While the pandemic has put adult immunity in the spotlight, the issue for babies is an evergreen one. Because the antibodies that a mother initially transfers to her baby don’t last more than a couple of months, an infant’s immune system is still developing. With so many new germs and frightening unknowns, more parents are looking for ways to help build up their baby’s immune system. Get ahead of the curve by supporting baby’s immunity early with these five easy yet trusted tips.
1. Focus on Good Food
A good immune system begins with a healthy diet that revolves around whole foods. When your baby starts eating solids, make sure you include fruits and vegetables that contain phytonutrients such as vitamin C and carotenoids. Strawberries, blueberries, oranges, green beans, and carrots contain phytonutrients—as well as antioxidants.
2. Start a Supplement Strategy
Babies are notoriously fussy with food, and if you’re having trouble getting them to eat a balanced diet, it can be helpful to supplement their nutrition with products like Mommy’s Bliss’ Baby Multivitamins, which offer the daily value of vitamins C, D, E, B1, B2, and B6. Also, Organic Baby Elderberry Drops include antioxidant-rich vitamin C, vitamin D3, zinc, and echinacea to support a baby’s immune system. And because breastfed babies can lack vitamin D, another great supplement is Organic Baby Vitamin D, which provides the daily amount of vitamins C and D recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
3. Partake in Probiotics
“Probiotics help re-balance our gut bacterial flora and ensure that our gut is functioning optimally,” pediatrician Dr. Smita Malhotra says. They help build a baby’s digestive and immune system. While it is important to talk to your doctor first, probiotics are safe for babies from day one. “In general, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG, a strain that works well for children, is known for its safety, and has been widely studied,” Malhotra says. She recommends a daily dose of the easy-to-use Mommy’s Bliss Baby Probiotic Drops. If your baby is prone to colic, try the Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic Drops with Colic Support, which contains a clinically proven strain to help reduce crying time for babies with colic.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is an essential way for our bodies to develop a strong immune system. An infant may need up to sixteen hours of crib-time a day, and if you don’t already have a sleep routine that works for you and your baby, this is a good time to start one. If the stress and disruption of the pandemic has upended your family’s sleep routine, you are not alone, and sleep expert Nicole Cannon has some suggestions that may help you get back on track.
5. Guard Against Germs
Reduce the stress on your child’s immune system by reducing his/her exposure to germs. Wash your hands and your baby’s hands—with soap—before and after each meal and after playing outside, handling pets, blowing their nose, using the bathroom, and arriving home from daycare. Handwashing can be a fun and nurturing ritual, and it is also a way to make the practice a matter of course that you don’t have to teach (or nag about) later.
Supporting your baby’s developing immune system is critical, but parents should not feel overwhelmed. Good nutrition, enough sleep, and the right supplements go a long way in keeping babies’ and kids’ immune systems supported.
Shana Liebman is the features editor of NYMetroParents. She’s a writer and editor who has worked for magazines including New York Magazine, Salon, and Travel & Leisure,—and she is the mom of two energetic little boys.
This article is sponsored by Mommybliss and Mommybites does not officially endorse any products.