Best Baby Probiotics

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

59 Models Considered
18 Hours Researched
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60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best baby probiotics

If your baby experiences tummy discomfort, your pediatrician may recommend using probiotics. These supplements are specially formulated to introduce strains of good bacteria into the intestinal tract to minimize bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea.

Baby probiotics are vastly different than those designed for adults, both in form and formulation. They’re available as liquid and powder, both of which can be added effortlessly to cool or room-temperature baby food. As far as formulation goes, baby probiotics have the appropriate potency with every dose so as not to upset little tummies.

As you begin exploring baby probiotics, you’ll be impressed with the selection on the market. From supplemental formulas with additional nutrients to those made that align with dietary concerns, you’ll be able to find one for your baby’s needs. Not sure where to begin? To help you, our team of experts assembled this buying guide on baby probiotics, plus some recommendations, to make your choice a simple one.

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Probiotics can help relieve gas and bloating, so they’re often recommended for babies who suffer from colic.

Key considerations

How baby probiotics work

Probiotics help your baby’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract by introducing live strains of good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. A strong GI tract has better immune resistance and is less susceptible to distress from dietary-related irritation or inflammation. Probiotics also promote healthy bowel movements because the prevalence of good bacteria minimizes constipation, gas, and diarrhea.

How long it takes to see results

You’re probably wondering how long it takes to see results from baby probiotics, especially if your baby is experiencing the stress of an upset tummy or difficult bowel movements. In terms of immediate response from a dose, it’s common for baby probiotics to start taking effect around 30 minutes following ingestion.

That said, baby probiotics don’t exactly fall into the category of “take it once and you’ll feel better.” For some babies, and even some adults, probiotics may take a few weeks of daily doses before they have a significant impact on the GI tract. While babies may experience modest relief early on, overall better regulation is something that occurs down the line. Among other variables, such as other dietary or health conditions, probiotics work by way of improving gut health.

Age range

“Baby probiotics” is an inclusive category that encompasses those designed for newborns through tots. Some formulas are intended for ages 0 to 12 months, but others are created to target specific age ranges, such as 0 to 6 months or 12 to 24 months.

The intended ages are clearly disclosed on the packaging of most brands, making it simple to find the right one for your baby. It’s also important to know that baby probiotics are much different than adult probiotics. You should avoid giving your baby any probiotics that clearly aren’t designed for their age group. Probiotics designed for adults, as well some for older kids, have bacterial concentrations that are too high for younger tummies.

While many probiotics have natural or artificial flavors, your baby might not like the taste. If so, consider a flavorless formula instead.

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Features

Liquid vs. powder

Liquid baby probiotics are usually packaged in jars with droppers, though some are available as squeeze tubes or regular bottles. It’s relatively easy to dispense liquid formulas, and they mix easily into food. Because many liquid formulas come only in glass bottles, traveling with them can be challenging at times.

Powdered baby probiotics are available in convenient premeasured packets and resealable bags or jars. They’re better suited for travel, especially packets that are mess-free and easy to pack in any bag. They tend to be gritty or granular, so you’ll need to mix them well so the texture is pleasing to your baby. Some powdered probiotics don’t break down when they’re blended, so keep in mind that they may remain noticeably gritty.

Formulas

When you look at the live strains of bacteria in baby probiotics, you’ll notice a lot of Latin on the label. Basically, they fall into two categories of good bacteria: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Here are some common strains of each:

Lactobacillus: Strains of Lactobacillus include L. acidophilus and L. casei, both of which treat diarrhea. L. rhamnosus provides GI support, and L. plantarum calms GI irritation.

Bifidobacterium: Strains of Bifidobacterium include B. lactis and B. bifidum, which provide immunity support. B. longum relieves constipation, while B. breve provides GI support.

If you prefer a liquid formula but want to stick to oil-free probiotics for your baby, you’ll likely end up with a water-based formula.

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Other ingredients

Each baby probiotic formula and combination of live strains is different. Reading the rest of the label is equally important, because you may find the formula contains ingredients that aren’t ideal for your baby. It’s common for these products to contain guar gum, egg, milk, oil, wheat, soy, fish, or sugar alcohols. Some formulas also contain artificial sweeteners, dyes, and even scents.

Special formulas

If you’d like to steer clear of complex formulas, there’s a wide variety of baby probiotics that are organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, alcohol-free, and/or sugar-free. Many formulas are also packaged in BPA-free packaging or are ethically sourced and fair trade. There are many plant-based varieties available as well.

If you’re interested in using probiotics as a way for your baby to receive other nutrients, choose a formula infused in vitamins or targeted ingredients. Vitamin D, for example, is common to see in baby probiotics because it aids in bone health. There are also probiotics with chamomile, which is a natural sleep aid. 

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Did You Know?
Baby probiotics should be kept refrigerated or at room temperature. Premeasured packets seem convenient enough to leave in the car, but exposure to heat has adverse effects on the live cultures.
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Baby probiotic prices

The majority of baby probiotic formulas are sold in one-month quantities and range from $15 to $60. The more specialized the formula, the pricer the probiotics.

Inexpensive: Entry-level baby probiotics cost between $15 and $25 per month. Most formulas focus on tummy relief, but some formulas also include added nutrients and vitamins.

Mid-range: These formulas range from $25 to $40 per month and include more specialized formulas to accommodate dietary restrictions, including food sensitivities. Many probiotics in this range are also non-GMO, naturally derived, and organic.

Expensive: Formulas containing several strains of live cultures, as well as a wealth of added nutrients and vitamins, cost between $40 and $60 per month.

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Did You Know?
When packing your baby bag, make sure you have at least one premeasured packet of probiotics per jar or squeeze packet of food.
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Tips

  • Talk to your pediatrician first. Before making any major changes to your baby’s diet, including the use of probiotics, talk with your pediatrician.
  • Check if the probiotics must be refrigerated. Many baby probiotics are shelf-stable, but some formulas require refrigeration. It’s also important to store probiotics in a cool, dark place that isn’t susceptible to humidity or heat exposure.
  • Compare doses of dropper formulas. Not all baby probiotics have the same formulation, so the concentration varies between different brands. Some call for two to three droplets while others require as many as five for a full dose.
  • Feed the probiotics to your baby immediately after mixing. Be sure to add probiotics to food or formula right before feeding your baby to maximize relief.
  • Consider a subscription plan. To make sure your baby probiotic treatment isn’t interrupted, sign up for a subscription delivery plan so it arrives on time.
  • Check expiration dates. Always check the product’s expiration date prior to purchase. Keep in mind that, unlike vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter medications, probiotics have a significantly shorter shelf life.
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Depending on the formula, baby probiotics can have anywhere between 5 and 7 billion active cultures per dose.

FAQ

Q. Why is it important not to warm probiotics?

A. You’ll find many baby probiotics explicitly state to only add them to cold or room-temperature food. This is because some research supports the idea that heat can have adverse effects on the formula by killing the live cultures.

Q. Do I have to add probiotics to my baby’s food or can I drop it directly in their mouth?

A. It’s best to simply add the formula to cool or room-temperature baby food. Powder formulas are far too dry to be taken without liquid. Many liquid formulas explicitly say not to place the dropper in your baby’s mouth.

Q. Do probiotics interact with any medications?

A. While they’re generally deemed safe with most medications and foods, baby probiotics may interact with antibiotics or antifungals. To prevent potentially dangerous interactions, keep your doctor updated as to which probiotics your baby is taking. It could affect which medications are prescribed for your baby.

Q. What foods are ideal for mixing with baby probiotics?

A. Soft or pureed foods mix well with probiotics. Applesauce or baby cereal are popular choices, and you can certainly add probiotics to jars or tubs of stage 2, 3, or 4 baby food. Another option is to add probiotics to formula, breast milk, or water bottles.

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