So, are probiotics good for colic in babies is not as clear cut as you would hope, but there are some indications that they might be.
There are many different strains of bacteria and yeasts found in probiotics that can help to stabilize the gut, relieve digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation, and even reduce gas.
Probiotic supplements also seem to be helpful with colic symptoms because they create an environment where bad bacteria cannot grow. This allows the good bacteria to flourish instead.
These benefits may include lessening crying time by up to 25 minutes per day, so if your baby has colic it’s worth trying out a new supplement.
Better understanding of probiotics and colic
Probiotics are “good” or helpful bacteria. When babies have colic, their intestines contain more of the bad bacteria than the good kind.
However, studies show that giving probiotics to infants with colic does not reduce lengths of crying bouts or the amount of time spent crying when compared to doing nothing at all (dummy/soother, rocking, etc).
Probiotics are sold as food supplements for adults or children. They can be added to food or drink, like yogurt. A health care professional should be consulted before giving them to babies. Probiotics contain many different types of bacteria and some may not be safe for an infant.
It is also important to note that research suggests that colic tends to improve on its own within 3 months, without any supplements.
What is colic?
Colic is a very common condition in babies (affects up to 1 in 5), characterized by long bouts of loud crying which seem to be caused by gas or other digestive discomforts, often after feeding. It usually starts before the baby is 4 weeks old and peaks at about 6 to 8 weeks of age.
There are no known causes for colic, but it is thought that having an immature digestive system might contribute to the problem. It seems that some babies are more reactive than others, particularly after eating or when they are tired/overstimulated.
Some experts think that certain foods in a mother’s diet can affect her breastfed baby. Others think that certain bacteria can trigger symptoms.
The good news is that, as your baby matures and his/her system becomes more mature, the symptoms of colic will usually resolve without any treatment.
If symptoms persist for longer than 3 months, doctors recommend continuing to look for a cause or consulting a paediatrician for further investigations.
Some other things that may help are:
– Make sure you change your baby’s nappy (diaper) before each feed, to reduce the risk of any tummy discomfort from too much gas.
– Some babies are more sensitive to certain foods in their mother’s diet and this can appear as colic. Foods linked with causing excess gas in some babies include prunes, apricots, onions, broccoli, and cauliflower.
– Try to avoid over-stimulation.
– Breastfeed more frequently during the day (8 or more times each day) for short periods of time (about 5 to 10 minutes). This can help to reduce the amount of air your baby swallows while feeding.
– Try an infant massage before or during a feed, particularly after a feed when your baby is showing signs of being over-stimulated/overly tired/gassy. This may help improve digestion and ease any discomfort…
If there are no improvements after trying these measures, speak to your doctor or health care provider.
Are probiotics good for colic in babies?
Proven to be safe and effective, probiotics are a promising solution for colic in babies. As you can see from the information we’ve shared with you, there is no shortage of research on the benefits of probiotic supplements when it comes to treating colic in babies.
However, not all brands will provide these same results so please consult your physician before taking any new supplement medication or treatment plan.
With that said, if your baby suffers from chronic crying spells due to gas buildup then consider giving them one of the aforementioned probiotics as soon as possible.
You may just end up with a happier child sooner than expected.
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