Why is no one talking about your baby’s microbiome?
There are many reasons why mommy bloggers and medical communities aren’t talking about the microbiome.
Most baby wash and baby shampoo products on the market today are full of harsh chemicals that disrupt your child’s natural skin barrier. Bringing the microbiome into discussions about early childhood development would drastically change the products we use on our baby's skin.
We don’t know that much about the microbiome (yet), so it’s not commonly considered in the face of illness prevention and early childhood development. Especially since Western medicine gravitates toward treating the symptoms rather than the root cause.
But what if your baby’s microbiome development is just as important as their immune system development?
Your baby is born with a bacterial coating (aka microbiome) that’s totally unique to them and helps guard against illness. The good news is, there’s little you have to do in order to nurture this microbiome—mostly, just avoid chemicals in their shampoo and baby wash.
By Guarding Your Baby’s Microbiome from an Early Age, You Can:
- Optimize your baby’s immune system function and gut health.
- Stop common ailments like diaper rash and eczema in their tracks.
- Prevent future chronic illnesses and allergies.
- Build brain health and vitality.
Those are just the benefits we know about so far. The truth is, scientists have only just begun to study the tiny microscopic bacteria that make their home in our bodies—and how they impact our daily lives.
Where Is the Microbiome Located?
When considering the microbiome, most people think about the gut—particularly the large intestine. It’s true that most of the microbiome is located in your digestive tract once you reach adulthood.
But there’s a healthy microbiome that makes its home on your skin, too. This layer of microbes helps protect your skin barrier and aids in healing cuts, scrapes, and skin issues like acne and eczema.
When a baby is born, they get most of their flourishing skin microbiome from the birth canal. The healthy bacteria in the gut is cultivated later—alongside the immune system.
5 Easy Ways to Feed Your Baby’s Unique Microbiome for Best Skin and Gut Health
Protecting the microbiome is easier than you think. These lifestyle adjustments are simple, inexpensive, and easy to begin during early development.
Diversify Your Own Microbiome While Pregnant
Your baby’s microbiome is largely determined by your own gut health. Before and during pregnancy, make sure to eat tons of healthy fibers and fermented foods—like kombucha, kefir, yogurt, and berries.
Fermented foods will add healthy microscopic friends to your gut—while fibrous foods will feed the good bacteria that are already there, allowing them to multiply.
Another way to protect your microbiome during pregnancy is to be careful about what kinds of medication you take. Antibiotics, birth control, and even painkillers can alter your microbiome—so use them cautiously.
Breastfeed (If Possible)
Breastfeeding isn’t possible for everyone—and we’re not about promoting mom-guilt.
If breastfeeding is an easy option for you, it’s a great way to nurture your baby’s microbiome early on in their life. Your breastmilk can “customize” itself to your baby's needs—providing essential nutrients and, yes, probiotics!
The probiotics and prebiotics in your breastmilk will help build your baby’s own microbiome while their immune system matures on its own.
Spend Time in the Dirt
A little tummy time in the great outdoors? Your baby will probably love it.
There are tons of probiotics in the soil, making grounding an easy (and free) way to boost your baby’s microbiome.
Creating a habit of outdoor play and curiosity as your child grows can help strengthen their immune system and nurture their gut and skin health—while cultivating a lifetime love for nature.
Focus on Adding Bacteria Instead of Removing It
For years, the medical community has subscribed to the idea that removing harmful bacteria is the way to treat infection and illness.
That’s sort of true.
Your gut microbiome is constantly fighting with itself—the ultimate story of good vs evil. Although antibacterials are important for treating some infections, you can actually make a lot of progress by feeding the good bacteria.
Increase the good bacteria in your baby’s system, and they’ll have a better chance of fighting off the bad stuff.
If you focus on removing bacteria altogether (via frequent use of antibiotics and antibacterials), you’ll kill both the good and the bad bacteria—leaving skin susceptible to future infections.
Use Non-Toxic Skincare Products (Like Organic Baby Shampoo and Organic Baby Wash)
We don’t like to fixate on all the bad stuff in baby skincare products. But trust us—it’s one big yikes. Fresh out of the womb, your baby’s microbiome is fragile. The choices you make between birth and early childhood development can either provide long-term nourishment or chronic damage.
Focus on two things: the food your baby consumes and the products their skin is exposed to.
Signs You Need to Focus on Feeding Your Baby’s Microbiome
Wondering how your baby’s microbiome is doing? These signs and symptoms can indicate distress:
- Unexplained digestive issues
- Frequent rashes (like eczema and baby acne)
- Immune system distress and frequent illness
The solution to these issues is typically an over-the-counter cream or medication. But this can further alter the natural microbiome and cause long-term issues.
If possible, treat the symptoms with all-natural products, like 100% grass-fed tallow balm and organic baby balm. Then do a deep dive into diet and lifestyle, so you can help your baby rebuild their microbiome—and their health.