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“Why can’t I have a happy baby like everyone else?”
It’s a question that I’ve heard time and time again from parents of a fussy or colicky baby. It’s hard to remember, during those epic Screamfests, that your baby doesn’t feel well.
It’s hard to see your precious little one in pain—especially due to a seemingly incurable bothered belly.
The good news is that science has come a LONG way towards identifying and treating digestive issues in young children and one of their best new discoveries lies in something called infant probiotics.
What Infant Probiotics Are (and What They Aren’t)
In short: Probiotics are bacteria that live in the gut.
Before you get all stereotypical and “bacterist” on me, let me correct your assumption.
It’s true that most bacteria are BAD, but infant probiotics are not on that side of the intestinal tracks tracts. They are actually quite heroic, helping promote a healthy digestive tract and immune system.
The thing is, it’s pretty easy for bacterial balance (“gut flora,” if that sounds better) to get out-of-whack. Probiotics, which occur naturally in your body, help to balance that bacteria between good and evil. (See? Heroic.)
Unhealthy foods, stress, lack of sleep (HA!), antibiotic overuse, and several other factors can all cause the balance to move toward the bad bacteria side. Or, in the case of your baby (who, let’s hope, hasn’t had cheeseburgers, chips, and shakes yet) an imbalance due to an immature digestive system.
Are Infant Probiotics Safe to Give?
It’s a fair question, especially since the FDA doesn’t regulate probiotics. They are seen as a dietary supplement.
That said, there’s a lot of exciting research being done that underscores the apparent benefits of giving your baby these wonder-organisms at an early age.
Beside the studies I’ve already mentioned, a Cambridge Study showed that introducing infant probiotics to newborns reduced the number of infections in the first year of life, suggesting a significant protection against early infections.
So, the science says that not only are infant probiotics safe to give your baby (with a doctor’s supervision, of course) it is actually beneficial for that tiny body for you to do so!
Infant Probiotics, Baby Colic & Other Digestive Issues
Parents will often see that struggle through colicky crying, gassiness, constipation, reflux, and even eczema.
In other words, let me state this clearly… They are vital to your baby’s developing immune system.
Baby Probiotics vs. Gripe Water and Gas Drops
One study, published by Pediatrics, found that the babies given probiotics were only crying for 51 minutes a day after four weeks, compared with 145 minutes for the infants who were given simethicone (gas drops).
Wow. That is quite a drop in scream time.
That’s because gas drops and gripe water are targeting bubbles in the tummy. Infant probiotics go a lot deeper than that. They target the bubbles and discomfort that are focused in the intestines.
Infant Probiotics Are Even More Important for C-Section Babies
When a newborn comes through the birth canal, she picks up all kinds of good bacteria from her mother. These good bacteria are not transmitted during a c-section. This could be why studies have shown that babies born via c-section are more prone to allergies and weaker immune systems.
But even infants that do go through the birth canal can benefit from probiotics. As many as 85% of women have vaginal infections when they give birth, which can interfere with the transmission of the good bacteria.
So, if you had a cesarean birth, it might make a big impact on your baby’s immune system if you started giving probiotic drops.
Just a reminder: You should always ask your pediatrician before giving your baby supplements. A simple phone call should do it!
Which Infant Probiotic is the Best?
Buyer beware! Not all probiotics are created equal.
The infant probiotic brand I used on my babies was BioGaia.
- The strain of probiotic used in BioGaia (Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis) has been clinically shown to reduce excessive crying and fussing in colicky babies.
- Not only did it help their colicky periods, it was shown to increase the amount of happy bacteria in their intestines later on.
- That specific strain of probiotic is found in the milk of breastfeeding mothers. (Yay nature!)
What Do Other Parents Say About BioGaia Infant Probiotics?
I’m not the only person who has fallen in love with BioGaia infant probiotics. Here’s what other parents say on Amazon about their experience.
I started using these on my newborn because she had bad reflux and just an all around upset tummy. I wasn’t crazy about the price but thought it was worth a shot. I continued using them for 3 months and her tummy was doing better. I wasn’t sure if they helped or not, so I decided to stop and didn’t place a new order. Within 2 days, her tummy issues got so much worse than they had been. I waited a few days to assess what the problem was and then reordered the probiotics. Within 2 days of restarting them, she was back to her normal happy self!Amazon
The pediatrician recommend this to us when baby was newborn, we tried it and then… I forgot to buy more. So one and a half month without and omg baby wouldn’t stop crying ever. EVER. Remembered to buy this two weeks ago because colic was SO MUCH WORSE, and within 3 days, A MIRACLE. Baby has been HAPPY, HAPPY HAPPY.Amazon
My son has severe acid reflux and was colicky. He would fall asleep around 10:30 PM every night and would only sleep until about 2:30 AM every morning. After 2:30 AM he would wake up grunting and uncomfortable from stomach issues. We didn’t go back to sleep after 2:30 AM. After about two days on these probiotic drops my son was sleeping 6 to 7 hours solid at night. I will forever be a believer in these things!Amazon
This probiotic made a HUGE difference in our infants life. He was struggling with reflux, gas pains, and colic. We tried another probiotic, gas drops, colic calm, gripe water, bicycle kicks, sensitive formula, upright for 15 minutes after pace eating, literally all the things. It was miserable so I looked at this probiotic, read the reviews and decided to give it a try. Not kidding you within a day our 6 week old was pooping regularly with minimal gas pain. I would recommend this if you’re like me and tried it all. Glad I found it!Amazon
Probiotics Aren’t Just for Babies
Probiotics are beneficial for the ENTIRE family, not just baby! Here are a few of the other probiotic supplements my family has found helpful.
Osfortis Probiotic for Strong Bones (Men and Women)
Ladies, I don’t care how old you are, you should be taking a supplement specifically focused on your bones. Osteoporosis is a serious condition and it hits most of us, sadly, at some point.
Like you took a prenatal for your baby, you need to take Osfortis for yourself. I’m taking it right now because…
- It’s the only women’s probiotic to contain a specific probiotic strain that strengthens bone density. (They have the patent, so you definitely won’t find it anywhere else.)
- It has been clinically shown to improve bone health in women of all ages with hereditary low bone density.
Yes, it’s a little expensive, but if you only take one dietary supplement, this should be it.
It’s that important.
This was recommended by my GP as an addition to my daily calcium intake. I have to say that it works! I had bloodwork done and was told today that my Vitamin D levels are better than great! I was a happy camper.Amazon
Prodentis Lozenge Dental Hygiene Boost
Did you know that probiotics affect your dental hygiene? Yup. Once again, BioGaia has the patent on the special blend of probiotics to target fresh breath, healthy gums, and strong teeth.
Brush your teeth, and pop one of these in as a freshener. There are two versions of this product worth checking out:
I was recommended this product by my dentist for a gingivitis issue. I can tell you this product is amazing! Bleeding gums gone in a week and my breath is much better as well.Amazon
Probiotics for Toddlers & Kids
Yes, I make my kids take probiotics. Even my fifteen-year-old. (And she doesn’t argue about it — a miracle!)
Constipation was a big issue with my kids. I got tired of paying for x-rays at the doctor’s office only to discover their colon was stacked with poop.
So I’m saving hundreds in co-pays and doctor’s bills by setting out one of these little tablets on the counter each night for the morning breakfast.
My 4.5 year would not get fully potty trained. She’s been chronically constipated since she was about 18 months old. I was ridiculously close with having her seen by GI because she was constantly pooping her pants almost every day, not noticing it, refusing to go to the toilet. I’ve tried about 2-3 other probiotics to see if I could regulate her gut along with using miralax daily. Nothing worked. Within a week of taking these probiotics her poops were less hard, we stopped the miralax, and she miraculously started using the toilet. I am so overjoyed that she is now using the toilet and pooping and we haven’t used a pull-up on her in almost a month. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that she randomly started pooping normally and this didn’t have anything to do with it.Amazon
Probiotics for Men and Women
- This patented blend has been shown to go beyond the gut (constipation, gas, cramping, and bloating) to boost the immune, endocrine, nervous, and skeletal systems as well.
- It’s non-GMO, has a pleasant mandarin orange flavor, and has NO artificial colors or flavors. It’s also soy-free.
I’ve tried several different probiotics, some with many more bacteria strains then Biogaia Gastrus which did help in their own way but I have found after 2 weeks this product is head and shoulders above the rest in reducing inflammation. I started Biogaia Gastrus 3 weeks ago and I am so impressed by the results i have already reordered and have decided this probiotic will be put into my arsenal of supplements that work for me and I will continue to buy.Amazon
Good Health Starts in the Gut
The science is in and the roadmap is clear. A healthy body starts with a healthy gut. And a healthy gut starts with probiotics.
You don’t have to suffer through another three-hour cry fest. Help your baby out and move some healthy infant probiotics into that struggling tummy.
And a few weeks from now, when your baby is cooing and laughing, and all those nightmare nights of shrill shrieks are a distant memory… you’ll be so glad you did.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Citations I’ve Referenced
Probiotics for Infants and Children. MCRI.edu.au
Prophylactic Use of a Probiotic in the Prevention of Colic, Regurgitation, and Functional Constipation. JAMANetwork.com
Colicky Baby? Here’s a Surprising Remedy. NIH.gov
Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics. Harvard.edu
Baby Probiotics: Are They Safe? Healthline.com
Specific Probiotics in Reducing the Risk of Acute Infections in Infancy -a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Cambridge.org
Probiotics and Prebiotics: Microflora Management for Improved Gut Health. ClinicalMicrobiologyandInfection.com
Probiotics Could Give Cesarean Section Babies a Healthier Start. ScienceLine.org
Crying Time and RORy/FOXP3 Expression in Lactobacillus reuteri DSM17938-Treated Infants with Colic: A Randomized Trial. JPeds.com