As parents, we all want what is best for our children, but sometimes it can be difficult to wade through all of the information that is available on the latest health trends. One of these trends that have gotten a lot of attention in the last few years is the use of probiotics to improve digestive system health. While you may be aware of the use of probiotics for adults, you might not know that they are also available for babies. Read on to learn more about infant probiotics and why they may be important for your child.
What are Probiotics?
According to some NIH studies performed in 2013, ”There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi, in and on our bodies than there are human cells” but “microorganisms make up only about 1 to 3 percent of the body’s mass due to their small size, in comparison to human cells.” Sometimes referred to as beneficial bacteria, probiotics are microorganisms that serve an essential purpose within the body’s digestive system. They may perform functions such as helping us to maintain a healthy system through aiding in digestion and absorption of nutrients that would otherwise be unavailable, as well as synthesizing Vitamins B and K.
Why Use Infant Probiotics?
Babies get their gut flora from their mother’s amniotic fluid as well as the birth canal (for vaginal delivery) or mom’s skin (for c-section babies. Unfortunately, mom’s stomach flora is usually not optimum so infant probiotics can be used to balance things out. Weak stomach health can cause digestive issues (colic, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s Disease), problems with the immune system, changes in mood (check out the study here), weight problems, and skin issues. As you can see utilizing probiotics to improve your child’s stomach flora has the potential to play a significant role in improving their overall health.
How do You Administer Probiotics?
Infant probiotics come in a variety of forms to provide flexibility to parents seeking to administer them to their children. The two most common forms are powdered and liquid. Both of these forms can be mixed into a baby’s bottle and fed to the child normally once daily. Regardless of the method used for introducing probiotics into your infant’s diet, you should talk to your doctor about when the right time is to introduce them.