- A healthy balance of bacteria in our body is important
- Probiotics may help support digestive and immune system health
- Breastmilk is an important source of healthy bacteria
- B. lactis and L. reuteri are two types of probiotic bacteria safe for use in healthy infants
Did you know there are actually more bacterial cells in our body than human cells? Maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria is important to your health — and your baby’s.
The bacterial balance in your baby’s gut is affected by many things — including whether he is breastfed or formula-fed, delivered vaginally or by cesarean section, and his environment. Breastmilk naturally has a large number of different types of good bacteria and other factors that help support a healthy immune and digestive system.
Probiotics are certain types of live microorganisms, like the good bacteria found in breastmilk, which may provide digestive and immune benefits when you consume enough.
Tested and tried
Humans have consumed probiotics for hundreds of years. L. reuteri and B. lactis are also two well-researched probiotics in infants and children. Both of these probiotics have been recognized as safe to be fed to a baby from birth.
Supporting your baby’s health
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to probiotics. Different probiotics may have different benefits. For instance, while many probiotics may promote digestive health, very few have been shown to reduce crying time in infants.
Both B. lactis and L. reuteri have been shown to help support a healthy balance of good bacteria in your baby’s digestive system.
Good to know
B. lactis is clinically shown to promote digestive health and support the developing immune system. L. reuteri is clinically shown to reduce crying time by 50% in colicky, breastfed infants after using L. reuteri drops for one week
Best sources of probiotics for babies
Breastmilk naturally provides many good bacteria. If your baby cries often or seems “colicky,” he may benefit from L. reuteri in the form of drops that have been clinically shown to reduce crying time by 50% in colicky, breastfed infants.
For babies who are not 100% breastfed, the choice of formula is important. Studies have shown that the addition of the probiotic B. lactis to infant formula may help support a healthy digestive system and a healthy immune system.
Formula-fed babies who have excessive crying and colic might benefit from an infant formula with L. reuteri.
Babies ready for infant cereal
Some infant cereals also have the probiotic B. lactis. As your baby moves into the Supported Sitter phase, choose an infant cereal that provides probiotics to help support a healthy immune system.
The benefits of probiotics are short-term as long as you consume them, so it is important to continue providing them daily.
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