17 Apr 2023 | 6 min Read
Author | 677 Articles
It is common for babies to experience a number of gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation, stomach ache, gas, and diarrhoea. These concerns usually occur due to your little one’s underdeveloped stomach and immunity. While several treatment methods are available to help with these issues, probiotics for babies stand out among them.
Probiotics are considered ‘good’ microorganisms that repair a malfunctioning digestive tract and promote a healthy gut. However, while most adults know the benefits of probiotics on gut health, parents may be hesitant to introduce them to their child’s diet.
But worry not, as experts consider probiotics safe for babies and encourage adding them to their diet. Read on as we tell you more about the benefits of probiotics for babies, and when can you introduce them to your little one’s diet.
Probiotics, also known as intestinal flora, are live bacteria that are similar to those naturally found in your gut. Unlike infectious bacteria, probiotic bacteria are considered good or friendly bacteria that help restore the population of existing bacteria in your gut.
Probiotic bacteria are naturally found in several foods, and they are also found in many commercially sold products.
Probiotics help your little one’s stomach in the following ways
Probiotics enhance your baby’s digestive health and also keep stomach infections at bay / Image caption: Pexels
Probiotics are generally categorised into two genera of bacteria—Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. These bacteria further have different strains and offer distinct benefits. Some of the benefits of probiotics for babies include
Yogurt and cereals are probiotic-enriched and you can safely add them to your infant’s duet / Image credit: Freepik
The best sources of probiotics for babies are
These foods can be safely introduced to your baby’s diet at the age of 12 months. In fact, there are many probiotic-enriched infant formulas available for babies as young as three months of age. However, it’s always a good idea to consult a paediatrician before giving probiotics to babies below the age of six months.
Probiotics are considered safe for babies, and they are unlikely to cause any dangerous side effects. However, in some cases, probiotics may trigger a mild allergy in your little one accompanied by other symptoms like bloating, the passing of gas, and tummy aches.
These side effects are mostly noticed when babies are administered higher than recommended doses of probiotics. The symptoms are usually mild and they only appear during the first few times your baby has probiotics and resolve after a few days upon regular consumption.
You can give your baby probiotic powder safely following the recommendations of your doctor. However, issues like milk allergy and lactose intolerance may become a problem, if your baby receives probiotics from yogurt. The ability to consume probiotic-rich yogurt varies as per their condition.
Probiotics for babies are crucial and a vital source of beneficial bacteria that improve their gut health and digestion. Thus, regular intake of probiotics may relieve several gastrointestinal issues in babies such as constipation, stomach infections, and bacteria.
However, make sure to consult your child’s doctor before introducing probiotics into their diet, and if they show signs of allergy, stop giving them probiotics immediately.
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Cover Image Credit: Freepik.com