
The active ingredient is called Simeticone. Having not heard of it before, I thought I'd better have a look to see what it was. Apparently, the drug - an anti-foaming agent - reduces the surface tension of bubbles, causing them to combine into larger bubbles, which then makes it easier to get rid of (either orally or, erm, the other way). It doesn't actually prevent gas. The body cannot absorb Simeticone, so it does not pass into the bloodstream. Added to the fact that Infacol is sugar, alcohol and colouring-free, it makes it a safe solution for colic.
For those, like me, who want to know exactly what their baby is consuming, the other ingredients are purified water, hypromellose (a thickening agent often used as an alternative to animal gelatine), saccharin sodium (a sweetening agent), E218 and E216 (both of which are preservatives).
DOES IT WORK?
The first test was whether Baby H would actually take to it - and given his wide-eyed reaction to the orange taste (the first time he's had something other than milk and formula), I would say that it passed with flying colours. However, the proof would be whether our little pudding was more comfortable after a feed, and I was pleased (and excited by the prospect of more sleep) when after a few feeds, we noticed an appreciable difference in his reaction and demeanour. Although it has not eradicated his wind and colic completely, he is far more comfortable.
Digging a little deeper, I found some intriguing information that suggests that there is no conclusive clinical proof that Simethicone actually works. However, I prefer to trust my own eyes when it comes to assessing the evidence, and honestly believe that the improvement in Baby H is not solely down to parental wishful thinking.
Infacol has certainly shown itself - along with back massage and warm baths - to be an effective tool in helping alleviate the worst symptoms of Baby H's wind and colic. We now use it all the time and are very pleased with the results. The fact that I had four solid hours of sleep last night may not sound like much - but to me it was like manna from heaven.
© Hishyeness 2009
Summary: Safe and effective colic relief