Probiotics for Infants: Everything You need to Know

By: Suzanne Renee' - Updated December 27, 2023 - 11 Minute Read

Probiotics for Infants | The Milky Box

Even with the best organic diet, additional support may be needed. Baby probiotics are essential reinforcements for your family.

Qualities include relieving the aches and pains of infanthood, building a solid gut microbiome, and easing digestive worries. Baby probiotics work well as a supplement, but did you know they also complement your favorite powdered formula?

In this article, We will take a closer look at everything you need to know about this digestive and developmental aid.

What Are Baby Probiotics?

Probiotics (meaning "for life") are types of live bacteria. These "good" or "friendly" bacteria are typically present at high levels in the digestive system of breastfed babies that have also been vaginally delivered. 

In formula-fed babies, probiotics promote a balance of bacteria in your baby's digestive system and offset the growth of organisms that could cause infections and inflammation.

Examples of probiotic organisms include Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Saccharomyces boulardi (a beneficial yeast)

How Do Baby Probiotics Work?

Probiotics’ vital role is to balance beneficial and harmful bacteria in your little one’s developing body. Probiotics achieve this in two ways; first, by supporting immune function and second, by reducing inflammation. These two factors together have enormous advantages for your baby:

🦠Keep harmful bacteria at bay & prevent them from entering the bloodstream

🦠Breakdown of medications and toxins

🦠Produce vitamin K and increase the absorption of vitamin D

🦠Enhance intestinal function to improve digestion

Benefits of Probiotics for Infants

Baby probiotics are beneficial in treating conditions like diarrhea and eczema (atopic dermatitis) in infants. They may also help manage allergies and to prevent urinary tract infections. Families also tout probiotics to relieve symptoms of colic and soothe digestive worries. 

Atopic Diseases

Infants at risk of getting atopic conditions may benefit from probiotic supplements. This is especially helpful for formula-fed infants. 

Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Preterm infants are at an elevated risk of contracting necrotizing enterocolitis. This is because of antibiotic administration after birth and the limited development of typical digestive microorganisms.

Probiotic supplements may help preterm or low-birth-weight infants develop these vital microorganisms in conjunction with organic baby formula.

Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

Probiotics may be helpful in the management of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or chronic ulcerative colitis) in toddlers. 

Benefits of Probiotics

An infant's delicate digestive system can easily experience upsets that can disturb the healthy bacteria in an infant’s gut. The use of antibiotics, food allergies, and childhood illnesses are just a few ways that may lead to unhealthy gut bacteria propagation.

An imbalance between good and harmful bacteria can cause several distressing symptoms in your baby.

🦠 Diarrhea

🦠 Constipation

🦠 Allergies

🦠 Colic

🦠 Eczema

Baby probiotics help tiny bodies additionally by encouraging healthy immune system development and balance between innate and adaptive immunity (i.e. TH1 and TH2) thereby diminishing or eliminating such symptoms. 

probiotics help support baby graphic | The Milky Box

What Does Research Say About Baby Probiotics?

A 2014 study found the health and financial benefits of treating healthy babies with probiotics in their first three months.

Baby probiotics help avoid the onset of GI conditions, like reflux and constipation, and reduce overall crying time.

There are three top probiotic strains of baby probiotics. Each has properties that calm digestive worries, help comfort, and minimize pain.

🦠Bifidobacterium Bifidum

This strain supports immature digestive systems and nutrient absorption and in turn can be helpful with constipation, diarrhea, and infant skin conditions such as eczema and yeast infections.

🦠Bifidobacterium Infantis

This probiotic strain may be the most prevalent in infants. Assisting with overall health

and digestion, this form of baby probiotics reduces inflammation and supports immune function.

🦠Lactobacillus Rheuteri

Older babies and toddlers ages 6-36 months have nearly 1/3 fewer cases of diarrhea and 1/2 as many respiratory infections when this particular baby probiotic is added to their daily diet. 

Are Baby Probiotics Safe? 

The Probiotics Institute published a study where newborn babies were given either baby formula supplemented with a probiotic in the form of bifidobacterium, standard baby formula, or breastfed.

The results were encouraging and have set the standard for further studies and have now proven to be a safe and effective way to balance and maintain a healthy gut in infants.

One Month of Age

Babies who were given the probiotic baby formula had a similar amount of bifidobacteria in their gut as that of breastfed babies, which was a significantly higher amount than in the babies receiving the standard formula.

Follow-up 28-day Study

Babies who cried excessively and fussed were given baby probiotics and had a significantly lower incidence of crying and fussing than those who were given a placebo treatment.

What Types of Probiotics are Available?

Your baby’s gut microbiome is populated naturally during the first days of life and can be maintained in several ways.

Baby Probiotics During Delivery

During vaginal birth, a baby’s microbiome may be directly influenced by the woman’s microbiome.

As a woman’s gut microbiome changes from trimester to trimester, there is an increase in the amount of beneficial bifidobacteria. Bifidobacteria are essential in the early years of life because these bacteria are central to developing a baby’s immune health.

A study allowed researchers to follow seventeen mothers and their infants. In babies born by vaginal delivery, particular strains of bifidobacteria were observed in both the mother and baby.

It is fascinating to note that babies born by cesarean did not have these specific strains in common with their mothers. This heavily suggests that these baby probiotics were passed from mothers to newborns during vaginal birth.

Skin-to-Skin Contact

Bonding time is significant for all newborn babies. The benefits to your baby’s health and well-being are immeasurable. Skin-to-skin plays a particularly vital role for babies born via cesarean delivery and are not exposed to their mother's beneficial bacteria during delivery.

This snuggling time offers an opportunity for beneficial bacteria to transfer from mom to baby.

Baby Probiotics in Breast Milk

Human breast milk is rich in probiotics, particularly Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium Infantis. These readily available healthy bacteria are transferred from mother to baby through the mother's milk.

European Baby Formula 

European baby formulas are designed to meet every developmental and nutritional need. This careful thought includes the addition of probiotics in many of the leading brands. 

Probiotics in Infant Formulas 

Formula-fed babies have many optionsthat have been fortified with probiotics along with a balance of organic nutrients.

The inclusion of probiotics in baby formulas reflects the natural contents of breast milk and helps promote beneficial bacteria in your baby’s gut. These probiotics work alongside your baby's microflora to improve your baby's well-being.

Baby probiotics added to the European baby formula may help to prevent or treat digestive worries.

HiPP Baby Formula

HiPP Organic Baby Formula Company understands how essential it is to provide babies with safe, wholesome nutrition for all families. HiPP designs unique powdered baby formulas that contain the natural probiotic L. fermentum hereditum®. 

HiPP Formulas | The Milky Box

HiPP Comfort Baby Formula  

HiPP Comfort has probiotics to complement the 86-87% hydrolyzed protein and is specially designed for infants who experience gassy tummies, colic, constipation, and may have food-related allergies. 

HiPP German Organic Combiotic

HiPP German Organic Combiotic Formula is one of the best-selling baby milk formulas of all time. It comes packed with high-quality organic ingredients and is subject to considerably stricter criteria than those stipulated by law.

Along with natural prebiotics, HiPP German has added probiotics for added digestive protection.

HiPP Dutch Organic Combiotic

HiPP Dutch Organic Combiotic supports the development of healthy intestinal microbiota with its symbiotic composition that includes probiotics naturally sourced.

This exceptional baby formula has baby probiotics and prebiotics for extra support and is manufactured to be free from toxic ingredients and common allergens.

HiPP Kinderlmich Organic Combiotic

HiPP Kindermilch Organic Combiotic is the nutritional reinforcement your toddler needs. As solid food is introduced to infants, probiotics are more crucial than ever.

This high-calorie formula has the optimal balance of nutrients to support eye, bone, cognitive health, and gut health, all while keeping out heavy metal and non-lactose sugars.

Goat Milk Baby Formula

Digestive worries and sensitive systems need gentle ingredients formulated to meet the needs of babies with the most delicate systems.

European Goat Formulas contain less lactose than cow's milk by approximately half a percent, and due to A2 milk protein, it is easier to digest. When you add probiotics to the natural benefits of goat milk baby formula, your baby will have relief from gas, bloating, and other digestive trouble.

Jovie Organic Goat Milk Formula

Jovie Goat's Milk | The Milky Box

Jovie Organic Goat Milk Formula is specially designed for little ones with touchy tummies.

Providing critical nutrients similar to breast milk, goat’s milk formula is an excellent alternative to cow's milk baby formula. Sustainably produced and as close to nature as possible, Jovie goat milk products are certified according to European organic farming standards.

Jovie goat Introduces your baby to probiotics early on as a wonderful way to help ease digestion, boost their immune system, and prevent illness.

Probiotics for Baby 

Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria) whose presence in your infant’s gut provides benefits to health, the immune system, and digestion.

The Milky Box is proud to carry European baby formulas that incorporate probiotics to strengthen your infant’s immune system and can help prevent infections—organic nutrition for every nutritional and digestive need from our family to yours.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Premature Babies Have Probiotics?

Yes. Preterm babies are more likely to have unbalanced gut bacteria, which may affect their health. Probiotics can help with digestive and immunity issues. Of course, check qualified and knowledgeable healthcare provider first.   

Do Probiotics Help Infants with Gas?

The helpful bacteria in probiotics support healthy gut flora to digest food. As the probiotics facilitate digestion, your baby's digestive system can more effectively move the food without creating gas.

Can I Give My Baby Probiotics every day?

Yes! Probiotics are suitable for infants since they help boost their immunity and soothe digestive troubles. 


Please be aware that this information is based on general trends in babies, and it is not medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child’s formula and when choosing your child’s formula. Always consult your pediatrician before making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.

Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.

Suzanne Renee' is an accomplished professional with extensive expertise in the area of infant nutrition, dedicated to promoting the health and wellbeing of children. She started this journey as a foster parent. Suzanne has emerged as a strong proponent of the European baby formula and has become a full time writer of the subject. In her free time, she enjoys camping, hiking and going to church.

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Reviewed by Dr. Eric Wood, ND, MA

Dr. Wood is a licensed naturopathic doctor, with a doctorate degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Canada. He received his post-graduation certification in Mind Body Medicine at Harvard University.

With 15 years of experience, Dr. Wood is an Associate Professor of Holistic Nutrition at the American College of Health Sciences in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Wood is an educator, clinician, author, media figure, consultant, and owns his own holistic (naturopathic) medical practice in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Wood is currently researching and drafting books on cancer and pediatrics.

Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Wood loves singing with the Miami Lyric Opera and is an avid musician in South Florida. He also loves spending time with his wife and kids.