An infant’s digestive system and immune system go through dramatic changes after birth. The good bacteria in their gut that help digest food and protect against infection are being established, so it is important to add probiotics to your baby’s diet. This post will show you 5 ways to do just that!
- Introduce probiotics in breast milk
A healthy baby is born with an arsenal of defense mechanisms, which include acid, digestive and immune systems. This arsenal is bolstered with the good bacteria that are present in breast milk called probiotics. Research has shown that breastfeeding not only provides vital nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals but also helps strengthen the infant’s immune system by offering probiotics to your baby through breast milk.
- Introduce probiotic-rich foods
As infants begin eating solid foods, adding foods rich in good bacteria will help strengthen the gut and boost their immunity to fight infection. Probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha and tempeh. You can also try making homemade fermented foods at home like sourdough bread or sauerkraut.
- Make homemade formula
If you choose to use formula, adding probiotics to your baby’s diet is easy because most commercial formulas come with good bacteria added in. But if you are breastfeeding and want to switch over your baby to formula due to various reasons, you can prepare a homemade batch of formula with probiotics by mixing Kefir with breast milk or soy milk in a 1:1 ratio.
- Try an organic formula
When parents are unable to breastfeed their newborns, they can try an organic infant formula as an alternative. Organic formula contains prebiotics as well that help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. If you opt for a non-organic formula, make sure it does not contain bovine milk or other animal-based products, which can introduce harmful pathogens into your baby’s stomach and disrupt the healthy balance of microflora in the intestines. It also helps parents set up a good newborn sleep schedule.
- Get free probiotic supplements
Most of the commercially available probiotics come in supplement forms. Just like other supplements, you can get a probiotic supplement from the drugstore or online. You just have to look for the one that contains live microorganisms and a carrier liquid (e.g., lactose, lactic acid).
- Add natural probiotic supplements to your diet
If you are breastfeeding, you can feed it to your baby directly through your breast milk. But if you are bottle-feeding, get it into their diet by adding natural probiotics in your meals or supplementing the both of you with the same.
If you are looking for natural ways to help prevent infections and boost your baby’s immunity, you can start by introducing probiotics in their diet. And when the time comes, you can read this post to learn about the use of probiotics for treating common problems in infants like constipation and diarrhea.