**The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a recall alert for all batches of Infant’s Friend oral liquid due to the presence of small amounts of chloroform as an inactive ingredient. If used at high doses, Infants’ Friend oral liquid can expose children to unsafe levels of the organic compound. Intermittent short term use is not expected to be harmful. For more information go to the TGA website**
Infants’ Friend is a popular remedy used to settle babies, and often highly recommended by many mothers.
No matter whether you’re a first-time mother or a veteran with several children, having an unsettled and screaming baby can be extremely difficult.
As a parent, you want to do everything to make sure your baby is happy and healthy.
So when things aren’t going to plan and you have a screaming baby on your hands, it’s natural to search for anything that can help.
It’s normal to reach out for advice from friends or family who’ve been through the same thing.
People love giving advice!
Infants’ Friend has been around since 1935, when it was first made in Australia by chemist JC Minnis.
You can read his interesting history here.
Giving any medication to a new baby, though, is scary for any mother.
Today, new parents wonder whether Infants’ Friend is still used for unsettled babies, and whether it’s safe.
#1: What is Infants’ Friend good for?
This is a popular remedy for giving relief to babies with wind and colic.
It’s also known to help reduce restlessness and irritation, especially when babies are teething.
A settled baby means a baby who sleeps better, and Infants’ Friend promotes natural, quiet sleep.
Visit the company’s website for more information.
#2: What are the ingredients in Infants’ Friend?
These are the active ingredients, contained in 100ml of the oral liquid:
- Cassia Oil 2 μl
- Magnesium Carbonate 110 mg
- Ammonium Bicarbonate 5 mg
- Dill Oil 0.065 μl
- Anise Oil 1.3 μl
The mixture has a pleasant taste and is well tolerated by most babies.
And because it doesn’t contain scheduled drugs, you don’t need a prescription.
#3: How does Infants’ Friend work?
The three main oils in the remedy are:
- Cassia, or Chinese, Cinnamon
Cinnamon, including cassia cinnamon, is a popular spice used for its aromatic and flavouring properties and contains some important vitamins and minerals. It also eases digestion and reduces irritation of the gut.
Aniseed (Pimpinella Ansium) is also known for its flavour and is used to give the mixture a pleasant taste.
Dill is another type of spice used for many years to ease digestive issues such as flatulence and sleep disorders. It’s believed to relax tension in muscles.
Interestingly it’s believed these ingredients have many health benefits.
They contain nutrients and minerals, and are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
The other ingredients, magnesium carbonate and ammonium bicarbonate, are antacids known to neutralise excess acid.
Magnesium carbonate is also known to have a laxative effect, which is why Infant’s Friend is said to relieve constipation.
#4: How much Infants’ Friend should I give my baby?
The dosage is fairly straightforward and easy to administer.
It can easily be added to your baby’s bottle of expressed breast milk or formula.
If you’re breastfeeding, you can use a dropper to deliver a dose straight into your baby’s mouth before a feed.
Here is the correct dosage to be given with each feed:
- Infants up to one month: 5 to 10 drops (0.25-0.5ml)
- From 1 to 3 months: 10-20 drops (0.5-1.0 ml)
- From 3 to 6 months: 20-30 drops (1.0- 1.5ml)
- Over 6 months up to 12 months: 5ml
- Over 12 months: 5-10ml.
Always shake the bottle before using Infants’ Friend and before giving your baby the dose.
Usually, babies welcome the pleasant taste, and it shouldn’t be too hard to give.
Here is some great advice from some Belly Belly fans who use Infants’ Friend:
“I just use a spare panadol dropper and squirt in the mouth” – Rach75.
“I give her 10 drops before each feed and it seems to help bring her burps up” – Firstbub.
#5: Are there any side effects?
There are no known side effects of Infants’ Friend, as this medication contains no scheduled drugs and is extremely well tolerated.
#6: Does Infants’ Friend make my baby sleepy?
Some mothers swear Infants’ Friend makes their babies sleepy.
The calmative effects of the dill oil could be the reason babies fall to sleep more easily after taking Infants’ Friend.
When their wind is relieved and their muscles are relaxed, they can finally drift off comfortably to sleep.
#7: Does Infants’ Friend make babies vomit?
Some mothers have reported their babies started vomiting after taking Infants’ Friend.
There’s no evidence to suggest it causes vomiting. However, if your baby repeatedly brings up milk after taking it, it’s best not to use it anymore.
There have also been reports of diarrhoea in some babies after taking Infants’ Friend.
Their stools are usually fairly soft and runny already, and this could be the result of the digestive system being relaxed due to the dill, which has a laxative effect.
#8: Does Infants’ Friend work straight away?
Most parents find Infants’ Friend has quite an immediate effect on babies who are upset by wind or a slow digestive system.
Dill has a laxative effect so it could loosen your baby’s stools or make them go sooner if they haven’t gone for a while.
Like most things, how quickly Infants’ Friend works will depend on your baby’s individual digestive system.
#9: Can you give Infants’ Friend to a newborn?
Infants’ Friend can be given safely to your newborn baby.
Infants’ Friend promotes itself as: ‘Gentle enough to use from day one, and with a range of benefits, Infants’ Friend is a must-have for every new Mum & Dad!’
#10: Is Infants’ Friend safe?
Unless your baby has an allergy to any of the ingredients in Infants’ Friend, it’s a safe option to try. It has no scheduled drugs in it, and no known side effects.
#11: Should I try Infants’ Friend?
Before you rush straight to the chemist, though, it might help to get some advice from feeding experts like The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Even if you aren’t feeding at the breast and your baby is having bottles you can still get great advice.
They can help you find out what could be causing your baby to be unsettled or unhappy.
Treating the cause rather than the symptom is always the best option.
It’s also important to rule out anything more serious, such as illness or other medical concerns.
If you’re really worried, always see your doctor before giving your baby any medication.