Colic is defined as excessive crying for three hours each day, more than three days each week for longer than three weeks for no apparent reason. Affecting up to twenty percent of infants younger than three months old. Not all crying babies have colic though. It is important to remember, that babies do cry for no reason. This is their way of communicating and expending energy. Two to three hours of intermittent crying throughout the day is completely normal.
But, if your baby does have colic, could probiotics help? Or could probiotics help prevent colic if given early?
Probiotics are supplements or foods containing microorganisms capable of changing our gastrointestinal micro flora. Babies are born with sterile intestinal tracks, and as they begin to eat, normal bacterial colonization occurs. Research proves there is a wide range of what is considered normal when an infant’s GI tract flora is examined. There has been limited research analyzing probiotic supplementation with mixed results regarding colic symptom relief.
What’s the bottom line? More research is needed to determine the efficacy, safety, long-term effects, and dosaging guidelines for infants. Research has shown there is likely no single cause for colic and probiotic administration cannot be the cure-all. If your baby has been diagnosed with colic, talk with your pediatrician before starting probiotics. And as a preventative measure, we just don’t know enough about the long-term effects of probiotics. Probiotics should not be given to newborns routinely in fear of having a baby with colic.