How exactly do baby probiotics function, is it necessary for every infant to take them, and what are the best baby probiotics?
The use of baby probiotics, which aim to create good gut flora and reduce gas discomfort, constipation, and colic in infants, is a popular choice among the numerous medicines available to ease the aches and pains associated with infanthood.
It seems like the world of probiotics has advanced not only since I was a kid, but even in the last 20 years. Lots of science and data out there to sift through. Hopefully this information I compiled below will help.
What Are Probiotics?
Babies aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of the plethora of probiotic supplements on the market. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, these are live microorganisms that have beneficial effects whether taken internally or rubbed onto the skin.
In the digestive tract, probiotics foster the growth of beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion, eliminate disease-causing cells, and manufacture vitamins, among other benefits. Anthony Porto, MD, a doctor at Yale New Haven Hospital, and a member of the Forbes Health 2021 Advisory Board, believes that the strains of probiotics have varied impacts on the body. Some of the most frequent probiotic strains found in infant supplements are:
Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut are great sources of probiotics. Dr. Porto says that the number of colony-forming units (CFUs), which is a measure of the number of live and active bacteria, offered for infants in probiotic supplements varies by kind but is normally within the billion range, which is an additional boost to digestive health.
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Benefits Of Probiotics
Carrie Kaufmann, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Stanford Children’s Health in Palo Alto, California, believes further study is needed before probiotics can be considered an essential supplement for all infants.
However, there are exceptions where taking a probiotic pill could help:
If The Baby Has Colic
Colic is diagnosed when an otherwise healthy and well-fed infant cries for three hours or more each day, on three or more days of the week, for three weeks. Colic is considered a medical emergency.
There is currently no evidence to support the use of probiotics as a beneficial tool; therefore, there is no reason to give your baby a probiotic supplement if you are attempting to avoid colic from occurring in the first place, she says.
Prevention Of Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a medical emergency.
Probiotics are sometimes used as a preventative measure against diarrhea, but the research on this is conflicting. A comprehensive review of studies published in 2012 found that probiotic supplementation may help to prevent diarrhea caused by rotavirus, a common virus that affects infants and young children, but more research is needed to confirm these findings.
If The Baby Has Acute Gastroenteritis
Medical attention must be sought immediately for acute gastroenteritis. More research is needed to validate these findings, but a 2012 review of studies suggests that probiotics may assist to reduce the duration of diarrhea in infants with acute gastroenteritis.
The use of probiotics was related to a considerably decreased incidence of diarrhea lasting more than three days, according to a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.
7 Best Baby Probiotics: Benefits
BioGaia is a Swedish company that has been around since the 1980s that produces probiotic goods for infants, children, and adults of all ages. Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri, which is present in breast milk and has been shown in numerous studies to aid in gastrointestinal health, is the active ingredient in these drops. 5 drops once a day is the suggested dosage (the brand recommends giving it to your baby via spoon). Neither lactose nor gluten can be found in the drops.
2.) Gerber Good Start Soothe Comforting Probiotic Drops
These drops from trusted manufacturer Gerber include Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938, a probiotic that is structurally similar to the bacteria found in breast milk. They are prefilled with sunflower and triglyceride oil, the dropper is built right into the top. There’s not much to lose by giving them a try to see if your baby tolerates them (as long as your pediatrician recommends them, of course). To be more precise, the bottle contains twice as many servings as competing brands for the same price.
3.) Lovebug Probiotics Tiny Tummies Flavorless Stick Packs
This probiotic comes in the form of a tasteless powder that may be quickly and easily mixed into a bottle of breast milk or formula. One strain of Lactobacillus and two strains of Bifidobacterium are combined to make this product, which also contains a trace quantity of fiber. Love Bugs also makes formulas tailored for older babies and toddlers, so you won’t have to worry about switching brands just because your baby has reached her half-birthday.
Mother, pediatric nurse, and midwife Roshan Kaderali started Mommy’s Bliss after importing her now-famous “gripe water” from Scotland. These probiotic drops are made with non-GMO maize oil and are free of parabens, gluten, and other allergens. This probiotic comes with a convenient dropper marked with the recommended dosage, making it simple to administer the correct quantity, whether you’re adding it to a bottle, spoon, or breast before feeding. A probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is included in this product; it occurs in the human digestive tract.
5.) Evivo Baby Probiotic Starter Kit
Activated Bifidobacterium infantis EVC001, included in this powdered probiotic from Evivo, has been shown in studies to benefit newborns’ gut microbiomes. Cold temperatures ensure the survival of any live germs included in the product. A feeding syringe and mixing bowl are included with this set, and you can store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a strain of Lactobacillus that has been the subject of extensive research, and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis (BB-12), a strain of Bifidobacterium that is found naturally in the intestines, are both included in this D-enriched supplement that is manufactured by the well-known brand Culturelle and formulated for infants from birth through the first year of life. A dropper is included with the purchase because the product is in liquid form.
It is a Non-GMO Project Verified product that also contains seven different probiotic strains. Certified organic by the USDA, certified to be free of gluten, and also certified vegan, each serving contains 4 billion CFU. On the list of probiotics, this one offers the best value for the money.
The Side Effects Of Probiotics
Before administering any form of supplement, including probiotics, to your young child, you should always consult with your child’s pediatrician first.
There is a relatively low risk that infants will develop major adverse effects from taking probiotics. Having said that, there are several that you should watch out for. These are the following:
- Abdominal discomfort
If you find that your infant is suffering any of these unwanted effects while taking probiotics, you should immediately cease providing them with the supplements and consult with a medical professional.
Are Probiotics Safe For Babies?
As a plus, when used properly, probiotics have extremely few, if any, negative side effects.
There is always a chance of an allergic reaction to any supplement or drug. Stop giving your child probiotics and make an appointment with a pediatrician if you see any signs of a skin reaction or hives.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not all probiotic pills are the same. You should pick a product that is manufactured by a trustworthy manufacturer and has only high-quality ingredients.
Adding probiotics to your infant’s food as prescribed can aid in the development of healthy gut microbiota.
Sharon Dunn’s Verdict
Infants can benefit from the supplementation of probiotics, which can be given to them. When taken appropriately, they have very few adverse effects and are beneficial to the formation of healthy microbiota in the stomach.
It is critical to discuss your concerns with a pediatrician before making any decisions regarding the use of probiotics for your young child.