Probiotics Your Infant + Toddler Need
B.Bifidum: one of the first strains to colonize in the babys intestines may help build immunity and eliminate eczema.
B. Infantis: helps with immunity and reduces inflammation as the bacteria crowds the gut and makes it inhospitable to foreign invaders to populate it.
L. Rheuteri: this strain is commonly found in probiotics as studies have shown that is helps treat colic and reflux.
What Are Baby Probiotics And What Are The Benefits
“Probiotics are good bacteria that normally should be living in our intestines, and which begin to colonize our intestines from the time we are in the womb, explains Jenelle Ferry, M.D., a neonatologist and the director of feeding, nutrition and infant development at Pediatrix Medical Group of Florida. We want to keep a healthy balance of this good bacteria in our gut to out-compete the bad bacteria.
Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are the two most common probiotic strains, and besides being available as supplements, they can also be found in naturally fermented foods like yogurt.
According to Dr. Ferry, probiotics can help support better digestion as well as the immune response. “The best supporting evidence we have for probiotics in older infants and in toddlers is to aid with some GI illnesses. Use of probiotics can shorten the duration of gastroenteritis and help the post-diarrheal illness recovery,” she says.
Help Soothe The Side Effects Of Antibiotics
Children are pretty much Petri dishes when it comes to germs. They can catch, grow, and spread illnesses at an incredible rate. Ear infections, strep throat, and other bacterial infections often require the use of an antibiotic.
As the name suggests, an antibiotic is the opposite of a probiotic. In its work of eliminating the unhealthy bacteria, it also can disrupt much of the good bacteria in your childs gut. This imbalance is why so many children experience stomach and intestinal distress when they are on an antibiotic. Constipation, stomach aches, and diarrhea are common side effects.
Giving your child a probiotic during treatment can help alleviate these issues. In particular, probiotics with the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG appear to provide the most significant benefit in avoiding intestinal problems such as diarrhea.
Read Also: Custom Probiotics Acidophilus And Bifidus
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.
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
- weight loss
- 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.
Don’t Miss: Would Probiotics Help With Gas
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.
Final Message: Reflux In Babies Is A Mixed Bag
What worked for one mama and her babe may not work for you and yours. And chances are that more than one approach will yield better results.
In my personal experience and when working with other mamas, I have found that these three things matter most:
Sometimes, adding traditional Chinese herbs to the mix can also help. Especially if baby isnt putting on weight or when reflux persists for longer than 12 weeks.
This is something to talk about with your local pediatric acupuncturist!
Recommended Reading: Do Probiotics Help With Hemorrhoids
What Most Parents Don’t Know About Probiotics And Acid Reflux Babies
ByAndy Lim | Submitted On November 24, 2007
Whenever babies spit up and regurgitate, the medical professionals identify this condition as acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease . Parents find that feeding babies who are suffering from GERD is very challenging. This disease also affects their growth. In addition, they suffer from chronic lung disease, wheezing and coughing. For young babies, death is possible when they experience apnea.
One of the common medications for acid reflux babies is Zantac. However, it doesn’t prevent or cure acid reflux. Babies who take Zantac may experience some side effects. Many parents notice that their babies lost their appetite during the course of this treatment.
Some parents have turned to probiotics and used them to treat acid reflux babies. Probiotics have proven its effectiveness as a reliable treatment for indigestion in many studies. This means that they can help babies to digest their food better.
Population of probiotics in infants can be reduced in two ways. First, the administration of antibiotics into their bodies will destroy both good and bad bacteria. Second, when babies have acid reflux, it will decrease the population of probiotics.
You can correct the balance of flora in babies by giving probiotics to them. When the balance is restored,the incidence of acid reflux usually decreases. Can you see now how important is probiotics especially for babies with GERD?
Do Probiotics Have Side Effects In Babies
Probiotics are considered safe for infants and are unlikely to have any dangerous side effects . There is little research on the potential side effects of long-term consumption of probiotics. However, probiotics are known to trigger a mild allergy with the following symptoms:
- Mild stomach ache
Side effects of probiotics are mostly seen with higher than recommended doses, yet are mild and do not impact the babys health. Also, the symptoms mostly appear the first few times a baby has probiotics and disappear after a few days, with regular probiotic consumption.
Read Also: Is Probiotics Good For Babies
What Is A Silent Reflux Diet
This diet is a lifestyle change that eliminates or limits trigger foods known to irritate your throat or weaken your esophageal muscles. Unlike acid reflux or GERD, silent reflux can cause little or no symptoms until it has progressed to later stages.
How can I Help my Baby with acid reflux?
The following tips may help alleviate symptoms in babies with reflux. Feeding a baby with reflux can be challenging. Breastfed babies who have reflux may try to soothe the pain by nursing, which can exacerbate the issue. Formula-fed infants can go longer stretches between feedings, however, this is also not ideal for babies with reflux. 2
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.
You May Like: Can Probiotics Make You Tired
Overuse Of Stomach Prescriptions
A common way to treat acid reflux is by using stomach acid blockers called proton pump inhibitors . The function of these drugs is to block stomach acid.
A recent analysis showed that over 80% of patients given the medicines in the category called proton pump inhibitors had no valid indication for use. The use of these drugs is now linked to an increased risk of serious infections, memory loss, and more.
PPIs are sometimes needed and beneficial. Keep in mind, they are indicated for short-term use.
Yet people stay on them for years, even decades.
Many people recover and feel so much better if they choose to add in natural treatments for heartburn such as probiotics whenever possible. They absorb their food better and have more energy as well.
Benefits Of Probiotic Supplements For Babies
Theres still a lot of research that needs to be done on giving probiotics to infants, says Carrie Kaufmann, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Stanford Childrens Health in Palo Alto, California, adding that she doesnt see it as a necessary supplement for every baby.
There are some cases where a probiotic supplement may be beneficial, though, including:
Read Also: Organic Protein Superfoods And Probiotics
Hold Baby Upright For At Least 30 Minutes After A Feeding
I kept Quincy upright for 30-60 minutes after a feeding. This makes nursing to sleep and night feeds challenging. If he fell asleep while nursing, I would just hold him upright on my shoulder, burping him off and on until I got a few good ones. And then when I laid him down, he was still elevated. Also, babywearing can be a huge help to make that time go buy quickly.
Probiotic Use Saves Money And Increases Child Health
At 3 months, the researchers found that the children who received the probiotic supplement emptied their bowels more each day, compared with the placebo group at 4.2 times versus 3.6 times.
The infants who had the probiotic also had a lower average vomiting and crying rate each day, compared with the placebo group, at 38 minutes versus 71 minutes and 2.9 times versus 4.6 times, respectively.
Furthermore, probiotic use was associated with an average saving of $119 per patient in each family.
The researchers note that probiotic use did not cause any adverse effects in the infants.
Driving a change of colonization during the first weeks of life through giving lactobacilli may promote an improvement in intestinal permeability visceral sensitivity and mast cell density and probiotic administration may represent a new strategy for preventing these conditions, at least in predisposed children.
The investigators note that since early life gastrointestinal disorders present a large morbidity burden and socioeconomic impact, further research is urgently needed to validate their results and create suitable interventions.
In a comment linked to the study, Dr. Bruno P. Chumpitazi and Dr. Robert Shulman, of the Baylor College of Medicine at Texas Childrens Hospital, note that although there have been no adverse effects reported from infant probiotic use so far, further studies are needed to determine its safety.
Read Also: What Is Spore Based Probiotics
If You Want To Prevent Antibiotic
If your baby is on an antibiotic for any reason, diarrhea may be a side effect, and a probiotic might help, according to Kaufmann. Based on findings, there seems to be an overall protective effect of probiotics in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
In fact, a double blind, placebo-controlled study found that infants receiving probiotics had less episodes of diarrhea than the control group Jirapinyo P, Densupsoontorn N, Thamonsiri N, Wongarn R. Prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in infants by probiotics. J Med Assoc Thai. 2002.85 2:S739-42. .
Different Strains Do Different Things
Not all probiotics are created equal. Various bacteria and yeast strains offer different benefits. It is important to take a look at labels to be sure you are getting the most effective strain possible for what your child needs. The most common types of probiotics are:
- Lactobacillus: often found in milk and fermented foods
- Bifidobacterium: found in some dairy products
- Saccharomyces boulardii: a probiotic yeast
Each type has different strains that can address specific difficulties. The experts at NW Pediatric and Family Nutrition can help you understand and choose the best one for your child.
You May Like: Probiotics Are Which Of The Following
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.
Surgery For Infant Reflux
In rare cases when GERD symptoms become life-threatening, a surgical procedure called fundoplication may be performed. Your pediatrician may recommend it if:
- GERD lasts well beyond the first year of life and does not improve with treatment.
- Your infant develops recurrent aspiration pneumonia caused by regurgitated stomach contents that are breathed into the airways.
- Your baby has episodes of apnea, in which they are fully or partially unable to breathe for more than 20 seconds when regurgitating.
- They develop an irregular heart rhythm, known as bradycardia.
- Their airways become damaged, resulting in a chronic lung disease called bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
- Your infant is not growing properly due to malnutrition.
- Your babys esophagus is abnormally tight due to inflammation, a condition that increases their risk of choking.
During fundoplication surgery, the top of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus, tightening the LES and making it more difficult for food to come out of the stomach.
Although it can be an effective solution for children with severe reflux that doesnt respond to medication, fundoplication surgery is a major surgical procedure that has a number of possible complications. The procedure might not be effective for some children.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Good Probiotics
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.