6 Best Probiotics for Infants, Babies + Toddlers (plus, why they need them)
6 Best Probiotics for Infants, Babies + Toddlers that may help with colic, gas, diarrhea, constipation, eczema, and even baby acne! This is my honest review on the best tried-and-true brands that I personally tested for taste, ingredients, price, and features. Great guide for 0-4 years of age.
Medically reviewed by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
Probiotics for Infants, Babies + Toddlers
This is an in-depth guide on probiotics for infants, baby, and toddlers that will give you all of the answers you are looking for when it comes to probiotics and your little one. Note that I was not paid by any of these companies for these reviews. These are my honest thoughts and opinions on each of them.
In this post, we will cover the following:
- Why Infants, Babies and Toddlers Need Probiotics
- What are Probiotics?
- What do Probiotics Help with?
- Are Probiotics Safe for Infants and Toddlers?
- Types of Probiotics
- Probiotics Your Infant + Toddler Need
- How Often to Give Probiotics
- 6 Best Probiotics for Infants, Baby and Toddlers
- Top Recommended Brands
- Mary Ruth’s Liquid Probiotic
- UpSpring Probiotic with Colostrum
- Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic Drops
- Lovebug Tiny Tummies Probiotic
- Probonix Probiotics for Babies
- Professional Infant, Childrens & Kids Probiotic
WHY INFANTS, BABIES AND TODDLERS BENEFIT FROM PROBIOTICS
The gut is made up of trillions of live microorganisms responsible for 80% of our immune system, so having good gut health is extremely important for baby and toddler’s health for years to come. The gut also plays a huge role in digestion, skin health, brain chemistry, hormones, and immunity and is often referred to as a second brain.
A healthy gut makes for a healthy life!
And while you would think that baby comes into this world with a perfectly balanced little gut, that just isn’t the case. Baby’s gut bacteria (both the good and bad bacteria) is influenced from mom’s gut health in utero, gestational age, mode of delivery, diet and antibiotic exposure. And because of the modern world that we live in – high-stress, pro-antibiotic, nutrient-poor and abundance of refined foods, most moms’ gut health is depleted to some extent.
So while I am wary of adding any supplements or medicine into an infant’s daily life, I am a firm believer that probiotics are a must for most (if not all) babies to help them boost their growing gut health. They are generally safe for healthy babies, but as always, consult with your pediatrician before starting any probiotic, especially if your child has serious health issues.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics, or “good bacteria,” are microorganisms that live in your gut and have health benefits when consumed, like improved digestion. Probiotics are found in many fermented foods, like yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut, and eating these foods or taking a probiotic supplement may help boost the amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics are the food that helps probiotics grow.
What do Probiotics Help with?
While probiotics may help infants with numerous different gut related issues, here are some of the main ones. Keep in mind that there is very little research on probiotics and infants but some clinical trials and anecdotal evidence has shown that they may be helpful for:
- easing colic
- reducing reflux
- decreasing diarrhea
- easing constipation
- eliminating gas
- skin issues – eczema, baby acne, dry or patchy skin
- improving immunity
- reducing the risk of early childhood obesity
- relieving a stuffy nose, respiratory infection, and trouble breathing
- reducing the risk of food intolerances and food allergies
- producing hormones, like serotonin
- improving mood, motivation, and cognitive health
- repairing damaged tissue from injuries (great for mobile babies and toddlers)
Even if your baby or toddler isn’t experiencing any of these symptoms, chances are they still could benefit from a probiotic.
Are Probiotics Safe for Infants and Toddlers?
Generally yes, all brands can safely be given to healthy babies or toddlers. Keep in mind that probiotics are considered a supplement and not a medication, so are not regulated by the FDA. When choosing a probiotic for baby and to ensure its safety, its best to look for one that has been certified by an independent body like ConsumerLab, USP or NSF International. Please consult your pediatrician before you start a probiotic or if you have any questions or concerns, especially if your child has a weak immune system, was born prematurely or has other health issues.
Types of Probiotics
Powder – you can sprinkle the powder onto a nipple or a pacifier or add it into a bottle of breastmilk or formula for baby. You can add it into a glass of milk, water, or juice or mix into yogurt or applesauce for toddler.
Liquid – you can place the liquid drops directly into baby’s or toddler’s tongue or add to a bottle of breastmilk or formula for baby or to a glass of milk, water, or juice for a toddler. You can also mix it into a serving of yogurt or applesauce for a toddler.
Formula – there are some infant formulas on the market that are fortified with probiotics
**Do not add probiotics to hot liquids or foods as this will kill off the bacteria in the probiotics.
Probiotics Your Infant + Toddler Need
B.Bifidum: one of the first strains to colonize in the baby’s intestines may help build immunity and eliminate eczema.
B. Infantis: helps with immunity and reduces inflammation as the bacteria crowds the gut and makes it inhospitable to foreign invaders (bad bacteria) to populate it.
L. Rheuteri: this strain is commonly found in probiotics as studies have shown that is helps treat colic and reflux.
How Often to Give Probiotics
If your baby or toddler has any symptoms from the list above, then I would give them the dosage on the package (or per your pediatrician’s recommendations) daily.
For preventive use, I would recommend giving them to baby or toddler several times a week, but it’s okay if you skip a couple of days a week.
Antibiotics – if your baby or toddler needs a round of antibiotics for any reason, it is essential to re-populate the good bacteria in their system as soon as the round of antibiotics is over. Antibiotics kill off all of the good and bad bacteria in the body. It’s super important to then load up on the good bacteria before the bad bacteria has a chance to reproduce. Probiotics can be given during the course of antibiotics, but make sure they are taken at different times of the day, and continue to take them for a few weeks after stopping antibiotics, or as directed by your pediatrician.
6 Best Probiotics for Infants, Baby and Toddlers
Top Recommended Brands
I love all six of these brands of probiotics and would recommend any of them to you for your infant, baby, and toddler. Here is what they are each best for:
Best Overall Probiotic: Mary Ruth’s Liquid Probiotic
Best Prebiotic & Probiotic: Lovebug Tiny Tummies Probiotic
Best Probiotic with Immune Support: UpSpring Probiotic with Colostrum
Best for Colic: Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic Drops
Best for Picky Toddlers: Probonix Probiotics for Babies
Features: first-ever USDA Certified Organic liquid probiotic, no harsh chemicals, fillers, and artificial ingredients, long shelf life, and no refrigeration necessary, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, water-based, plant-based, 12 live strands
Best for: overall baby and toddler gut health – helps with baby or toddler’s digestive problems, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, IBS, and other gastrointestinal complaints.
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – live probiotics that have not been heat-treated, which means you get more live probiotics in each serving.
Strains – Lactobacillus-Acidophilus, L-Rhamnosus, L-Salivarius, L-Casei, L-Plantarum, Lactococcus-Lactis, Streptococcus-Thermophilus, Bifidobacterium-Bifidum, B-Lactis, B-Infantis, B-Breve, and B-Longumwater in an enzyme-enriched substrate with water and a proprietary blend of 3 organic grasses.
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – tastes like water; your baby or toddler will never know they are taking probiotics. You can mix it with water, formula, or breast milk or drop it directly into baby or toddler’s mouth.
Cost per Serving: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – $0.29 per toddler serving
Things to Know: there are only dosages for children ages 1-3 on the package, but the product would be great for baby as well; just consult with your pediatrician for the correct dosage.
Features: each tiny packet contains 5 billion active cultures of 6 probiotic strains plus probiotics as well as natural bovine colostrum. Colostrum provides a complete range of antibodies for even more immune support. No artificial ingredients. All-natural, gluten-free, sugar-free, hormone-free.
Best for: overall baby and toddler gut health – helps reduce occasional digestive upset such as gas, diarrhea, hard stools, and other tummy troubles while also providing additional immune support.
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 stars) – this is a great blend, but it does contain guar gum as well as milk.
Probiotic Blend – B. Lactis, B. Longum, B. Breve, Lactobacillus blend, L. Rhamnosus, L. Acidophilus, L. Reuteri, colostrum powder, FOS fructooligosaccharides and chicory root extract, Sunfiber (partially hydrolyzed guar gum), Silica. Contains MILK.
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – mild flavor and mixes great into cool water, formula, breast milk, or in yogurt or applesauce.
Cost per Serving: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – $0.30 per baby or toddler servings.
Things to Know: this blend contains milk, so if your baby or toddler is dairy-free, you will have to pick another brand.
Features: drops contain pure lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, the world’s most studied single-strain probiotic. No added sugar, no alcohol, no artificial flavors or colors, and free of the top 8 allergens.
Best for: great for gas and colic.
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 stars) – lactobacillus rhamnosus, corn oil (non-GMO)
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 stars) – mild tastes, but it has an oily base which is fine when mixed into a bottle of breast milk or formula but might be a little difficult for a toddler to drink in water.
Cost per Serving: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 stars) – $0.51 per serving
Things to Know: while I tend not to endorse single-strain probiotic brands, this product has lactobacillus rhamnosus, which has been clinically shown to reduce spit-up and colic by 50%. So if your main concern is a crying and fussy baby – this would be a great option for you.
Features: has a proprietary blend of top probiotic strains, determined by researchers to provide optimal benefits to children between 0 months – 4 years in 3 different stages (0-6 months, 6-12 months, and 1-4 years). Has added prebiotic as well, which helps probiotics grow. This product grows with your baby and their gut needs. Non-GMO, allergen-free, sugar-free, and includes no artificial colors or flavors.
Best for overall gut health – supports a healthy digestive system during the early stages of development + immune health.
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – Tiny Tummies is a staged product that adds more probiotics as baby grows. Tiny Tummies (0-6 months) Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Chicory Fructooligosaccharides, and Silica. Tiny Tummies (6-12 months) Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus Reuters, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Chicory Fructooligosaccharides, and Silica. Tiny Tummies (1-4 years) Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus Reuters, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus gasseri, Chicory Fructooligosaccharides, and Silica
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – mild flavor, it takes a few seconds to mix in a glass of water but would be fine in a bottle of formula, breast milk, or mixed in yogurt or applesauce.
Cost per Serving: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3/5 stars) – $0.70 per baby or toddler serving
Things to Know: I love that this product has a prebiotic as well as a probiotic. Probiotics introduce new bacteria into the gut, where prebiotics feed the bacteria already in the gut.
Features: organic, non-GMO, and all-natural supplement free from gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, eggs, fish/shellfish, and peanuts/tree nuts, no chemical additives or unnatural ingredients. It has a one-of-a-kind acid-coating process that enables the live bacteria culture to live 10x over other brands; get more information here.
Best for: overall gut health – great for picky toddlers because they will like the sweet grape flavor dropped right onto their tongue.
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 stars) – lactobacillus rhamnosus, lactobacillus acidophilus,bifidobacterium bifidum, bifidobacterium breve, bifidobacterium infantis, bifidobacterium lactis, bifidobacterium longum, and lactobacillus reuteri, filtered water, natural grape flavor, monk fruit, and stevia.
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – tastes like grapes and is great for picky toddlers.
Cost per Serving: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – $1.06 per toddler serving
Things to Know: This product has added natural grape flavor, monk fruit, and stevia, so I would not recommend it for baby under 1 year of age.
Features: Probiotic contains FOS to promote additional growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines. No dairy, GMOs, gluten, corn, soy, or yeast.
Best for: overall gut health –
Ingredients: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 stars) – Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus reuteri, microcrystalline cellulose, and fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS).
Taste: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – mild taste. Mixed well in a glass of water and would be great in a bottle of formula, breastmilk, or mixed in yogurt or applesauce.
Cost per Serving: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) – $0.28 per infant serving, $0.56 per toddler serving.
Things to Know: This is a great-priced probiotic that would work for overall gut health.
Note on Products: while I did receive some of these products as gifts, this post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.
I am not a doctor, so please consult your pediatrician if you have any question or concerns about the information in this post.