When we were purchasing the last of our pre-baby things, my husband and I stopped in the medication aisle of our baby super store. We got nail clippers, a thermometer, some infant Tylenol, but when I asked my husband whether we should get Mylicon drops, I was surprised at his reply. Typically, even as a physician, he’s fairly wishy-washy on a lot of baby decisions, but he was confident this time.
Because I like to be a pain, I asked him to explain and instead, when he got home he sent me an article he had read a few years before.
The study, conducted in 1994 and published in Pediatrics, was a blind trial using Mylicon and a placebo to treat gassy/colicky babies. The parents administered the drops and reported whether their child responded to them and the results were later analyzed to determine whether the Mylicon drops actually had an impact.
Researchers found that parents perceived an improvement in their baby’s gas/colic equally often with the Mylicon and with the placebo. Basically this means that sugar water is as effective at treating gas as Mylicon, and this is the basis of our decision not to use them. We are big believers in using medication as sparingly as possible and so if these drops don’t show clinical effectiveness, then we’re going to skip them.
Now, we don’t use Mylicon and thankfully Eli’s gas has been easy enough to manage, but that doesn’t mean we discourage anyone else from using them or doubt their reports that it has helped their babies. Plenty of treatments work for some people without working for others.
The only thing I do disagree with is well-intending friends implying that I don’t care about my child’s gas pain because I don’t give Mylicon. Nothing could be farther from the truth or more hurtful to me because I could not be more concerned and conscious about any of my child’s discomforts. We’re all doing our best to parent our children and as long as they’re okay (and Eli, despite his horrible non-medicating mother, is great) then the rest shouldn’t matter.
If you’re on the fence about Mylicon, the study is worth reading. Talk to your doctor and your significant other and make the decision that’s right for you and your baby. And don’t let anyone make you feel bad for your decision.