Which Probiotics Are Safe For Children
While many researchers believe that having a balanced microbiome is important in infants and children, the use of probiotics and their potential benefits needs more study, since some children can experience gas or bloating with probiotics.
Cows milk isnt recommended for children to ingest until they are at least a year old, but yogurt is safe for babies between 4 and 8 months. However, you should always check with your pediatrician before adding any supplement or probiotic food to your childs diet.
Children who are chronically ill or who have compromised immune systems should never be given probiotics due to the potential for serious side effects.
Probiotics Fail To Soothe Colicky Babies Randomized Study Finds
The researchers found that, contrary to many a weary parents hopes, the probiotic supplements may actually worsen babies discomfort.
Heres some news thats bound to disappoint many parents of colicky newborns: Giving babies supplements containing probiotics does not help reduce excessive crying.
In fact, such supplements may actually make symptoms worse.
The findings counter previous and much smaller studies that reported that probiotics specifically Lactobacillus reutieri could help reduce crying in colicky babies. Those earlier studies, though, had significant limitations, particularly in how they selected the infants that were followed.
The findings also differ from those reported earlier this year by a team of Italian researchers. That study found that giving all newborns probiotics supplements was associated with a reduced rate of fussiness and colic.
One in 5 infants
During those months, however, a colicky baby can turn an already very tiring period of parenthood into one of great frustration and exhaustion. Indeed, research has found that mothers of colicky babies tend to be more anxious and depressed than moms of non-colicky babies. They also tend to end breastfeeding earlier. Infant colic is also associated with an increased risk of shaken baby syndrome.
A double-blinded study
The tincture of time
Probiotics Are Good Bacteria
Your body is home to billions of organisms like bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Most of these organisms are harmless and many help your body work properly they form whats called the human microbiome.
Probiotics are some of the helpful good bacteria that make up your microbiome, explains Dr. Drass. They come in supplement form, but they also occur naturally in certain foods.
These fermented and aged foods are packed with probiotics:
Your kids likely get most of their probiotic intake from yogurt.
Recommended Reading: Is Probiotics Good For Acid Reflux
Could Probiotics Help Relieve Babys Colic And Gas
Probiotics seem to be the new hot item on the market, but could they really help your baby?
If your baby suffers from gas or colic there are studies suggesting that regular probiotic use can be beneficial.
What are Probiotics and What Do They Do?
Probiotics are tiny living microorganisms like bacteria or yeast that help the digestive system. You can think of probiotics as the helpful bacteria that renew the good bacteria in your gut to help you digest food and fight off infections.
There are three groups of main probiotics, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii.
Lactobacillus is the most common probiotic often found in fermented food or yogurt. This strain of probiotic is particularly useful for helping digest lactose. Bifidobacterium is found in most dairy products and helps the gut absorb nutrients while keeping the food moving. Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic found in yeast that helps with digestive issues.
When probiotics enter your system, they remain in the digestive tract to restore the balance of good bacteria. They help boost the immune system and protect against infections by preventing the harmful bacteria from growing in your gut.
Why Babies Get Colic
Colic is very common in babies, affecting nearly 20% of them. They will be fussy and irritable for hours at a time, and it will be tough to soothe them. You can tell your baby has colic if he has been crying for three hours at least three days a week for three weeks at a time.
Probiotics For Babies: The Bottom Line
Probiotics for babies may be useful for helping with diarrhea, colic, and constipation. But we dont yet know for sure.
If youre breastfeeding and taking probiotics at the same time, your baby can get a probiotic boost through your milk. And as soon as your little one is ready for solid foods, they can get all the probiotics they need from them.
- Facebook icon
Don’t Miss: Things With Probiotics In Them
Im Breastfeeding Will Changing My Diet Help My Babys Gas Pains
Some parents report increased days of gassiness after a breastfeeding mom has eaten foods such as dairy, eggs, spicy foods or certain veggies. Although there is little evidence to support the relationship between maternal diet and infant abdominal pain, many mothers try elimination diets to explore a possible relationship.
Small studies have supported dairy elimination as a helpful way to reduce a babys GI discomfortIacovou M, Ralston RA, Muir J, Walker KZ, Truby H. Dietary Management of Infantile Colic: A Systematic Review. Matern Child Health J. 2021 16:1319-1331. . But even after years of pediatric practice, Im still not sure which babies improve after their mom stops eating dairy and which babies simply improve over time.
If you want to try an elimination diet to help with gas pain, avoid dairy for two weeks. As a general rule of thumb, if a diet change has not made a difference for a baby within that time, their mom can add the restricted food back into her diet.
Can Probiotics Help Prevent Eczema In Babies
There is limited research on the matter. Some experts state that probiotics may help prevent eczema and other allergies only up to the age of two years. Established and existing allergies cannot be reversed with the use of probiotics.
A breastfeeding mother may also have to consume adequate probiotics to ensure that she passes good bacteria to the baby through breast milk. You can consider using probiotics if the baby has eczema, but do not entirely rely on them to cure or ease the symptoms .
When introducing probiotics to an infant, make sure you start with small quantities. Once your baby accepts it well, then make it a part of the regular diet. If your baby instantaneously loves probiotics, like yogurt, then it is a win-win for you and the baby!
Have you given probiotics to your baby? Share your experiences in the comments section.
You May Like: Probiotic Drops For Breastfed Baby
Nordic Naturals Babys Nordic Flora Probiotic Powder
Why its great: This one is the least expensive and it comes in powder packets that are easy to use. Each packet is the correct dosage, so you dont have to worry about measuring out the right amount. It has 4 billion CFU and contains 2 strains of probiotics that are proven to help with digestive health. This probiotic is also completely odorless and tasteless, which means its also easier to get your child to take it.You get 30 doses with this box and it is best for babies and toddlers 6 months to 3 years old.
Keep in mind: This one is for 6 months and up, so youll need to find something else to use for newborns.
Good for: Parents that want a good quality probiotic on a budget.
Do Babies Need Probiotics
Amniotic fluid is not sterileits your babys first introduction to bacteria. And the kind of bacteria in the amniotic fluid is influenced by moms gut and oral flora.
In a perfect world, moms would have great flora to pass onto their babies. But over the last century, we have been subjected to antibiotics, GMOs, sugary/starchy diets, and lots of processed foodsall of which can degrade the gut flora passed onto our babies.
Baby probiotics are a babys first line of defense, since they help to improve the balance of good bacteria in their body.
Read Also: Improve Gut Health Without Probiotics
Why Is My Newborn So Gassy
There are several reasons why newborns can get gas pains. We spoke to Dr. Jackie Schwarz, a pediatrician with Arlington Pediatrics, Ltd in Arlington Heights, IL who gave us some insight. Some babies arent great at burping and some take in excess air while feeding, which turns into excess gas, Schwarz told Scary Mommy. Some may need more time for their bodies to learn how to digest.
But how do you know if your baby needs gas drops and not just a good burp or fart? When a baby is gassy or seems to have digestive discomfort, I give parents many suggestions, Dr. Schwarz said. First, I show parents how to burp their baby, feed their baby slower if they are bottle-fed, and do some leg bicycling or tummy time to get out the gas. If nothing is working, I recommend gas drops, gripe water, or baby probiotic drops as a next step.
If youre overwhelmed with the thought of administering medication to your tiny baby, the easiest way to do it is by putting the dropper in your infants mouth while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.
Below youll find the most highly recommended gas drops, probiotic drops, and gripe water options for newborn gas relief and colic, according to parents and pediatricians. Before you give any supplements, medications, or treatments to your baby, check in with your pediatrician first.
Probiotics And The Breastfed Infant
Probiotics are sometimes referred to as beneficial bacteria. Bacteria, you say? Yes. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi, in and on our bodies than there are human cells . However, microorganisms make up only about 1 to 3 percent of the body’s mass due to their small size, in comparison to human cells . The world of microorganisms that exists within the human body is called the microbiome. Microbes exist in nearly every part of the human body, from the gut and digestive tract, to the nose and mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, and even on the skin. Some of these microorganisms serve an essential purpose, helping us to maintain a healthy system by helping to digest food and absorb nutrients that would otherwise be unavailable, and synthesizing vitamin B and vitamin K. Other organisms are present in and on our bodies normally, and an overgrowth of these organisms can cause unpleasant symptoms and illness.
Examples of probiotics include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus GG, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, etc. The National Institute of Health currently has a project underway to identify and map the human microbiome .
References1. Arthur, B. & Stein, R. . Exploring the invisible universe that lives on and in us. Retrieved on February 23, 2014 from
Also Check: Best Probiotic For Gas Bloating
How Baby Probiotics Work
Baby probiotics can help improve your childs gastrointestinal, or GI, tract through the introduction of live good bacteria strains, including Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Its crucial for your child to have a strong gastrointestinal tract for improved immune resistance and less susceptibility to distress from diet-related inflammation or irritation.
Baby probiotics can also improve the health of your childs bowel movements, since an increase in good bacteria reduces the risk of diarrhea, gas and constipation.
What Infant Gas Drops Are Safe And Effective
Infant gas drops contain simethicone, which breaks up gas bubbles and is also the main ingredient in common anti-gas medications for adults. Research as to how effective they are is mixed. Still, simethicone gas drops for babies are very safe, and some parents find theyre very effective.
Want to try infant gas drops to help your gassy baby? First, talk to your pediatrician about what kind to look for and how often to give them. And follow the dosing instructions on the bottle. Most will say you can give your baby drops up to 12 times per day, or at each feeding. Some parents find its helpful to give babies gas drops right before each feed to pre-empt gas problems, but check with your doctor to be sure.
Read the label and be sure to avoid drops with sodium benzoate or benzoic acid, which can be harmful to babies in large quantities.
And if a friend or relative brings a gas treatment from another country or one that isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration , don’t give it to your baby unless you get approval from your pediatrician. It could contain alcohol, sugar or other potentially harmful ingredients that aren’t clearly listed on the packaging.
You May Like: Simple Nature Gut Restore Ultimate Probiotic
Breastfeeding Crying And Colic
Dr. Claudia Frye, a pediatrician at UnityPoint Health in Bettendorf, Iowa said babies with colic tend to cry for prolonged periods, often at the same time of day every day. The fact that the study was dependent on parental reporting further calls into question the severity of the crying fits.
Some parents can have the fussiest baby in the world but tolerate it very well, she said. Others can get to wits end with their baby.
Frye said that the study has merit, but she cautioned that if an infant has asthma, eczema, or an autoimmune disorder, a probiotic should not be used.
The natural process of establishing the right balance of lactobacillus and other micro-organisms naturally in the intestine helps your body do what it is supposed to do with what you eat, she said. We need to understand how this works in the body.
Interfering with that processby not breast-feeding, giving an infant antibiotics, or keeping a baby in an overly sterile environmentmay lead to colic. Colic also can be caused by factors not related to stomach problems, such as an under-developed nervous system.
Treating Gas And Bloating
Belly bloat and gas pains are most often treated with dietary changes and lifestyle modifications. Changing what you eat may help reduce the amount of gas that you produce or help gas move through your system more quickly. Some find that keeping a journal of what they eat may help to pinpoint problem food items, while others find that smaller portions and making a point to thoroughly chew food is more effective.3
If youre a smoker, you might be swallowing excess air with every cigarette. Quitting can drastically affect your overall health, as well as reduce the potential for gas pains. Regular exercise has been found to be beneficial to your digestive system. It reduces the risk of constipation, which can cause a buildup of gas in your colon, leading to uncomfortable bloating.3
Read Also: Probiotics For Urinary Tract Infection
After Evivo The Baby Gas Will Pass
What to do about baby gas can be as simple as feeding baby Evivo mixed with breast milk once a day. Because tummy trouble, gas, bloating and discomfort can indicate an abundance of bad bacteria in babys gut, youll want to crowd out the bad bacteria with the good, B. infantis.
Evivo is the first and only clinically proven probiotic that reduces bad baby gas-causing bacteria by 80%, repopulating babys gut with B. infantis, the good bacteria 9 out of 10 babies are missing. Evivo reduces the amount of pathogenic bacteria linked to gas, as well as other potentially harmful pathogens like E. coli, C. diff, Staphylococcus , and Streptococcus .
FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $75 WITHIN THE CONTIGUOUS US.
* excluding Alaska , Hawaii and interternational
Evivo, a live beneficial bacteria, is shipped 2-day delivery to minimize time spent in warmer weather. But dont worry, Evivo will withstand a wide range of temperatures through the hottest and coldest seasons!
Orders placed after 10:30 am PST Thursday through Sunday, ship the first business day the following week to ensure your Evivo does not sit in the carriers delivery truck or facility over the weekend. Overnight orders placed Monday through Thursday before 11:30 am PST ship the same day.
See our FAQs for more information about Orders, Shipping, & Evivo’s Return Policy.
What Do Probiotics Help With
While probiotics may help infants with numerous different gut related issues, here are some of the main ones. Keep in mind that there is very little research on probiotics and infants but some clinical trials and anecdotal evidence has shown that they may be helpful for:
- easing colic
- improving mood, motivation, and cognitive health
- repairing damaged tissue from injuries
Even if your baby or toddler isnt experiencing any of these symptoms, chances are they still could benefit from a probiotic.
Recommended Reading: Best Probiotic Yogurt For Ibs
Why Are Probiotics Important
Lets back up for a second to talk about why youd want to take probiotics.
Our bodies are full of bacteria. And although that may sound like a bad thing, less than one percent of bacteria makes us sick. Other bacteria in our systems are considered good bacteria, since they are vital for our bodies to function and play a key role in keeping us healthy.
Probiotics ensure that our systems have enough good bacteria to function the way they are intended to.
What Time Of Day Is Best To Give Baby Probiotics
Always speak with your infants pediatrician about whenand ifit is appropriate to give your child probiotics. There is not one recommended time, but in general, the morning with the first bottle or feeding is best so that you can observe any potential adverse reactions throughout the day.
You May Like: Best Probiotic For Excessive Gas
Challenges To Implementation: Parents Will Need To Purchase The Probiotics
As with any nonFDA-regulated product, it will be important to guide patients toward reputable manufacturers to ensure homogeneity of dosing. A 29-day supply of BioGaia probiotic drops , which costs $37 according to the manufacturers Web site, , should be affordable for most parents. Otherwise, little stands in the way of using this therapy to reduce the crying and subsequent stress associated with infant colic.