From the moment they are born, a baby’s gut starts changing and growing. How it develops can make a big difference in their health. Learn how a probiotic can nudge them towards a healthy gut.
Why Your Infant’s Gut Health Matters
What does it look like when an infant has a healthy gut microbiome?
- They get more nutrients out of the milk they drink or food they eat and grow steadily.
- They have the right amount of stomach acid so that they don’t get reflux.
- They have a thick mucus in their intestines that prevents inflammation.
- They process all their food so they are not gassy or constipated.
- They are happy, alert, and sleep well.
That’s just the start. A healthy infant gut can mean an allergy-free life.
Multiple studies have shown that babies with healthy gut bacteria have high levels of calming immune cells (Treg) and lower levels of allergic immune cells.
On the other hand, babies missing certain bacterial strains will have less calming immune cells, a weaker gut barrier, and a weaker skin barrier that is more prone to eczema and food allergies.
How Probiotics Help
Parents can help their baby grow up with a strong, but calm, immune system by
- Breastfeeding if possible
- Exposing them to as few antibiotics, leads, & molds as possible
- Feeding them a high fiber, low sugar diet with early allergen exposure when they start eating food
Together, with a probiotic, these choices will create a healthy gut and a healthy immune system.
In the same way that a daily multivitamin can supplement a healthy diet, a probiotic can supplement healthy lifestyle choices.
Probiotics add helpful bacteria strains into an infant’s gut. With the assistance of a healthy diet, these strains will begin to thrive in an infant’s GI system. Probiotics can also out-compete unhelpful bacteria that cause disease, removing them from a baby's system.
Research on specific strains used during the first year of a child’s life show
- Reduced fever, cough, and runny noses
- Reduced need for antibiotics
- Reduced risk of eczema
Where to Find a Good Probiotic
The right infant probiotic has strains of bacteria that are most commonly found in babies with healthy developing immune systems, which includes Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Make sure that the probiotic you choose has enough CFUs (colony forming units) of each strain (often ~5B each). A super packed probiotic with 20 strains may not have enough of any one to be useful.
Lastly, make sure that the probiotic is delivered in a liquid or powder that is not full of chemicals or unwanted materials preservatives.
The right probiotic can work to support and enhance healthy breastfeeding, formula-feeding, or solids to ensure a baby stays happy, engaged, sleeps well, and is free of tummy troubles.
Lil Mixins has infant probiotics optimized for infants who are breastfeeding and infants who are formula feeding to make sure baby is able to get the most out of their meals and lay down a healthy gut.
Related: learn how prenatal probiotics can help regulate the immune system during pregnancy.