When Can Babies Have Probiotics
The source of the probiotic determines when your baby can have it. Here is the average age to introduce probiotics to the baby, depending on the different food sources:
- Yogurt: 12 months. You can try introducing it around the age of nine months .
- Soy milk: 12 months
- Cottage cheese: 12 months
- Probiotic drops, infant formula, and infant cereal: Probiotic drops and infant formula may be available for babies as young as three months old. However, it is best to consult the doctor before giving probiotics to infants below the age of six months. Infants older than six months can safely have probiotic infant cereal, formula, and drops.
- Fermented soy, milk, and vegetable products: Several traditionally fermented products contain strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Examples of milk-based fermented products are kefir and some types of cheese. Miso and tempeh are fermented soy delicacies that are a dairy-free source of probiotic. Kimchi and Sauerkraut are preparations made by fermenting vegetables with bacteria.
Most cheeses and other fermented milk preparations can be safely introduced to babies at the age of 12 months.
Fermented soy and vegetable preparations can also be given at 12 months, but since they contain high quantities of sodium, consult a pediatrician before trying them.
What Types Of Probiotics Help Acid Reflux
Probiotics that contain strains from lactobacilli and bifidobacteria may be helpful with acid reflux and associated issues.
Probiotics of high quality can offer various benefits to the microbiome, including relief from GERD, aiding in digestion, optimizing bowel movements, supporting immune function, and weight loss. Probiotics may also be helpful with GI symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome , diarrhea, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth .
Probiotic supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way that pharmaceutical drugs are. This means there is not a standard of quality that probiotics are required to meet during manufacture. When seeking relief from gastrointestinal abnormalities such as GERD, it is recommended to purchase probiotics that research has proven effective. Omni-biotic probiotics have been researched and have been shown to improve gastrointestinal symptoms by the user.
In studies, specific probiotic strains from the genus Lactobacilli have decreased gastric acid production in an animal model and increased pepsinogen . PGI may help improve digestion and decrease gastric residence time. Bifidobacterium adhered to stomach cells and prompted mucin production, improving the gastric barrier to acidic stomach content.
These bacteria strains may be more effective than other stains due to limited evidence between probiotic strains. The limited evidence is related to small quantities of available trials.
Elevate Baby While Eating
While its tempting to use your nursing pillow and feed baby as he lays down, its best to have him sit upright. This ensures that the milk goes down into the stomach versus staying up in the esophagus, which causes the discomfort. You can also have baby lean slightly against your chest if youre bottle feeding, or have baby nurse upright. A Boppy pillow can be helpful for positioning baby upright after meals, too.
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What Are Probiotics Anyway
Before getting too far into a discussion on whether or not your child needs probiotics, lets take a look at what they are and how they work. When considering giving your child any medication or supplement, it is always essential to understand what it is and how it serves your child.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that occur naturally in the intestinal tract. They help keep the gut microbiome in a state of healthy balance for proper digestion and overall well-being. Sometimes people refer to these bacteria and yeasts as good bugs.
Our bodies need probiotics to maintain this balance. In previous generations, people were able to consume proper amounts through their diets, thanks to their reliance on canning and preserving. This fact of life ensured that they ate enough fermented foods to get a good dose of probiotics. Throughout the world, every culture had some sort of fermented food as a staple of their diet.
In addition, earlier generations did not have the proliferation of antibiotics in regular use that we have today. Antibiotics disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, often leading to gastrointestinal distress.
Until very recently, our modern western diet has been significantly lacking in naturally occurring probiotics. The reliance on highly processed foods and the lack of fermented foods has led to widespread intestinal problems for many westerners. And research suggests that this imbalance in the gut leads to other health concerns as well.
Do Probiotics Help Treat Infants With Colic
What is colic?
Colic is excessive crying of unknown cause in babies less than 3 months old.
The scientific definition for colic is:crying or fussing more than 3 hours of the day for more than 3 days of the week.
Colic is a diagnosis that can only be made after the baby has been examined and it is felt that the babys crying is not due to any medical cause.
How common is colic?
Colic is very common, affecting around 1 in 5 babies less than 3 months old.
What are the symptoms of colic ?
The symptoms of colic usually start within the first few weeks of life, with the crying usually peaking at 6 to 8 weeks, then spontaneously resolving after 3 to 4 months. Parents usually report babies with colic to have unpredictable episodes of crying that are hard to soothe, often occurring in the late afternoons and evenings. The crying babies may look like they are in pain because they often draw up their legs, arch their back and pass wind, often because of swallowing air during crying.
Why do babies get colic?
No one knows why babies get colic, despite years of research. Some people think it is the extreme spectrum of normal baby crying. Some people think it is because of pain originating from the gut.Others think it is because of the babys temperament, affected by the mothers mood. None of these theories have scientifically been proven to be true.
What are the effects of colic?
What treatments are currently recommended for colic?
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Four Risk Factors For Reflux In Infants
One of the biggest ones is maternal antibiotic use during pregnancy. This can happen for a number of reasons: to deal with group B streptococcus , other infections that a mother might get, or even maternal antibiotic use prior to pregnancy. What we know now is that the mothers gut flora profoundly influences the babys gut flora. Researchers used to think that the babys gut was completely sterile until they are born essentially, until they moved down the birth canal, where their first exposure to bacteria is in the vaginal canalthe baby gets exposed to both the vaginal microbiota and feces, and that was the initial colonization, and that totally determines the kind of imprint of gut flora that the baby gets. But theres actually some recent research that suggests colonization of the babys gut actually happens in utero, or it begins in utero. So the status of the mothers gut health, both prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy, is providing that initial imprint of the babys gut flora. So for people who are planning to conceive, women who are planning to conceive, its really crucial to do everything that they can to optimize their own gut microbiota prior to conceiving. Thats in an ideal world. Of course, not everyone knows this or has the opportunity to do this, so we always have to just start from where we can. But its never too late to pay attention to this.
How To Recognize It
Reflux is a common problem among young infants. While reflux isnt necessarily dangerous, it can cause problems for your babies, such as poor feeding and fussiness.
The stomach acids that are normally squelched by the esophagus can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing pain.
If your baby is fussy after feedings due to reflux symptoms, you may be considering trying probiotics to help reduce or prevent them.
There are many different symptoms of acid reflux in infants including feeding problems like:
- spitting up or vomiting after eating
- crying during or even immediately after feedings
- excessive sweating around the face and chest area due to increased body temperature from trying not to vomit out acidic bile into the esophagus.
Its confusing when so many different symptoms arise around the same time. The cause of infant acid reflux is not fully understood by current medical science, but treatments are available to get things back on track quickly.
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Development Of The Gut Microbiome
Babies begin to develop their unique intestinal bacterial profile, known as the gut microbiome, even before birth as they are exposed to bacteria in the womb. During the birth process, the gut becomes further colonized with bacteria from the mother.
A 2019 study found that 63% of infants’ gut bacteria matched their mother’s bacterial profile, demonstrating that maternal health directly affects babies’ health from birth.
Other factors that influence strains of gut bacteria in early life include exposure to antibiotics, premature birth, genetics, and nutrition. Breast milk naturally contains probiotics, and while many infant formulas have probiotics added to them, the research is unclear on whether they provide the same benefits for gut health.
Data Collection And Collation
All study participants will be assigned a study ID. Electronic data will be stored in a secure password-protected database. All paper data collected will be stored at the site, and only the study team will have access to the data. The study results will be independently analysed at the end of the study. No interim analysis is planned. The GM and metabolomics data detected from stool samples will be analysed by the Key Laboratory of Dairy Biotechnology and Engineering, Ministry of Education. All records that contain names or other personal identifiers referring to a specific volunteer, such as ID number and informed consent forms, will be stored separately from the study records. The database will be password protected by the data management team .
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How Probiotics Can Help With Acid Reflux
Probiotics do not increase stomach acid and may help protect against the ill effects of acid reflux.
Lactobacillus johnsonii was shown to have the opposite effect on hydrochloric acid production in a study involving mice.
Bifidobacterium bifidum has been shown to promote the production of mucin, a type of protein that improves the stomach barrier to acidic gastric contents.
Lactobacillus gasseri increases pepsin, an enzyme that helps digest dietary protein, and may improve digestion and absorption. Probiotics can be a solution to GERD, and the bacteria strains listed above may help with adverse symptoms.
Probiotics may help with acid reflux by modulating the esophageal microbiome. Changes in the esophageal microbiota are associated with esophageal diseases such as GERD. Similar factors cause dysbiosis in the esophagus just as they do in the gut, including antibiotic use, lifestyle choices, and food-borne pathogens.
When dysbiosis occurs in the esophagus, an inflammatory response is activated, leading to damage by acid and bile. Probiotics that include bacteria strains from the genus lactobacillus and bifidobacterium showed reduced gastrointestinal symptoms.
The bacteria strain Bifidobacterium bifidum may help regulate a pathway that helps stimulate antibodies for the immune system. The effects of this mechanism can reduce abdominal pain and improve the interactions between nutrients, secretions, and enzymes in the gut and the esophageal tissue in people with GERD.
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.
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Be Sensitive To Their Tummies
If tummy time is uncomfortable, dont push it. Although this position is key for their early development, its not going to be effective if it really hurts them.Keep this time short if they start crying, then sit them upright, or put a cushion under their torso.
Using tight baby carriers can also cause discomfort to your little one if they have silent reflux. Be gentle when winding too.
Why Developing Tummies Need Different Probiotics
Shockingly, by age 4 your baby’s microbiome has almost finished developing and closely resembles that of a full-grown adult! Love Bug Infant Probiotics targets the crucial “First 12 Months” developmental window with the strains studied for infant development. Make sure that the strains included in your probiotic include:
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Nursing Mom Elimination Diet
Dairy can cause problems, because the proteins found in this food can irritate babys immature digestive tract. If you suspect this may be the case, give up the offending food/drink for a good month before you determine if its the culprit. Other common allergens include wheat, gluten, citrus, coffee, nuts, eggs, and soy.
Benefits Of Taking Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that provide many health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts.
They have been shown to help with allergies, eczema, diarrhea, constipation, gastrointestinal disease, blood pressure regulation, weight gain, brain function, and respiratory tract infections.
However, these studies have been mainly conducted on adults, seniors, and children.
The benefits of probiotics in infants are still being researched, but preliminary evidence is promising.
Probiotics have been shown time and time again to help reduce the symptoms of infant acid reflux by balancing out digestive flora levels in the gut and helping break down food more efficiently so they dont end up sitting in their stomach too long and causing discomfort.
In fact, studies show that infants who take probiotic supplements experience fewer spit-up episodes than those who dont!
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Probiotics May Reduce The Side Effects Of Acid Reflux Medications
Not only can probiotics improve symptom control when used with heartburn medications. They may actually reduce complications of these popular drugs.
The use of PPIs is linked to the development of SIBO, as normal stomach acidity helps prevent the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. PPIs work by reducing stomach acid levels, allowing gut bacteria to grow unchecked and increasing the likelihood of pathogens taking up residence in the gut . This effect can create a vicious cycle of GERD medications creating more acid reflux symptoms.
Fortunately, in patients with GERD, the use of probiotics alongside PPIs significantly decreases the likelihood of developing SIBO when compared to placebo. Additionally, probiotics reduce the associated symptoms of gas, bloating and diarrhea .
Help Ease Eczema Outbreaks
Recent research has shown surprising links between gut health and skin conditions. Eczema is a common childhood complaint and can range from mild irritation to painful, open sores. Topical steroids are often the first option offered by pediatricians, but prolonged use can have side effects such as bruising and thinning of the skin.
Fortunately, the introduction of probiotics may be effective in limiting or stopping eczema outbreaks. Look for options that include the strains Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus fermentum.
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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.
Although some have speculated that lactobacillus reuteri is present in breast milk, Greer and Frye dont believe it. Frye said the bacteria can colonize a mothers skin, so breast-fed babies might get it that way.
As a grandfather of five grandchildren below the age of six, all exclusively breast-fed, they all had fussy times of days, Greer said.
Evivo Baby Probiotic Starter Kit With Live B Infantis
Why its great: This probiotic kit comes with a 30 day supply, as well as a mixing bowl and syringe. Its the perfect choice for your baby as it doesnt contain any additives or artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Its also gluten-free. This probiotic is the only probiotic for babies on the market that contains the B. infantis EVC001 strain. This strain is stored and processed in such a way that it can consume the bacteria from breast milk better than any other strain. On top of that, its clinically proven to remove 80% of bad bacteria, while still increasing the good bacteria by 79%. This probiotic helps to reduce colic, diaper rash, and allergies.
Keep in mind: This one does need to be stored in the freezer or you can have it in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Good for: Parents that want the most effective probiotic thats been clinically proven to work.
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