With all the advice new parents are bombarded with after having a baby, it can be difficult to wrap your head around what the best options for your new bundle of joy really are! I’ve found that keeping things simple really is the best way to go. I’ve also found that two very simple, all natural ways to keep baby healthy have been working perfectly for my family since I started using them. I’m talking about cod liver oil and probiotics, two essentials that will ensure baby’s health is the best it can be.
People have been using cod liver oil for centuries. And while I’m not a big advocate for giving babies supplements, cod liver oil is where I go about this a bit differently. One of the best things about giving cod liver oil to baby is the fat-soluble vitamins it contains that are necessary to boost a child’s immunity. We all know how precious a baby’s immune system really is, and doing what we can to ensure our kids are as healthy as possible is something all us mommas care about.
Cod liver oil contains high amounts of vitamins D, A, and K…all of which have a huge impact on a baby’s health. Not only that, but it’s also full of the fatty acids and omega 3s like DHA and EPA that the brain needs for proper development. Studies have shown that the more DHA in a women’s breastmilk, the better visual activity their infant exemplified.
Some doctors will even advise nursing mothers to supplement their own diets with DHA if they believe they aren’t getting enough from other sources. Cod liver oil is an excellent source that can be given right to one’s child to ensure they are getting optimal amounts of these very vital nutrients.
It is recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation that the following dosage of cod liver oil given to children age 3 months to 12 years is: ½ teaspoon or 2.5 mL, providing 4750 IU vitamin A and 975 IU vitamin D.
We’ve all heard about how amazing probiotics are for our own digestive health, but did you also know that giving your baby a probiotic supplement is one of the best things you can do for their health? It’s true! Our gut health (and baby’s) is responsible for our overall health, and when the gut is imbalanced we’ll tend to notice a list of different health concerns. From skin conditions and brain function to immune system health and digestive issues, a healthy gut has A LOT to do with the health of our baby.
Often times, babies can develop thrush. It is passed to them through their mother’s nipples during breastfeeding. Probiotic supplements can help both mothers and babies maintain balance of healthy bacterial flora and create an environment that is inhospitable to Candida.
Giving probiotics to infants can help with a number of different conditions including:
° Immune System Health
When baby’s immune system is strong, they’re simply less likely to get sick. A healthy baby is a happy baby and by offering our babies a probiotic supplement we’re ensuring they’ll get sick as little as possible. Probiotics have shown to increase immunity and help with conditions like thrush that are related to unhealthy bacteria.
From colic and constipation to diarrhea and an upset stomach, there are many reasons our baby could become uncomfortable due to poor gut health. When we give them a probiotic however, we reduce the likelihood that they’ll develop any of these nasty digestive issues that get in the way of their optimal health and wellness.
° Skin Problems
Anyone who has had a baby knows just how sensitive their fresh, young skin can be. What many of us tend to forget is that the health of our skin is directly related to the health of our gut. Probiotics can be absolutely amazing for getting rid of skin conditions in baby. We all know that rashes can be a common occurrence in infants, and offering probiotics can help tremendously. Probiotics can also be excellent in not only helping get rid of cradle cap but also from preventing it in the first place. They are also known to help with eczema, a skin condition that develops in a lot of infants.
While breastmilk is the best source for giving infants probiotics, not all moms are going to be breastfeeding their children. For those not getting enough probiotics in their own diet or for the moms who have chosen not to breastfeed for any reason, giving infants a probiotic supplement is highly recommended. And for the moms that are breastfeeding, taking a probiotic supplement of your own will ensure that your baby is getting the healthy bacteria they need.
A study conducted in Australia showed that the most ideal probiotics for infants were ones that 2-3 strains of probiotics. It cited that using just 2-3 strains per dose administered is more beneficial than using several different strains in lower doses. The top three recommended strains of probiotics for infants are:
1. B . Bifidum
2. L. Rheuteri
3. B. Infantis
Liquid probiotics prove to be one of the easiest ways to give this supplement to baby, especially those who haven’t yet been introduced to solid foods. There are also powdered probiotics you can mix into baby’s formula if that proves to be easier. No matter how your baby is getting probiotics, just make sure that she is indeed getting them. Probiotics can offer the healthy start your baby needs for a lifetime of good health and well-being.