Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the good bacteria found in your gut. They are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. They are also available in supplement form.
Probiotics are thought to be beneficial for a variety of health conditions, including diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. Probiotics may also help prevent eczema and allergies in infants.
It is generally considered safe to give babies probiotics, but there is no definitive answer as to how long they should take them. Some experts recommend giving them for the first six months of life, while others say that probiotics can be given for as long as the baby is breast-fed.
The decision of when to stop giving your baby probiotics should be made on an individual basis after consulting with your child's pediatrician.
Benefits of Probiotics for Babies
There are several potential benefits of giving babies probiotics, including:
• Reduced risk of gastrointestinal infections: A systematic review of 12 studies involving more than 4,000 infants found that those who were given probiotics had a significantly lower risk of developing gastroenteritis than those who were not given probiotics. Gastroenteritis is a type of gastrointestinal infection that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
• Improved digestive health: Probiotics may help improve digestive health by reducing inflammation and balancing the levels of good and bad bacteria in the gut. A review of 21 studies found that probiotic supplementation improved symptoms of colic, constipation, and regurgitation (spitting up) in infants.
• Reduced risk of allergies: Some evidence suggests that taking probiotic supplements during pregnancy and infancy may reduce the risk of eczema and wheezing in early childhood. A large 2018 study found that infants who were given a combination of probiotic strains had a lower risk of eczema at age 2 than those who were not given probiotics.
• Improved immune function: Probiotics may improve immune function by stimulating the production of immune cells and increasing the activity of natural killer cells (a type of white blood cell). A review of 21 studies found that taking probiotic supplements reduced the incidence and duration of upper respiratory tract infections, such as colds and flu.
Possible Side Effects
Probiotic supplements are usually well tolerated with few side effects. The most common side effects include bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. These side effects are typically mild and go away on their own within a few days. Serious side effects are rare but may include blood in the stool and allergic reactions such as hives or difficulty breathing. If you experience any serious side effects after giving your child a probiotic supplement, stop using it immediately and consult your child's pediatrician.
There is no definite answer as to how long babies should take probiotics. Some experts recommend giving them for the first six months while others say they can be given for as long as the baby is breast-fed. The decision of when to stop giving your baby probiotics should be made on an individual basis after consulting with your child's pediatrician. Probiotic supplements are generally safe with few side effects.
As a new or expecting mother, you want only the best for your child. That includes giving them the best possible start in life, including ensuring that their gut health is as strong as it can be.
Probiotics are an important part of gut health, and they can be especially beneficial for infants. That's why we've put together a list of the best infant probiotics on Amazon. Click the link to check it out now and find the perfect probiotic for your little one.
Trust us, your baby's gut will thank you!