When should I introduce a probiotic and at what dose?
16 Oct, 2018
Elisha asked "At what age is it recommended to start on a probiotic?"
It's important to start a probiotic early on as these bacteria will become permanent colonizers and there is a critical window of time between birth and 2 years (and even more critical before the age of 1) to ensure that the bugs that permanently colonize the gut are the beneficial ones. We therefore recommend staring probiotics shortly after birth.
Special cases when early probiotic introduction is even more important:
- delivery by c-section
- mom has been on antibiotics during pregnancy, labour or breastfeeding
- baby has been given antibiotics
- baby isn't feeling well (even just a cold)
- baby has digestive issues of any kind
- baby has reflux
- baby has colic
- baby shows signs of food intolerance
- baby was born in the fall or winter
- baby is formula fed
- mother has had digestive issues
- mother has history of yeast infection or had a yeast infection during pregnancy
- baby has thrush
- baby has yeast diaper rash
- momma has family history of sugar cravings, diabetes, metabolic syndrome or alcoholism
Even if none of these reasons apply, your little warrior may still benefit from the introduction of probiotics as early as birth.
All this being said, another great time to introduce a general probiotic designed for babies is when they start solids around the 6 month mark.
How to dose:
Unfortunately, the dose depends on a few factors. It really isn't a one size fits all approach (although it would be much easier if it were!). This is why with each order of probiotics from our online store, we provide a complimentary consult to ensure the appropriate dose. In some cases the dose is staggered, sometimes we increase it for various reasons, and sometimes decrease it.
The best time to give probiotics:
The head honcho of probiotic research (Dr. Plummer) strongly suggests that probiotics should always be given with food to give the probiotics the best chance to colonize. Food has a buffering effect, raising the pH in our stomach, and creating a more suitable environment for the probiotics.
Try and give probiotics at the same time everyday for optimal coverage (and to help form a habit!).
The two probiotics we recommend starting with infants are:
Baby B (for breastfed babies)
Baby F (for formula fed babies)
Both of these probiotics contain strains that have been well studied for safety and efficacy.