Probiotics For Babies – When To Introduce & Its Safety & Benefits
You must be hearing a lot about Probiotics these days and see these in infant formulas and other supplements, too. Nevertheless, you might be confused about what they really are, what they do, and whether they are really necessary and safe for your baby? Being a parent, all these questions arising in your mind are natural, and they should be. We, as parents, always make sure that our baby gets the best of everything. So let us quickly know about this in detail & whether probiotics are good for babies or not.
What are Probiotics, and What are they Used For?
Probiotics are live micro-organisms that give super health benefits when consumed or introduced to the body through supplements or other natural food sources. These bacteria are termed good bacteria. They keep the gut/ gastrointestinal tract healthy and help maintain a good balance of good bacteria in your digestive tract. Good bacteria are naturally present in the digestive tract, but adding Probiotics to your diet in the form of supplements or natural food sources just increases their number and has good health benefits. Probiotics also improve digestion and restore the body’s normal flora.
Some of the main strains of probiotics are:
- Saccharomyces Boulardii
Probiotics For Babies
Most parents are skeptical about introducing new products, food, or medications to their babies. They try reading and researching about all the stuff before introducing them. Probiotics for babies is a topic that has a lot more to understand before simply giving it to your baby.
Formula milk powders and mother’s breast milk are great sources of probiotics for babies.
However, some studies say giving probiotics to your babies in the form of supplemental drops 30 minutes before giving them milk (only if suggested by a pediatrician) can help minimize colic and acid reflux and help the baby cry less. This naturally keeps the baby calm and helps parents relax.
When To Introduce Probiotics For Babies?
Babies naturally have a sterile digestive tract, and they simply don’t need any external source of good bacteria to keep it healthy.
But some research suggests introducing a specific type of probiotics for healthy babies within 3 months to avoid the onset of conditions like constipation and acid reflux and reduce overall crying time.
A study conducted in 2011 saw a reduction in colic symptoms with the use of probiotics for babies. In addition, a study was conducted on breasfed babies for 21 days to check the effect of the introduction of Probiotic supplements 30 minutes before giving breastmilk. This study found out that the infants who were given probiotics 30 minutes before feeding breast milk cried less than those babies who were not given probiotics.
Some doctors suggest or prescribe probiotics in conditions where a baby or a child has suffered from severe diarrhea or vomiting or has recently undergone a long course of antibiotics. This is because antibiotics remove the bacteria which have colonized the gut exposing babies to various infections. In addition, probiotics help strengthen the immune system again.
Are Probiotics Safe And Do They Have Any Side Effects on Babies?
Research shows that probiotics are well tolerated and safe in healthy babies. Babies can experience bloating or flatulence or mild digestive problems in the initial stage of its use. However, gradually it helps them balance good bacteria and a good immune system.
What Is The Best Time To Give Probiotics To Babies?
There is no such thing as the best time to give probiotics, but doctors generally recommend giving it with the first feed in the morning to observe any side effects. Also, check here Innovative & Indoor DIY Activities For Toddlers To Spend Time & Bond Together.
Probiotics In Formula Milk
Nowadays, many moms work for 9 to 12 hours a day which makes breastfeeding a challenging task as they find no time for it. Hence many babies are conveniently given formula milk which contains good bacteria, i.e., Probiotics.
Nowadays, Formula milk also contains Lactobacillus strains and other ingredients, which give many health benefits like easy digestion and proper supply of nutrition to the baby. In addition, it helps keep the digestive track surrounded by good bacteria and helps reduce digestion-related problems. So, parents, why worry?
You can be relaxed because not only formula milk but breast milk too naturally contains good bacteria, which is sufficient to keep the baby’s digestion-related problems at bay.
Probiotics From Other Sources
Natural sources like yogurt also contain probiotics apart from breast milk. When your baby starts eating solid foods, usually after 6 months, you can give yogurt to them to keep digestion problems away. Try giving a teaspoonful of yogurt every day to your baby. Later on, you can gradually increase the quantity as the baby gets older.
It is always better to give probiotics in natural form rather than through supplements or other baby products available in the market that claim to have probiotics in them. Remember that every baby is different, their health is different, and the ways to ease their digestive problems are different. Babies at the end should get relief from constipation, acid reflux, and other digestion-related issues. A happy baby naturally makes a parent happy. That is what our parents want, isn’t it?
Benefits of Probiotics For Babies
- No more acid reflux problems
- Fewer diaper rashes
- Reduced constipation
- Prevents infant thrush
- Reduced eczema
- Reduced Infections
- Reduction in gas and fussiness due to it
Every baby and baby’s health are different. So even though Probiotics prove beneficial for digestion problems and help overall maintain a good immune system, it is always important to talk to the baby’s pediatrician before introducing probiotics to the babies. Check this article to know the Best probiotic for toddlers.