The Complete Guide to Baby Probiotics

Nestled in the heart of a bustling health and wellness world, a curious little hero emerged: Baby probiotics. This newfound gem quickly became a darling among doting parents, heralded for its mystical powers to calm tiny, troubled tummies and making meal times a smoother sail.

But hold your horses, dear parents. While it all sounds like a lullaby soothing your anxious heart, you'd never want to journey down a path you haven't tread before, would you? Especially when it involves your precious little bundle of joy. It's important to understand the magic behind the spell before we cast it, isn't it?

So, gather around the proverbial campfire as we unfold the tale of baby probiotics, deciphering its mystical lore, demystifying its workings, and deliberating whether this hero should join your baby's league of trusted allies or not. It's time to embark on a journey through the realm of baby probiotics, understanding every whisper, every story and every myth related to it. So, put on your adventure hats, because here’s everything you need to know about these tiny tummy-taming heroes, the baby probiotics!

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a baby being fed by hand

What Exactly Are Baby Probiotics?

Probiotics are the “good” bacteria and yeast that lives inside our digestive systems. Baby probiotics are simply probiotics that are designed for the sensitive digestive systems of babies. These helpful organisms help you and your baby to break down food to absorb the nutrients inside and can also help the body fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. 

These helpful microorganisms are found in many things that your baby is probably already consuming, such as yogurt, breast milk, and even certain baby formulas. Since most babies are already used to having probiotics in their digestive system, supplementing with them is generally well-tolerated.

What Are the Common Probiotics?

There are thousands of different kinds of probiotic species but here are the most common ones that you will find in probiotic supplements.

Bifidobacteria

This healthy bacteria helps your stomach digest carbohydrates by making sure that the gut’s inflammatory response is working properly. Bifidobacteria helps the body handle stress better, promotes a healthy immune system, and can help reduce painful bloating and constipation in your baby.

Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus helps the digestive system break down food to absorb the vitamins and nutrients inside and even helps the body fight off the bad bacteria that can cause illness and disease. This helps the stomach maintain a healthy balance in the gastrointestinal tract.

This amazing bacteria can even break down lactose, which is the sugar that is found in dairy and dairy products, to metabolize it. It also helps to reduce inflammation and supports the immune system.

a baby in a high chair eating with their hands

 

Why Are Probiotics Important for Babies?

Probiotics are very important for babies since they aid in healthy digestion and gut health. Not only do they assist in digestion by breaking down food to absorb the nutrients but they also reduce the risk of developing numerous illnesses, especially illnesses that affect the gastrointestinal tract. 

Related: Precautions To Prevent Your Baby From Overheating

Since the immune systems of babies are still developing and more vulnerable to infection, they will find probiotics especially helpful. Studies have shown that if probiotics are taken during their infancy, babies can reduce their risk of certain illnesses like asthma, eczema, and some allergies. This can be due to how probiotics strengthen the immune response and keep a healthy balance of microorganisms in the body.

The vast majority of our immune system lives inside our gastrointestinal tract so it is important to maintain the balance of healthy gut flora. Without this healthy gut flora, babies are much more susceptible to illnesses such as the cold or flu. 

Probiotics also manage conditions such as diarrhea and necrotizing enterocolitis. Necrotizing enterocolitis is a condition that mostly affects premature babies and causes inflammation of the intestinal tissue, causing it to become necrotic. This can cause a hole in your baby’s intestine which will cause infection in the belly or cause sepsis, a condition that can threaten their life.

There is some research that has discovered that babies with colic can benefit from baby probiotics. Colic is a relatively common condition that affects babies and causes them to cry for long periods of time even when they are healthy. This condition can be extremely alarming for new parents but it is important to keep in mind that this is a common condition.

Related: 5 Things Every New Parent Should Know About Newborn Sleep

Colic usually resolves on its own by the time the baby is aged a few months but there are some things you can do to help calm your baby. Make sure you feed your baby regularly and keep them in a calm environment. Baby probiotics can help reduce the amount of crying that a colicky baby does.

Having trouble with a colicky baby? Learn about the cry-it-out method that allows your baby to self-soothe. 

There has been a ton of research supporting a connection between gut health and mental health. Over 80 percent of our body’s dopamine and serotonin, which helps to regulate our brain’s pleasure center, is produced inside our digestive system. This means that taking care of your baby’s digestive tract means that you will be making them happier.

a father feeding his baby with a spoon

 

How Old Should My Baby Be For a Baby Probiotic Regimen?

Many pediatricians recommend that babies under the age of one year be given probiotics. Starting your baby young with probiotics will help them get a jump start on developing a strong and healthy digestive environment. 

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Probiotics for babies under six months old usually come in liquid probiotic drops that can be mixed with formula or breast milk. For babies that are older than six months, there are probiotic powders you can mix into their soft food or you can stick with the probiotic drops if you and your baby prefer.

Final Thoughts

In the enchanting odyssey of parenthood, one of your most sacred missions is to build the fortress of your baby's health. And guess what? Baby probiotics may just be one of those magic bricks in the stronghold of your baby's well-being, particularly fortifying the magnificent castle of their digestive health.

Picture this: it's like planting a beautiful, vibrant garden in your baby's tummy. A garden where good bacteria bloom, creating a healthier environment for digestion and overall health. This is the enchanting tale of baby probiotics, the charming seedlings of wellbeing.

But remember, every magical story comes with a word of caution, a sprinkle of wisdom. You wouldn't want to go into an enchanted forest without a guide, would you? Similarly, before embarking on this supplement regimen, it's essential to seek the wise counsel of a knowledgeable sage - in your case, a pediatrician.

You see, every little prince or princess is unique, and their kingdom - their body - functions and reacts differently. Your pediatrician, akin to an oracle, can foretell whether these friendly bacteria will weave the perfect spell for your little one or not.

In the saga of raising a child, consulting the pediatrician before starting any supplement regimen is akin to consulting a wise elder before a quest. It brings enlightenment, security, and the confidence to march forth, ensuring your baby's journey towards a healthier life is safe and sound.

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