Fact Sheet: Probiotics For Infants And Children
From the Centre for Community Child Health
In recent years, probiotic supplementation in our foods and probiotics promoted as dietary supplements have become quite common. You will usually see probiotics advertised as an aid to gut health. For babies and children, probiotics are promoted as possibly being helpful for conditions as varied as diarrhoea, infant colic and allergy. However, evidence is mixed on whether probiotics are actually effective for a range of infant conditions.
All babies are born with a sterile gut. After birth, babies naturally introduce bacteria to their gut through the breast milk or formula they drink, and later through the food they eat. These bacteria are an important part of the way that humans digest food and extract all the necessary nutrients.They also play a role in your baby’s developing immune system. Probiotic supplements are intended to aid the bacterial colonisation of your baby’s gut or to restore it when it has been disrupted.
Importantly, probiotics have strain-specific effects, which means that different types of probiotics will act in different ways. Probiotics as a term is equivalent to canine for different dog breeds it gives you a broad idea, but no indication of whether you’re faced with a Chihuahua or a Doberman.
The most common groups of probiotics are:
- Saccharomyces boulardii
All of these different groups of probiotics can have different effects in the body.
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Best Baby Probiotics For Specific Conditions
While were still years away from knowing whether all infants and toddlers should take probiotics daily, there is solid science showing that certain strains can, in fact, help with specific health issues. A few examples:
Diarrhea: Runny poop is not uncommon among infants and young children. But if diarrhea persists, it can lead to dangerous dehydration. Taking antibiotics for an ear infection or other ailment makes diarrhea more likely. Fortunately, several studies show that a few select strains help prevent or alleviate diarrhea. These include Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, or LGG, found in Culturelle Kids Daily Chewables, Culturelle Daily Probiotic Packets, and MetaKids Baby Probiotic drops, as well as Saccharomyces boulardi lyo CNCM 1-745, available in FlorastorKids Daily Probiotic Supplement.
Colic: The probiotic L. reuteri DSM 17938 has been well-studied for infants with colic, and the best studies are those done on breastfed babies, Merenstein says. It wont get rid of colic completely, but it will decrease crying time. Some research suggests L. reuteri DSM 17938 may also relieve gastrointestinal upset associated with colic. This strain is found in BioGaia Protectis products, available as drops for infants or chewable tabs for older children, as well as Gerber Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops, Gerber Good Start Soothe Powder Infant Formula, and Pedia-Lax Probiotic Yums.
How We Chose The Best Baby Probiotics
To choose the best baby probiotic, we used the above guidance from Dr. Ferry to start our search. We looked for probiotics that had lactobacillus and/or bifidobacterium, which Dr. Ferry says are the two most common probiotic strains . We also researched which options were recommended the most by What to Expect community members and our contributing writer staff. We also made sure each probiotic had high reviews from other reviewers who tried them online.
Below, the best baby probiotics to ask your pediatrician about.
See registry advice and a custom baby gear checklist
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.
Is It Ok To Take Probiotics While Breastfeeding
Taking probiotics is fine for breastfeeding moms as long as they do so on a regular basis. There are probiotic foods in every body part. There are a lot of good bacteria in our intestinal tract that provide a source of energy for processing food to us when a large number of the less desirable bacteria do not live there.
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How To Introduce Probiotics To Your Chickens Feed
There are two ways that you can add probiotics to your birds diet. If you have a small flock, you can buy flavored versions of the probiotics especially the L. Acidophilus. The rate of about 0.7cc per bantam each day in drinking water should suffice.
For more massive flocks, you may want to consider poultry probiotic powder that contains a wide range of probiotics. That helps prevent illnesses to the entire flock. If one bird is ill, it lessens the chances of transmitting the illness to other birds.
How Do Breastfed Babies Get Probiotics
Powder and liquid probiotics can both be used as supplements. Either makes good smoothies and ice cubes, both of which can be mixed with babys formula or milk bottle. You can either put it straight into applesauce or blend it with the egg yolks. Additionally, theres the option of placing drops of the liquid probiotic in babies mouths directly.
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How Often Should I Give My Baby Probiotics
diarrhea treatment may also help if you have Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus reuteri, or Lactobacillus rhamnosus.As an additional consideration, dosage should also be taken into account.It has been shown that giving infants and children around 5 to 10 billion colony-forming units of colony-forming units every day is sufficient to establish good bacteria in the body.
How Can Baby Probiotics Help Your Infant’s Health
Studies have proven that microbes are a crucial component of maintaining both general and gastrointestinal health. Probiotics are particularly important for infants because at birth babies have a sterile GI system. This is because exposure to bacteria before birth can be dangerous to the fetus. So for those nine months, babies live and grow in a sterile safe zone that is microbe-free.
However, after birth, microbes like probiotics begin to be introduced into babies bodies which helps to strengthen their immune system and prevent infections. Infant probiotics aid immunity, boost infection resistance and nutrient absorption, and promote detoxification and metabolism!
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Is It Bad To Hold Baby Chicks
There is not much to be concerned about when holding your chicks. You can hold them from the time they are dry and fluffy. Be very gentle while holding these young chicks so that you do not hurt them. Encircle the chicks body with your hand and allow its head to peek out of your hand. Do not hold them so tightly that they struggle to move at all, as it may distress them. Avoid holding a baby chick by its wings, head, feet, or tail.
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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 .
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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.
Do Newborn Need Probiotics
The supplementation of probiotics to a newborn is unnecessary, but it helps increase the friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract.
The use of probiotics is recommended for babies born via cesarean section. If the mother is not in the best health condition during pregnancy it can affect the babys gut.
When the baby is about to eat solid foods or takes antibiotics, they can experience constipation or tummy problems.
Image Source: Baby Centre
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Reasons Why You Would Give Probiotics To Your Baby Or Young Child
Probiotics are beneficial for adults and children alike, but why and when would you give probiotics to your child?
Our gut microbiome plays a central role in supporting our health in a variety of ways. You may have recently read numerous blogs or research papers focusing on the positive impact of live bacteria on our immunity, digestive function and even the ability to alter our attention, behaviour and mood.1,2 Perhaps you would like to support your childs health by optimising their gut flora, yet have a few questions we aim to answer.
The number of bacteria in the body, including our gut microbiome lining the gastrointestinal tract outnumbers even the bodys own cells. It has been known for a long time that the bacteria play a role in digestion yet a new field of study is finding that these bacteria can influence many organ systems in the body, including diseases of the digestive tract, immune system and even the brain.
Over the past decade or so, weve seen a huge growth in childhood allergies, behavioural problems and chronic disease. Many experts now consider disrupted microbiome as a major contributory factor, and one that is possible to do something about using simple appropriate dietary changes and supplements.
Why and when to consider probiotics for your child:
- My baby was born via C-section
Certain probiotics have been designed to include the prebiotic GOS in order to most closely emulate breastmilk.
- Following Antibiotic Medication
- Baby Thrush & Feedback to Mum
What To Look For At The Grocery Store
“With probiotic foods, the marketing hype is way ahead of the science,” says Dr. Greer. But we do know that the best sources of friendly bacteria are dairy foods such as yogurt, kefir , and aged cheeses such as cheddar and gouda. These foods also are all heavy in vital nutrients like protein, calcium, and, in some cases, vitamin D, which are more reasons they’re smart food choices. And evidence has shown that the live cultures in yogurt can help kids who have a lactose intolerance, which makes it hard for them to digest lactose, the natural sugar in milk. Regardless, when you’re shopping for yogurt, look for the Live & Active Cultures Seal, which was developed by the National Yogurt Association to identify a product that in theory will impart the most health benefits.
Keep in mind that the shortage of scientific studies on food products doesn’t necessarily mean that these items aren’t effective. Some of the foods that do contain a probiotic punch of at least 1 billion CFUs include Activia yogurt, Attune nutrition bars, GoodBelly fruit drinks, Yakult cultured milk drink, and Yo-Plus yogurt. They’re also safe for young children, says Dr. Merenstein. But whether these foods actually live up to such claims as regulating the digestive system, preventing diarrhea, or enhancing overall immunity in kids still remains to be seen.
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Prebiotics And Probiotics For Healthy Chickens
Feeding your flock of poultry healthy foods, including fiber-rich vegetables and fruits that are chock full of prebiotics will help feed the beneficial bacteria in their digestive systems. Adding probiotics in the form of apple cider vinegar, fermented foods, or a probiotic supplement every day is a wonderful way to keep your chickens healthy and happy.
Even if you dont think of your chickens as pets, they still need to stay healthy so they can continue to provide you with delicious, nutritious eggs and meat. If their gut bacteria get out of whack, you can be sure that egg production will drop off or their eggs will have thin shells or pale yolks because they wont be able to extract as much nutrition from their feed.
Do you feed your chickens a probiotic or prebiotics to keep them healthy? Leave a comment!
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Why A Healthy Microbiome Is The Foundation For Optimal Health
Microbiomes are clusters of bacteria and other organisms found in and on our bodies. Beneficial gut bacteria called probiotics, as well as certain strains of beneficial yeast, all work together to form a symbiotic community of microflora that aid in immune regulation, digestion, the assimilation of nutrients, the breakdown of toxins, and so, so much more.
Your childs gut, specifically, is home to tens of trillions of those organisms, including up to 1,000 species of bacteria. And, since 60-80% of her immune system lives within her gut, a disruption in the balance of bacteria makes her more susceptible to illnesses and infections, and can even set her on the path to chronic illness.
If bad bacteria, yeasts, or even parasites are able to overpower the good bacteria in your childs gut, it could lead to a huge array of symptoms, including everything from seasonal allergies to eczema and skin rashes to asthma to difficulty concentrating and ADHD, and more.
Ultimately this proliferation of bad bacteria can lead to , which is one of the primary precursors for developing autoimmune disease, as well as virtually all chronic illnesses.
Scientists are only just beginning to understand the full importance the microbiome plays in our health, and new research is emerging every day that further confirms that building a diverse and thriving microbiome is a critical step in achieving optimal overall health.
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Baby Chicks: The Definitive Care Guide
Raising chicks is fun, educational and is one of the most rewarding things you will do!Chicks are cute and endearing, but they do have some special needs and we hope to guide you through the process of raising a baby chick to a hen.In our complete guide to raising chicks we will cover everything you need to know from brooder requirements, care to health problems and much moreWe will also discuss the equipment you will need to successfully raise chicks.
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.
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Which Is The Best Probiotic For Babies
As mentioned, not all probiotics will suit the baby biome. You need to find a probiotic that has been specifically researched for infants. Some of the best strains for babies include:
- Bifidobacterium breve M-16V®
Healthcare professionals can find more detailed information about each strain on the Probiotics Database.
When Can Chicks Go Outside Permanently
Fully feathered is the point when chickens can self-regulate body temperatures. They do it by fluffing their feathers and creating air layers. However, take some time before allowing your chicks to sleep outside. Wind or rain can easily chill a chick. Under the right weather conditions, they can spend the whole day outdoors. If you have a flock, introduce the chicks into it slowly.
Build an outside playpen for your chicks that gives them enough outdoor time while protecting them from cats or other predators. Keep it fully enclosed, and the openings too small for the chick to squeeze through. Having an open-top may attract small wild birds that are capable of spreading disease.
Keep food and fresh, clean water available in the playpen. Arrange shade and a tiny shelter for the chicks to rest. Cardboard boxes are a good option.When you have to move them indoors for rain or when it is dark, carry them one at a time out of the playpen. When you move them inside, turn the heat lamp off as babies are now about 6 weeks old. Make the transition gradually from a heated indoors to outside shelter. Let them experience days and nights within your house.
During these field trips, you may see one or two sick chicks as new environments bring new exposure. If they show any signs or symptoms of any disease, consult the vet and treat your chicks. A few health problems are coccidiosis , infectious bronchitis, Mareks disease , omphalitis, and Salmonella.
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