Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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Probiotics for Infants and Toddlers August 4, 2009

Filed under: Baby & Toddler — Rachel @ 7:00 pm
Tags: ,

Doctors are quick to prescribe antibiotics and other western medications, but slow to remember healthy supplements that work naturally with the body.  Besides breastfeeding, eating healthy and staying active, did you know that you may want to add probiotics to your baby’s “get better” strategy? 

My sister’s baby is only a few months old, but she’s been hospitalized twice for a kidney infection.  We’re trying to think of anything that may help baby Shyla to maintain good health.  Since the doctors put her on antibiotics each time she has an infection, I wondered if it would be wise to have her take a probiotic too. 

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that are ingested in some fermented foods (like yogurt) or via pill, powder or liquid supplement.  These health-promoting, live bacteria take up residence in the stomach to keep bad bacteria in check.  Breastfeeding automatically promotes the development of healthy bacteria.   But… taking antibiotics pretty much wipes everything out – the good, bad, and ugly.  That’s why progressive pediatricians are starting to prescribe probiotics along with antibiotics, as a balance.   Probiotics have been shown to boost immunity, combat yeast infection, shorten bouts of diarrhea, help colicky babies (even breastfed ones!) and even lessen some effects eczema, asthma and allergies (see this article at “Pediatric Views” and dramatic colic results in this article in “Pediatrics”).

You may wonder if it’s really safe to give tiny babies “good” bacteria.  In doing some research, I did find some concern with giving them to immuno-compromised people.  It’s definitely something you’ll want to discuss with your doctor first, if your child has a standing healthy condition.  However, the above article published in “Pediatric Views” (which is hardly natural-oriented) suggested they would be safe for babies over 1 month old.  Here is an infant probiotic made by Udo’s Choice, a well-respected name in health supplements.  This powder version can be mixed into milk or water.  A liquid infant probiotic  may be more convenient for breastfeeding moms.  However, the only one I found only serves 100 million cells per serving.  That may sound like a lot, but you really want to be measuring in the billions, when it comes to taking a probiotic.  I recommend using the powder – Udo’s Choice has 3 billion cells per serving!


9 Responses to “Probiotics for Infants and Toddlers”

  1. domesticday Says:

    What a great post! My son’s Ped actually recommends them from day one as regular routine just like a prenatal vitamin for mom. i don’t know if it made a difference or not but we gave them to him all along and now we buy rice cereal with the probiotic in it (Happy Baby Brand) my son has never had diarrhea nor have we ever really dealt with anything not sitting well with his tummy so as far as i’m concerned it works!

  2. Ashley Says:

    Thanks for posting this. When my son was about 7 months old he went on antibiotic for an ear infection. While on meds he developed a horrible diaper rash – the worst I had ever seen. I called the dr and the nurses first question was, “Is he on antibiotics?”. She explained how the antibiotic kills all the bad bacteria but also kills all the good bacteria. So it wasn’t just a diaper rash – it was a yeast infection and he needed special creams immediately for that. Ugh – I was so mad they knew this but did not tell me ahead of time.

    He is now 13 months and has reoccuring yeast infections. I recommend probiotics to everyone I know when their children go on antibiotics. I actually have a friend that works in a pediatric office and they prescribe probiotics to kids when they go on antibiotics. She said it is a new trail pill they just got in.

    But after researching this more I realized probiotics are good for overall health. They are saying it prevents diarrhea and helps nutrients absorb. I think I’m going to start giving my kids a dose of acidophilus everyday (bifidus if under 6 months old).

  3. Anna M Says:

    I’ve heard great results from mothers who give their children probiotics – these beneficial bacteria support digestive health and immune health because 70% of our immune systems are found in our gut. Our gut is a real powerhouse when it comes to keeping our bodies healthy. It is always wise to check with your doctor before giving a child a dietary supplement, and it doesn’t hurt to get a naturopath’s input as well. Some family doctors are not super involved in keeping up on nutritional supplements.

  4. smilinggreenmom Says:

    Well said! We LOVE our Vidazorb probiotics!!! Our baby developed severe Eczema and eventually (by the time he was 7-8 months old) he was so bad that we took him to an allergist. It was awful…we tried all kinds of meds, creams and elimination diets to see what was causing the problem for him. Nothing worked and actually within a few years, he was getting so much worse that he had to go to a children’s hospital. The doc there advised us that he should NEVER have been put on the doses he was given of oral steroids for so long and they immediately helped us wean him off over three months! We were so scared, worried and frustrated. We finally had our prayers answered when he began Vidazorb kids chewables. He LOVES them, they are cute purple bees and he often will ask me for them 🙂 We are thrilled that they have helped with the cause and not the symptoms. Now we all take them! Thanks again for the info. smilinggreenmom *tweet me!

  5. Brandy F. Says:

    My research and experience (I’m a biologist & practitioner of TCM) has revealed that probiotic supplements are great while the child is still on a “soft” diet and may be necessary to build up the GI population after eradication from antibiotics. However, just like vitamins and minerals, it is best if they are obtained from whole foods that we eat instead of just consuming the powder or pill. These beneficial microorganism are much more likely to survive the harsh stomach environment and move on to their healthy home in the intestines if they are ingested with a food-substrate. So, once kids are able to handle it, eating probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, raw milk (yes, it is safe & healthy), sauerkraut (and other naturally fermented veggies/fruits), etc. is best. We adults can indulge in kombucha and other more adventurous fermented foods/drinks.

  6. Nicole Says:

    THanks for all the great reviews. My daughter has had chronic loose stools since birth and is now a little over a year old. I recently changed pediatricians and finally someone sees something is not right. He recommended probiiotics along with a trip to a pediatric GI specialist. I’ve been researching probiotics as I’m not familiar with them and this website as helped set my mind at ease. I think this is worth a try.

  7. Sara Roberts Says:

    I have just recently become interested in probiotics and digestive health.I do not have horrible digestive problems but I would like to be more regular. My sister has been giving her toddler probiotic yogurt and swears by the benefits. I have seen probiotic pills and tried Kefir and yogurt but I just saw probiotic Attune bars at my local grocery store. These bars have live cultures in them and taste great. I gave them to my sister and she gives them to her kids as a treat because they taste like chocolate bars. Have you tried these bars? Do you think kids can eat these and benefit like they would from probiotic pills or yogurt?
Thanks so much!

    • Rachel Says:

      Without knowing the ingredients in the bars, I’m not sure if I could recommend them. Since sugar feeds the bad bacteria that probiotics fight, it seems counterintuitive to deliver probiotics in a sweet bar. If you sprinkle the probiotic pill over milk in cereal or into yogurt, I bet your kids won’t mind one bit.

  8. Annelies Says:

    I work with Attune and wanted to briefly comment on your post. I think it’s great that you are sharing your learnings about probiotics for infants and concur that probiotics are beneficial for adults too! Our chocolate bars that were mentioned in a previous comment are a great way for adults or kids over three to get probiotics. Each bar has 6.1 billion CFUs of three of the most clinically tested strains and less sugar than most yogurt (ranging from 3g – 8g per bar). We find chocolate is a good delivery method for probiotics as there is low water content. Our bars are in the refrigerated yogurt aisle in stores nationwide. If you’re interested in sampling and reviewing them, please let me know and I would be happy to send some your way.

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