Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Ages & Stages
Text Size

Probiotics in Infant Formula

baby drinking bottle baby drinking bottle

Probiotics (meaning "for life") is a word that you may run across when shopping for infant formula for your baby. Some formulas are fortified with these probiotics, which are types of live bacteria. They are "good" or "friendly" bacteria that are already present at high levels in the digestive system of breastfed babies.

In formula-fed babies, the introduction of probiotics to formulas is designed to promote a balance of bacteria in your baby's intestines, and offset the growth of "unfriendly" organisms that could cause infections and inflammation.

Possible Health Benefits of Probiotics

The most common types of probiotics are strains of tiny organisms called Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.

More research is needed

With many of these health conditions, the evidence confirming any positive effects of probiotic use is limited and more research is needed. At this time, any benefits appear to occur only as long as the probiotics are being taken. Once your baby stops consuming probiotic-fortified formula, the bacteria in the intestines will return to their previous levels.

Before giving your child infant formula that is fortified with probiotics, discuss the issue with your pediatrician.

Additional Information

Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 6th Edition (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Follow Us