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
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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!