Benefits of Probiotic Powder for Babies
Probiotics are all the rage. As we learn more about the critically important roles that gut flora play in our overall well-being, probiotic drinks, foods, and supplements continue to gain popularity. Even if probiotics are good for grown-ups, however, are they also good for babies? Learn about the benefits of baby probiotics in this guide, and find out the best ways to feed probiotics to your little one.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria that live in your digestive tract. While a healthy gut contains all the beneficial bacteria it needs to process foods properly, various factors can reduce the concentrations of gut flora present in your belly. To make sure that your digestive tract has enough bacteria to defend your health and well-being, some experts suggest that you should consume probiotics in food, drinks, or supplements.
Are probiotics safe for babies?
While the medical science community has yet to endorse the benefits of probiotics for infants, these healthy bacteria do not have any serious side effects in adults. Your baby's body is very sensitive, so you might want to consult with a doctor before you give your infant probiotics.
At the same time, probiotics are all-natural, and they have been proven to have tons of impressive benefits when taken by adults. The most common side effects of probiotics are bloating, gas, and other mild gastrointestinal distress. Very rarely, probiotics can cause allergic reactions.
Why should you give your baby probiotic powder?
There are a few compelling reasons to believe that your baby might benefit from consuming probiotic powder. Supplemental probiotics bolster the bacterial colonies that are already present in your gut, and robust gut flora can improve your health in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples of the potential benefits of feeding probiotic powder to your baby:
In adults, probiotics are known to have a wide variety of digestive benefits. These healthy bacteria are commonly used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), for instance, which has symptoms like gut inflammation and diarrhea. Probiotics have also been shown to help with constipation, and they appear to improve digestive efficiency and nutrient absorption.
If you have recently given your baby antibiotics to help with an infection, now might be the perfect time to try probiotic powder. While antibiotics help with bacterial infections, they also wipe out all of the beneficial flora in your gut. Taking probiotics helps restore these bacterial colonies that are so essential to your little one's health and well-being.
Probiotics also appear to improve your immune health. Certain probiotic strains, for instance, have been shown to help with urinary tract infections, and probiotics may even help with the symptoms of upper respiratory infections and prevent the spread of viruses.
By balancing the levels of bacteria present in your body, probiotics suppress harmful bacteria strains that can lead to infections while promoting the growth of healthy microorganisms. It appears that probiotics also directly contribute to the production of important antibodies, which keep your immune system running properly.
Other potential benefits
According to scientific research, probiotics may also help with skin conditions like eczema, and they might even improve your baby's oral health by preventing periodontal disease and protecting your little one's first teeth from tooth decay. While it might seem too good to believe, there's even evidence that probiotics may reduce the amount of time your baby spends crying and help with the symptoms of colic. It's important to consult with your pediatrician to make sure that giving your baby probiotics is a safe choice, but these potential benefits are simply too impressive to ignore.
Baby probiotic powder ingredients to avoid
When probiotics are given to babies, these beneficial bacteria are usually packaged in powders that can be added to formula or other baby-safe beverages. Baby probiotics need to be paired with other ingredients to make them dissolve well into liquids, but there are a few common baby probiotic powder additives that you should learn to avoid.
For instance, there's no reason that wheat or gluten-containing products should be present in baby probiotic powder. Even if your baby isn't sensitive to gluten, the presence of wheat products in probiotic powder can be a sign of a bad product. The same goes for soy-based ingredients, which can be harmful to developing infants.
Baby probiotic powder also shouldn't contain any artificial flavors, coloring, or preservatives. Even though lots of babies benefit from high-quality, organic dairy-based formula, you may want to avoid probiotic powders that contain dairy substances if your baby is lactose-intolerant.
Probiotic powder alternatives for babies
Aside from probiotic powder, there aren't a lot of ways to provide probiotics to small infants who can only drink formula or milk. Once your young one is a little bit bigger, however, you can start introducing probiotic-rich baby snacks like yogurt, cheese, or even kimchi. You could even try offering your baby water kefir instead of apple juice, which is a non-dairy fermented drink that contains tons of beneficial bacteria.
Why you should give your baby probiotic powder today
As an adult, you should try to incorporate probiotics into your diet whenever possible. These beneficial bacteria have tons of health benefits, and they could potentially add years to your life. As soon as you think your little one is ready, you should consider sharing the benefits of probiotics with your baby.
No matter how much you shelter your child, you can't protect your baby from unhealthy foods, toxins, and infectious diseases forever. A healthy gut is a great first step in building a robust defense against the dangers that lurk in the wider world. Consult with your pediatrician regarding the benefits of probiotics, and contact us if you have any questions.