Frequently Occurring Feeding Problems

Since a baby has little else to do in life besides eat and sleep, it would seem logical that eating would be something that presents little difficulty. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many new moms run into feeding issues that while common, can be extremely frustrating. For an exhausted new mom, feeding problems can escalate into a major issue quickly. Take a look at some of the most frequently encountered feeding issues and how to resolve them.

Baby Won’t Latch On!

Breastfeeding moms are often discouraged and frustrated when what seems like the simplest of baby care tasks just doesn’t seem to be working. Poor latch is responsible for all kinds of problems, from gas in the baby to blocked milk ducts in the mother. Babies are born with the ability to suck, but latching on is just as new to them as it is to mom. It takes some practice, and sometimes requires some help.

First, try a different position, such as a football hold, to see if this helps baby access the nipple better. If you have tried everything and are still struggling, call in a pro. Make an appointment with a lactation consultant who can help you to get it figured out. Your obstetrician or the hospital where you gave birth should be able to direct you to a consultant.

Baby Won’t Take the Bottle!

Especially if you are introducing a bottle after breastfeeding, you might have some difficulty getting your baby to accept the different look and feel of the nipple. This will likely just take time, and some experimentation with different bottles. If your baby has been on the bottle since birth, however, and suddenly starts to refuse the bottle, there may be something else going on.

Refusing a bottle can be a sign of several possible problems, from teething to ear infections, both of which make sucking painful. It could also be a sign of an upset stomach. If a reason doesn’t present itself quickly and your baby continues to refuse the bottle, it’s best to put in a call to the pediatrician. An examination might reveal the reason for the refusal, and avoid potential dehydration from refusing fluids.

Formula Upsets My Baby’s Tummy

From the first day of formula feeding to a later transition from breast milk to formula, there can be problematic responses to some of the ingredients. The proteins in formula are more difficult for a baby to digest than those in breast milk, and can cause problems like gas, constipation and diarrhea. Fortunately, there are many different formulas on the market, and you should be able to find one that works for your child.

It’s possible that the reaction is being caused by an allergy to something in the formula, whether it’s cow’s milk or soy; in this case you may need to try a hypoallergenic formula. If problems persist, see your baby’s doctor.

My Baby Falls Asleep During Feedings!

Babies sleep a lot, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong if your baby is falling asleep during feedings. It could be simple fatigue, or baby has had enough to eat and is satisfied. If you are worried that your baby is falling asleep before ingesting enough, try feeding in a brightly lit room that discourages sleep. Unwrap baby from any blankets or sleep sacks; the cooler air will also encourage wakefulness. It might not be pleasant to have to turn on the lights for a night feeding, but if you don’t think baby is eating enough it might be required.

During the day, try to pick a feeding time when your baby is most alert, generally shortly after waking up. You might also find baby is the hungriest right after a nap and will eat more.

Identifying and Treating Constipation in Your Baby

Constipation is one of the most common reasons that new mothers call their baby’s pediatrician for advice. While babies do get constipated, many of the incidents that lead to a call to the doctor aren’t constipation at all, but rather a normal change in a baby’s bowel movements. When baby really is constipated, however, it can make for a very unhappy baby and thus an unhappy mother too.

How Long Can a Baby Go Between Bowel Movements?

It isn’t necessary for a baby to have a bowel movement every day, and a space of a few days between dirty diapers isn’t anything to be concerned about. In a breastfed baby, bowel movements can occur as little as once a week, and a space of up to two weeks can be normal. Because the body absorbs breast milk so thoroughly, there is often little waste leftover to form stool. For this reason exclusively breastfed babies rarely become constipated.

How to Recognize Constipation

Merely not having a bowel movement for a few days doesn’t necessarily mean baby is constipated, as many new mothers believe. Constipation occurs when stool becomes backed up in the intestines in a large enough amount to cause pain and discomfort for baby. This is usually noticeable in baby’s behavior and mood. A constipated baby may become fussy or even extremely upset when attempting to pass a stool. This is because the stool has become hard, dense, and difficult to pass. If your child seems to strain when having a bowel movement but is not crying or in pain and passes soft stool, constipation isn’t a problem. In this case, infrequent stool is probably normal for your child at this stage of life.

When your baby starts to pass hard, small stools that are heavy and dense, and is showing significant distress when passing them, constipation is likely, even if the stools are being passed fairly frequently.

Treating Constipation

Most pediatricians will recommend a small amount of fruit juice such as apple juice to get things moving. Remember to closely follow your doctor’s recommendation for the amount of juice, because too much can swing the pendulum in the other direction and cause diarrhea. In severe cases, a glycerin suppository may be recommended to soften the stool and clear out the bowels.

Treating a one-time case of constipation is usually fairly simple and straightforward. If your baby has regular, recurring constipation, however, it’s a good idea to take a look at what you are feeding. A change to a different formula is a good idea, as an intolerance for one of the ingredients in formula is a common culprit in constipation. Your baby may not be able to tolerate cow’s milk proteins and will do better on a soy formula.

If changing formulas does not seem to alleviate the problem, it’s probably time to talk to your baby’s doctor about the ongoing problem, and work together to find a solution. The constipation could be caused by a blockage or another condition affecting the bowels and causing them to fail to move stools along properly. These are rare problems, but warrant investigation if common methods fail to successfully treat your baby’s constipation.

Many babies will encounter constipation at some point, whether from a problem with formula or when starting solids, another constipation culprit. Fortunately, most cases are easily treated and do not become serious problems.

Cow’s Milk and Babies: Wait until One Year

Although your baby may have been on a cow’s milk based formula since birth and has tried other dairy products such as yogurt, you should still hold off on giving your baby cow’s milk for the first 12 months of life. Cow’s milk can cause a number of problems, and differs from other dairy based products in its safety for babies.

Cow’s Milk and Baby’s Body

Under one year of age, your baby’s digestive system simply isn’t ready for cow’s milk. The proteins can be difficult to digest and can cause gastrointestinal problems. In large amounts, cow’s milk can damage the lining of baby’s stomach, resulting in internal bleeding. This is only one of the ways in which cow’s milk can lead to low iron levels in baby and serious consequences.

Cow’s milk is also known to block the absorption of iron, which is essential to your baby’s blood. Iron helps to create new red blood cells and also hemoglobin. Low iron results in low levels of red blood cells and a reduced ability for oxygen to be carried throughout the body. This is known as iron deficiency anemia, and it is common in babies who do not get enough iron through baby food diet. Cow’s milk can cause iron deficiency anemia through both blocked iron absorption and also by causing stomach bleeding that leaches more iron from the bloodstream.

As your baby grows past one year, the digestive system will be better able to handle the proteins in milk, but the risk of anemia still exists, so cow’s milk intake should always be regulated.

Why Some Dairy Products are Safe

Not all dairy carries the same risks as cow’s milk. In foods like cheese and yogurt the processing methods that are used in manufacturing break down the protein and the lactose, making them easier to digest. This is why many lactose intolerant people are able to eat these foods and yet can’t drink milk. The same applies to cow’s milk based formulas, however there are still some babies who can’t tolerate even the dairy protein in these formulas and need a different option.

The main difference between milk and other dairy products is that yogurt and cheese are unlikely to be eaten in large amounts, and are even less likely to replace formula or breast milk. During the first year, your baby needs all the nutrients that are provided by these sources. Cow’s milk does not provide everything a baby needs nutritionally. After one year old, babies are able to use cow’s milk as a beverage because they are eating larger amounts of solid baby foods that provide a much better nutritional base. A baby who starts drinking cow’s milk too early may skip formula or breast milk feedings and lose important nutrients.

Until your baby is a year old, the only beverage that is really required is breast milk or formula. Along with meeting all of your baby’s nutritional needs, they also offer plenty of fluid intake to keep baby hydrated. Once your baby is a year old, you can start to replace these feedings with cow’s milk and wean from the breast or bottle. At this time you should still be cautious that baby gets less than 24 ounces of cow’s milk every day. This will prevent anemia and also make certain milk isn’t replacing meals.

Favorite Snacks for Babies and Toddlers

When your baby has graduated from breast milk or formula and is eating three meals a day, snacks will become an important part of the daily routine. A small, healthy snack twice a day, usually mid-morning and mid-afternoon can be a healthy addition to your child’s diet as long as you make smart choices that will both please your child and provide important nutrients.

Look for snacks that are kid-friendly, provide sustained energy, and that are easy for your older baby or toddler to eat. Snack time shouldn’t take a long time, or a lot of preparation, so having snacks ready to go will make it easier to choose right.

Favorite Snacks for Older Babies

When your older baby is ready to start snacking, he probably still won’t have all his teeth or be able to chew some of the snack options grown ups enjoy. Still, there are plenty of snack options for babies that are healthy, easy to eat and great tasting too.

Your baby’s favorite snack might be one of his first finger foods. Cheerios, the popular early choice for babies learning to pick up foods with the thumb and forefinger, will continue to be a much-loved snack for some time. They are easily portable, don’t require refrigeration and are made with healthy whole oats. Other similar dry cereals will work just as well, just be sure to watch out for sugar content by reading the nutrition label on the cereal box.

Add some protein to your baby’s snack with small pieces of cheese, which will be very popular with older babies. Use caution to cut the pieces small enough to avoid a choking hazard – try cutting thin strips rather than cubes or chunks. Yogurt is another excellent snack option for older babies that adds protein.

Bananas are an excellent snack choice that babies love. One of his first baby foods, he can now handle slices of banana, which are easy for him to hold and also soft enough to prevent a choking hazard.

Favorite Snacks for Toddlers

Once your toddler has cut her molars, a whole new world of food opens up, and that translates to snacks as well. Favorite toddler snacks will be a little more advanced than those you offered her as a baby. Now is the time to look to all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, and take previously loved snacks a little further.

Popular snacks with the toddler crowd include thin cut apple slices – add some peanut butter or a yogurt dip for a little extra protein, berries such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, and grapes (cut up as they are still a choking hazard). Your toddler may also be ready for some raw veggies, such as thin carrot sticks and cucumber slices.

Toddlers still love cheese, and you can now offer slices paired with healthy whole grain crackers. Mix it up with different types of cheese for new tastes. Try melting cheese on the crackers in your toaster oven, and topping it with a small chunk of tomato for a different twist on a traditional snack.

The ability to self-feed with a spoon makes a cup of yogurt or applesauce an even more appealing snack for both mom and toddler alike. She will love feeling like a grown-up eating her own snack, and you will be free to get other things done!

Snack time for babies and toddlers is a great time for fun foods that are both healthy and delicious. The purpose of snacks is to keep your child going in between meals, so keep them small – remember it’s just a snack, not a second lunch!

Starting Your Baby on Meat

Although most parents wait to introduce meat to baby, there is really no reason to put it off. Your baby can try pureed meat as one of his earliest baby foods if you like, as there is no scientific evidence to show that introducing foods in a certain order matters one way or the other.

Meat is a wonderful source of iron, a vital mineral to your baby’s growth and development. Many babies are at risk for anemia, a condition that develops due to a deficiency of iron, and adding meat to your baby’s diet can help to prevent this. Although your baby does get iron from breast milk or formula, the additional iron in meat can fill in the gaps, and provide iron in a much more absorbable form for the body that that found in formula.

Which Meat to Start With?

You can start baby on whichever meat you prefer, although many parents choose poultry such as chicken or turkey. Beef is an acceptable choice as well. Make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly and pureed as smoothly as possible. Making a meat puree at home that is smooth enough for a very young baby to handle can be a bit challenging, so you might want to start with pureed meat in jars. This commercial baby food has been processed with much more powerful machines than your home food processor and will be a lot smoother.

Getting Baby to Try Meat

Meat is not usually a taste that attracts babies at first, so try mixing it with a fruit or vegetable baby has already had. In fact, this is one of the reasons to wait a bit on meat, at least until your baby has safely managed a few fruits and vegetables you can use to make the taste of the meat a bit more appealing.

It isn’t unusual for babies to reject meat altogether. Don’t worry if your baby isn’t interested in trying it. Meat has a very different texture and taste from fruits and vegetables, even when they are mixed together. It might be a while before your baby really starts to warm up to meat. Don’t push it too hard. Your baby is getting all the required nutrition from breast milk or formula, so meat isn’t a must any time soon – or ever really. If your baby continues to dislike meat even long past the puree stage, there are plenty of other foods that provide the protein and iron usually added to the diet from meats.

Past Purees

When your baby is ready to chew food and eat things a little bit closer to table foods, you might find a renewed interest in meat. Pureed meat is not the most appetizing thing in the world, so when your baby is old enough to try small pieces that can be chewed you might see a different reaction.

Make sure to cut very small pieces of meat to avoid choking, and start with more tender meats that have been cooked well, such as dark meat chicken. A slow cooker is a great way to prepare juicy, tender meat for baby that will be easy to break down.

As your baby develops a more sophisticated palate, you can season the meat to make it taste much better and improve the chances your baby will be willing to give it more than a passing glance.

Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods

Are you ready to start your baby on solid baby foods? Is your baby ready? Then gear up for a whole new adventure is feeding your baby! It will be a little messy – sometimes really messy – but you are setting your baby on a path to discovering new tastes, new textures and a whole new world of food. Start out on the right foot with the right foods and the right techniques.

Choosing Baby Spoons

Although lovely silver spoons are a very pretty baby gift, they aren’t the most practical for feeding your baby. A baby’s gums are sensitive, so look for spoons with a softer texture, such as those with a rubber tip. Plastic will work well too, but the rubbers ones are just a bit softer when starting out. Spoons should have a long enough handle so that you can manipulate them easily. Most baby spoons aren’t designed to hold much food, which is ok, because your baby won’t take much food at a time.

Which Food to Start With

Traditionally, baby cereal has been the first choice for solid feeding, but there is no real reason you can’t start with a fruit such as very well mashed bananas. When choosing a baby cereal, most new parents start with rice because it is bland and unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Mix baby’s first cereal very, very thin, and use either breast milk or formula so that it tastes familiar.

Although you may have heard that you should start vegetables first before moving on to fruit to prevent baby from developing a sweet tooth and preferring fruits to veggies, there is no reason to follow this advice. Babies are already born with a preference for sweeter foods. Breast milk is sweet, and your baby has a natural tendency towards liking sweet foods. For this reason, starting with a sweet fruit like bananas may actually ease the transition, as baby is more likely to find the flavor pleasing. If your baby is formula fed, the sweet tooth may not be so pronounced, since formula is much blander than breast milk. Formula fed babies may do better on cereal mixed with formula as a first food.

Feeding Baby for the First Time

Don’t be surprised if your baby shows little interest or even makes a face the first time you try to feed solids! It’s best to start by dipping a clean finger into the food and letting baby taste it that way. The spoon is a foreign implement, and your baby may not be too interested in opening up for it just yet.

When you can get the spoon into baby’s mouth, start with a very small amount and wait for a reaction. It’s very likely that the food will wind up pouring out and onto baby’s chin. Your baby just isn’t quite sure yet what to do with this strange new food! For your first feeding, don’t expect to get more than a tablespoon at most into your baby, and don’t worry if most of it is on the bib or on baby. The earliest feedings are more about practice than about nutrition. Your baby is still getting all the necessary calories and nutrients from breast milk or formula.

Start with one feeding a day, and choose a time when your baby is generally alert and likely to be feeling cooperative. As you go and baby learns how to push the food back and swallow rather than spitting it out, you can slowly increase the thickness and quantity of the feedings. Before you know it, your baby will figure it out!

Introducing your Baby to Cereal

The traditional first food for babies, infant cereal is a great choice because it is easy to digest, unlikely to cause an allergic reaction and can be made as thin or as thick as you would like. Of the cereals on the market, rice is usually the best bet for a first cereal as it is the least likely to provoke any kind of reaction in your baby’s system.

Choosing a Cereal

The baby food aisle can be a bit overwhelming for a first-time parent. Today there are more choices than ever before available and even picking a cereal isn’t as easy as it used to be. There are multiple brands on the shelves and you can also choose from cereals fortified with supplements like DHA and ARA (fatty acids linked to brain and eye development) as well as organic cereals.

It is probably best to start with the most basic cereal you can find. Since your baby’s first feedings with infant cereal are less about nutrition than about introducing the concept of solids, you don’t need to worry about things like supplements just yet. Your baby is getting all the required nutrition from breast milk or formula and should continue to do so throughout the first year.

Whether or not you choose an organic baby cereal is a personal decision. Organic baby foods do not contain any different nutrition than non-organic ones, and carry a heftier price tag. For some parents who strongly believe in an organic baby food diet, this extra money might be worth paying. Either way, stick with rice cereal for your baby’s first attempt at solids, and see how it goes before you try something else such as oatmeal.

The First Feeding

The first time you offer your baby an infant cereal, mix it very thin using breast milk or formula. Then offer a small amount on the tip of your clean finger. Try putting the cereal on baby’s bottom lip to allow him to get a taste before he decides to open his mouth for more. If he makes a face, don’t worry. The taste is new and the texture is different, and many babies will give their first cereal a funny look the first few times they taste it. However, if he clamps up tight and won’t try any more, don’t push it. Your baby may not be ready yet, or just isn’t in the mood to try. Give it another shot the next day, or wait a few more days before trying again.

Once you get your baby to take some cereal from your finger and he is showing interest in having more, you can bring out the spoon. Be sure to choose a rubber-tipped spoon that will be gentle on your baby’s gums. As before, start with a very small amount on the spoon, and offer it to your baby. He might not open his mouth right away, even if the finger-fed cereal was a hit. He isn’t quite sure what the spoon is all about. Again, try putting a dab of cereal on the bottom lip. When he tastes it and decides it’s all right, you can proceed with another spoonful.

Stick to very small amounts for the first few feedings, but gradually increase the portions as your baby shows more interest in eating. Be prepared for a mess! Your baby may spit baby food out, turn his head suddenly when the spoon nears, or even try to grab the spoon and send the contents flying! It’s all part of the adventure, so buckle in for the ride.

Balancing Solids with Breast Milk or Formula

When your baby starts on solid baby foods, the process of slowly replacing breast milk or formula is begun – but it is a long, slow process! In the first few months of solid feedings, your baby won’t really be eating enough solids to replace any of the feedings from the breast or bottle. As you add more solids this will change; but remember that your baby needs breast milk or formula to get all of the necessary nutrients for life up until one year of age. Be careful not to start replacing those important feedings with solids too soon.

The First Feedings

When you start offering your baby solids, the amount will be so small that it is highly unlikely to have any impact on the breast or bottle feeding schedule. Still, make certain to offer solids after baby has already fed from the breast or bottle to make sure solid feedings are secondary.

Early feedings are not really about nutrition. They are meant to help baby learn how to use his tongue to move food to the back of his mouth for swallowing, and to get used to using a spoon. The first feedings are introducing baby to new tastes and textures that will eventually be a bigger part of nutrition. At first, however, it’s more about practice, so keep solids to small portions once a day and don’t replace any bottle or breast feedings.

Increasing Solids and Weaning

Over the months, your baby will begin to eat more and more solids. From that first meal of a tiny portion of very thin cereal or fruit, your baby will add more foods, eat larger amounts, and have more servings every day. Finger foods will add a new element to nutrition as well as the process of learning to chew and swallow. As your baby moves up to two and three meals of solids a day as well as snacks, she will start to get a lot more nutrition out of solid feedings. Still, the majority of her nutrition is still being provided by breast milk or formula.

Even at 9-12 months of age your baby should only be getting about 25% of her nutrition from solid foods. At this point solids are helping to fill baby up after nursing or a bottle, offering complementary nutrition to what is being provided by the breast milk or formula. If you are planning to wean your baby at a year old, you can start increasing solids and dropping breast feeding right at then end of the first year. Weaning is best accomplished after baby turns one and not before, to make sure she continues to get those important nutrients right through the first twelve months.

Solids After the First Year

If you are planning to continue nursing into your baby’s second year, prepare for it to take a secondary role to solids. As your baby cuts more teeth and can chew more foods, she will keep adding larger amounts of solids and back away from breastfeeding. While you can extend breastfeeding well into the second year (and some go beyond) it will soon be mainly a comfort for baby rather than a main source of nutrition.

As you transition baby from breast or formula to milk, remember that milk should not be offered in the same amounts as formula or breast milk, as it doesn’t contain the same type of nutrition.

Preparing Infant Cereal

Infant cereal will probably be your baby’s first baby food. It is a versatile choice because it can be prepared in many different ways to change the texture, thickness, and taste as your baby progresses through new solid foods. From first feedings through the second year of life, you can prepare baby cereals to meet your baby’s changing needs and preferences.

Preparing the First Feeding

When you mix up your baby’s first feeding of infant cereal, you are setting off on a feeding adventure that will continue for years to come. The first feeding is important and exciting, but remember that your baby isn’t ready for much just yet. To avoid waste, make only a small amount of cereal. Your baby probably won’t consume much.

Infant cereal can be prepared using either breast milk, formula, or water. It’s best to stick to breast milk or formula for several reasons. First of all, they offer more nutrition than water. Secondly, they will infuse the cereal with a smell and taste that is familiar to your baby, making it more likely she will be interested in eating it. Because breast milk contains enzymes that break down the cereal, you will notice that it causes the cereal to become thinner and even soupier the longer it sits out. This is normal and won’t hurt the baby, but can make it harder to feed, so feed immediately after mixing.

Start with a rice cereal, as it is the easiest on your baby’s system. Slowly add breast milk or formula until the mixture becomes very thin and soupy. This might be difficult to get on a spoon, but your baby has only ever had liquids in her short life, so anything thicker will be difficult for her tongue to handle and she could choke. Although she is unlikely to be in and danger from the choking, it could make for an unpleasant experience she won’t want to repeat, which could lead to refusal of solids for a while.

Progressing to Thicker Cereal

As your baby gets better at moving food to the back of his mouth with his tongue and swallowing, you can start to thicken the cereal. Continue to use breast milk or formula to mix, but in a different ratio to make a gradually thicker version. During this time you will likely also be introducing baby to other foods such as pureed fruits and vegetables. Try to match the cereal’s thickness to that of the purees you are using.

As baby gets used to other foods, you can start mixing them with the cereal to add more flavor and change the texture. Add mashed bananas to infant cereal for a slightly chunkier texture. Each new texture your baby encounters will help him to learn more and progress to the next level.

Moving On From Rice

After you have tried rice cereal for a while with no problems, you can try other grains such as oatmeal and wheat cereals. Be sure to introduce them one at a time in order to judge what caused any potential reactions. Mix these cereals in the same manner as the rice cereal, using breast milk or formula to achieve the desired consistency.

All of these cereals can be mixed with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Although the idea of mixing pureed pees with oatmeal might seem odd to our grown-up palate, to a baby for whom all of these tastes and textures are new, it won’t seem so strange. Keep trying new combinations to make infant cereal new and interesting to baby.

Probiotics and Your Baby’s Health

The newest word in the area of immune health and digestive support is probiotics. These helpful bacteria are proving to have a number of benefits for good health in both adults and children. From thrush to colic to gastroenteritis, probiotics have been connected with helping to treat a number of conditions in babies.

How Probiotics Work

The human body is filled with microorganisms, some of which are beneficial to the body’s function, and some of which are not. Good bacteria exist naturally in the digestive system, but many factors can lead to reducing their levels so that they are no longer able to perform their tasks. This can cause reduced immunity to illness, poor digestion, and influence a number of other problems in the body.

Probiotics are supplements that can be taken as pills or added to foods to populate your body with good bacteria and help to bring the balance back to normal. These supplements add to your body’s natural supply of beneficial bacteria to help regulate your digestion and support your immune system.

What Can Probiotics Do for Your Baby?

Research is still being done on probiotics and their effects on the body. So far, there is encouraging evidence that these supplements may provide relief for a number of problems suffered by babies. Reducing colic, improving digestion to reduce gas, constipation and diarrhea, and lessening the impact of viral infections on your baby’s stomach are just a few of the benefits research is turning up for the use of probiotics.

Probiotics have also been connected with improvements in eczema, and with treating thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth that is common in young babies. If your baby has to take antibiotics, which are known for encouraging yeast infections and also causing diarrhea, a probiotic supplement will reduce these reactions.

Probiotics can also shorten the amount of time your baby will have to suffer with a stomach bug, as the good bacteria will more quickly bring health back to the digestive system.

Breast milk does a better job of supporting production of good bacteria in your baby than formula, but even breast fed babies can benefit from the addition of supplementary probiotics.

How Should I give My Baby Probiotics?

Some new formulas contain probiotic cultures, but if your baby is not using formula, or you do not wish to use that type of formula, there are other ways to add probiotics to your baby’s diet. Probiotics capsules can be opened and added to baby’s bottle or even put directly into baby’s mouth. If your baby is eating solid baby foods, you can add probiotics to purees or also choose foods that naturally provide probiotics.

The most commonly known food that provides probiotic benefits is yogurt. Many commercial yogurts, however, have been heated to extend shelf life. To truly reap the probiotic benefits of yogurt, you should look for one that has not been heated, usually available in health and natural food stores. Many other foods are now showing up on the shelves that have had probiotics added, as their popularity rises due to the new research.

Although probiotics are believed to be safe for use in very young babies, you should always discuss any supplement or medication with your baby’s doctor prior to using it. Your doctor can recommend the best way to add probiotics to baby’s diet as well as the appropriate amount of the supplement for the most benefit.

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