As parents, we want to do anything to console our babies. Yet, despite many years of research, the million dollar question still remains…what causes colic?. A number of studies have looked at various therapies and the most promising is one I’ve covered in Baby 411…probiotics.
The latest study, recently published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, lends further credibility to this potential treatment. It shows that infants given probiotics during the first three months of life appear to have fewer bouts of colic, acid reflux and constipation.
How Do Probiotics Work?
Probiotics are the good germs in your body that help improve intestinal function. Babies are born germ-free then acquire good germs in the gut to help digest food. One of the most common probiotic bacteria is Lactobacillus, which is found in yogurt and was the bacteria given to infants in this study. The theory is that by introducing ‘healthy’ bacteria, balance is improved in the gut and the gastrointestinal issue causing the incessant crying (colic) is reduced.
The product I recommend in my practice is a powder form of Lactobacillus Reuteri from Nature’s Way. The dose is a half-teaspoon a day, immersed in a few drops of water (or mixed in expressed breast milk or formula). If you decide to try probiotics as a colic remedy, speak to your pediatrician.
More research still needs to be done, but probiotics are certainly a less expensive alternative than purchasing noise cancelling headphones for managing your sanity.
Ari Brown, MD