What are probiotics and why would you want to give them to your baby? Probiotics are microorganisms (good bacteria) that provide health benefits to your baby including, improving colic and tummy problems, boosting immunity, treating diarrhea and diaper rash, as well as boosting immunity.
Probiotics are a natural form of good bacteria. When your baby takes a probiotic supplement her gut is provided with extra good bacteria to help improve the balance of good bacteria in the gut. The good bacteria in your baby's gut helps her to digest food and helps protect her colon from any bad bacteria. In addition, the colon is large part of your baby's immune system. When her gut is healthy, she is healthier.
At birth your baby is born with some of this good bacteria, but not a lot. She gets some good bacteria from mom and then after her first feedings your baby will begin to colonize good bacteria. If she doesn't have enough of this good bacteria, she can have tummy problems, colic symptoms, or problems with diaper rash.
What are some problems that probiotics might help with?
- Tummy/intestinal problems
- Diaper rash
- Green acidic stools
If your baby is having a lot of tummy problems, colic, or a diaper rash that won't go away, you might want to give probiotics a try. Talk to your pediatrician first to find out what he recommends and the correct dosage for your baby. A typical dose is ½ to 1 capsule (depending on baby's size and age) of a probiotic capsule mixed with breast milk or formula.
Probiotics and breastfeeding
If you are a breastfeeding mom you may be able to provide health benefits to your baby by taking a probiotic supplement yourself. Taking a capsule a day may provide enough good bacteria to your baby to help relieve some of her symptoms. You should talk to your doctor about the best approach to taking probiotics for you and your baby.
How long should my baby take probiotics?
One thing to know about probiotics is that they only help as long as you are taking them. Once your baby stops taking them, the bacteria in her gut will return to what they were before. This is why it's important that you talk to your doctor about the dosage and the duration that you should be giving probiotics to your baby.
Probiotics for diaper rash
Not only are probiotics great for helping your baby's tummy problems, you can also use them topically to treat diaper rash. Often babies that are having intestinal problems also have problems with difficult-to-treat diaper rash. You can make a paste out of probiotics and apply it to your baby's bottom. Take one capsule, mix it with water till it forms a paste, and apply it to your baby's bottom. Then, let her bottom get a little fresh air before you put a diaper on her.