Updated on October 9, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
In recent years the importance of gut health has seriously come to light; it’s not just for health fanatics anymore. I, like many adults, take a probiotic everyday. We’ve learned that keeping a healthy balance of bacteria in our guts can have massive impacts on our overall health, even helping to build up our immune systems. Guess what? Babies and kids can reap those benefits too.
It’s not just crunchy mommas giving their babies probiotics anymore. Many wellness advocates, from pediatricians to chiropractors, suggest that giving babies probiotics can help with gut issues ranging from gassiness to constipation to reflux. I can also attest, as probiotics really turned things around for my colicky baby. After a week or so of being on probiotics, baby’s reflux and gassiness improved immensely.
The Best Baby Probiotics
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: Garden of Life is known for creating clean, effective formulas that parents can trust. All of their products, including these baby probiotics, are non-gmo verified, free of the top allergens, vegan, and gluten-free. This product is intended for babies 6 months and up.
In infant probiotics it can often be challenging to find the exact CFU count; however, it’s clearly labeled on this product that it contains 4 billion CFU. With access to this kind of information, it’s easier to tell if this is the right product for your baby.
Keep in mind: Although the bottle is quite a bit larger than competitors, the serving size is larger than most also. It can be difficult to disguise 2 milliliters in a bottle of milk. If your baby is on solids, it mixes well with oatmeal.
Good for: Babies who are eating solids.
(Best packaging — $)
Why it’s great: The packaging for this probiotic is one of my favorite things about it, sure it has an excellent strand of probiotic that’s proven to improve gut health too, but let me tell you about the dropper. So most infant probiotics tell you to administer a certain amount of drops, but it can often be hard to know if you’re giving your baby the correct amount and sometimes it’s difficult to get the drops out at all(especially as you get to the end of the bottle). The dropper that comes in this bottle of probiotics has a black line on it, so you know exactly where to draw the liquid up to.
Mommy’s Bliss is an excellent woman-owned and woman-run company, because of this they understand the needs of mommas. With this easy to use product you know you are giving your baby what they need, from age newborn and up.
Keep in mind: This product should not exceed temperatures above 77, so you will want to store it accordingly.
Good for: Newborn babies, as the product is safe for babies from day one.
(Best for breastfed babies — $$)
Why it’s great: This probiotic doesn’t come in a glass jar, like most other liquid infant probiotics. Instead, it comes in a squeeze tube with a stopper on the end that makes counting the drops a lot easier (the recommended dose is 5 drops a day). This probiotic can be given as early as the first day of life for infants. The tube seems tiny, but it actually contains a 50 day supply of probiotics and vitamin d.
This product is great for breastfeeding mommas. It’s recommended that breastfed babies take a daily supplement of vitamin d, which this product contains(no need for formula babies to supplement because formula has vitamin d in it). Instead of giving 2 separate supplements, you can just give 1! You can administer this product in pumped milk, on a spoon, or even put it on your nipple before breastfeeding.
Keep in mind: This product is only shelf stable up to 77 degrees F, so delivery in the middle of the summer can be problematic.
Good for: Breastfeeding mommas who need to give their baby vitamin d drops as well as probiotics.
(Easiest to use — $$)
Why it’s great: This award winning probiotic is stacked with 5 targeted probiotic strains. The probiotic is in powder form and individually packaged, so dosing is foolproof. The powder is flavorless and sugar-free; it can be mixed in any food or drink (so long as they aren’t hot).
There’s no need to refrigerate Lovebug Baby Probiotics. This along with the portability of individual packets makes this probiotic super user-friendly. This particular blend is intended for ages 6-12 months; however, the company offers other products for other age groups.
Keep in mind: This product cannot be given to babies under 6 month olds.
Good for: On-the-go mommas and babies because the doses are individually packed and do not have to be refrigerated.
(Most calming — $$ )
Why it’s great: In addition to containing the most clinically studied probiotic strain available, these probiotic drops also contain chamomile extract. Chamomile is thought to have calming benefits, as well as help reduce gas formation in baby’s delicate tummy. Giving babies chamomile tea can be tricky (especially babies who don’t take bottles). This product can help.
You can have confidence in buying this brand based on the fact that it’s one of the top pediatrician recommended baby probiotics on the market. Take comfort in knowing that you can help your baby by reducing the symptoms that most commonly cause fussiness and crying.
Keep in mind: The design of the dropper can make dosing a bit of a challenge.
Good for: Mommas who also like to supplement with chamomile.
(Most pediatrician recommended — $$)
Why it’s great: This particular probiotic contains 2 strains that support gut health and can help with fussiness caused from colic. BB-12 is one of those strands. It’s a beneficial bacteria that research shows can help ease the uncomfortable symptoms of colic.Enfamil Infant Probiotics come highly recommended from many pediatricians. It is intended for use in babies 0-12 months. It’s recommended to mix 6 drops into a warm (but not hot) bottle, or it can be given on a spoon.
It’s good to know these probiotics don’t have any artificial flavors or sweeteners. Though it seems small, a bottle of these probiotics contains 21 doses. Like other probiotics, you should try to keep the bottle below 77 degrees F.
Keep in mind: Don’t get it on your clothes, this product stains.
Good for: Mommas looking for a 2 strand probiotic to ease symptoms of colic.
(Best for twins — $$)
Why it’s great: Soothing and supporting our babies’ overall health is a goal all of us mommas have, and this infant probiotic delivers. This proprietary blend is intended for babies 0-12 months. Each bottle contains 84 servings of organic probiotic (which is comprised of 4 live strains). Another added bonus, unlike some probiotics, this blend doesn’t require refrigeration.
Mary Ruth’s formula is made from 100% raw, plant-based, vegan ingredients (no fillers). This ensures that they are shelf-stable and as potent as possible. Not to mention, they are food allergy safe because they contain no gluten, wheat, corn, soy, nuts, dairy, sugar, or nightshades.
Keep in mind: This probiotic isn’t flavored, so some babies have an aversion to the taste (although it is subtle if you were only used to drinking milk all day I can see where they are coming from).
Good for: Mommas with multiple babies needing probiotics, as the bottle is bigger than most of its competitors.
FAQ about baby probiotics
1. Why should I give my baby probiotics?
Gut flora contributes greatly to our overall health. Taking probiotics helps to restore the balance of good bacteria in your baby’s tummy. Not only does this improve baby’s upset tummy issues, but it also improves their immune system, making it easier for them to fight off contagious illnesses.
2. At what age can my baby start taking probiotics?
Many probiotics are designed for babies to start taking on day one, some are intended to start at 6 months. It’s important to read the packaging and make sure you are getting a probiotic that will fit your needs well.
3. What’s the best way to give baby probiotics?
You want to avoid giving probiotics in hot bottles or hot food, as the heat can damage the live bacteria before it has a chance to start working in your baby’s gi tract. However, there are lots of ways to administer probiotics. You can mix the probiotics with room temp formula or breastmilk, give on a spoon, or mix into food (as long as it isn’t hot). A couple of other options are to put the probiotics on your nipple before breastfeeding, or put the drops on your finger and rub them inside the baby’s cheek.
4. Are probiotics necessary for formula-fed and breastfed babies?
Absolutely, although breast milk naturally contains some probiotics, others are growing more and more scarce in modern days. Many formulas actually contain probiotics now too. It’s best to check with your pediatrician and see what kind of probiotics would be best for your situation.
5. Do probiotics help with colic in babies?
Probiotics are meant to be taken daily, this cumulative, daily approach to improving gut health helps improve symptoms of colic. However, you will not see results if you only give your baby probiotics when they are experiencing symptoms. So, although they will not provide instant relief of colic for babies, in the long run, you should see a reduction in the frequency and severity of your baby’s colic episodes.
6. Do probiotics all have to be refrigerated?
No, many (like all the ones on this list) are actually shelf-stable. It is a good idea to keep them in a cool, dark, dry place, but refrigeration isn’t necessary for all probiotics. You can take comfort in knowing that their potency hasn’t been affected by the loss of refrigeration at any point (a concern you might have with refrigerated probiotics).
Probiotics are becoming more and more popular with new parents. We are realizing how they can have an impact on the overall health of our babies, and many doctors and wellness experts are recommending probiotics for things like gas and colic. We know a balanced gut populated with good, helpful bacteria can encourage a hardy immune system for our kiddos and set a foundation for good health throughout our children’s lives.
There are so many options out there for baby probiotics it can get confusing, but if the ones you choose don’t seem like they are working for your baby, you can always try another kind. It’s awesome when we find such a simple way to help our babies with digestion and support their immune systems.