Probiotics For Babies: When To Introduce, Benefits, And Safety Considerations

Probiotics For Babies: When To Introduce, Benefits, And Safety Considerations

17 Apr 2023 | 6 min Read

Sudeshna Chakravarti

Author | 799 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. 

What Are Probiotics?

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.

How Do Probiotics Work?

Probiotics help your little one’s stomach in the following ways

  • Boosts the existing gut bacteria population: Stomach infections due to food increase the number of bad bacteria in your baby’s stomach. The bad bacteria may further overpower the good bacteria in their gut, and reduce their population. Probiotics control the infection-causing bacteria in the first place by cutting down their numbers.
  • Promotes the production of healthy intestinal bacteria: Frequent infections may reduce the population of healthy bacteria in your little one’s gut. Probiotics restore good intestinal bacteria and keep your little one’s tummy healthy.

5 Benefits Of Probiotics For Babies

Probiotics For Babies

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

  • It aids in better digestion: The good bacteria in the gut play a crucial role in better digestion. Moreover, consuming probiotics stimulate the production of mucus inside the intestine, which further boosts digestion, and decreases the chances of constipation. Due to these reasons, probiotics are particularly beneficial for babies starting a solid diet.
  • It decreases gas: Regular intake of probiotics helps reduce flatulence and bloating in infants. Gas is also associated with colic, so in a  way, probiotics can help prevent it.
  • It reduces the risk of stomach infection: Probiotics keep a check on your little one’s gut health, and minimise the risk of frequent stomach infections.
  • It improves immune functions: Intestinal bacteria produce several vitamins that are essential in improving intestinal immunity. Since probiotics enhance the production of good intestinal bacteria, they play an indirect role in vitamin synthesis and enhanced immunity.
  • It prevents stomach concerns like diarrhoea: Frequent stomach infections can lead to loose stools and diarrhoea in your baby. Probiotics make your baby’s intestine more robust at fighting infections and reduce the chances of diarrhoea.

Common Sources Of Probiotics For Babies

Probiotics For Babies

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

  • Yogurt
  • Probiotic-enriched infant cereal
  • Probiotic infant formula
  • Cottage cheese
  • Probiotic drops or powder for babies
  • Fermented soy, milk, or vegetable products

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.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Probiotics For Babies?

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. 

Are Probiotics Safe For Babies With Milk Allergy?

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.

  • Milk allergy: If your baby has a milk allergy, they may not be able to digest cow’s milk. Hence, you should avoid giving them all kinds of milk products, including yogurt.
  • Lactose intolerance: Your baby may still be able to tolerate yogurt with this condition. Start with a minimal quantity of yogurt, and observe if your child has any abnormal symptoms like bloating, gas, or a stomach ache. If they are able to tolerate yogurt well, then gradually increase the quantity of probiotics in their diet.


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.

Recommended Baby Care Products:

Tummy Relief Roll-On

Bamboo Water Wipes

Vapour Patch Combo

Also Read:

Remedies for stomach pain in babies: Check out these effective home remedies that help soothe and prevent tummy aches in your little one.

Mucus in baby poop: What does mucus in your baby’s poop indicate? Get all the details in this post including treatment methods.

Vomiting in babies: Here are some necessary steps to take if your little one is vomiting and ways to soothe them.

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