Baby Health Tips

 

How to Raise A Healthy Child: from New-born to Toddler

Imagine raising a baby with eczema-free skin, no food allergies and little or no ear infections.

Imagine that baby being a toddler who stays healthy even after starting pre-school.

Imagine a child that is fit, active and doesn’t get the snuffles their classmates get.

Good health and a strong immune system are not for the lucky few. Good health is within every baby and child’s grasp.

And, to make it easier for you as a parent… there is a secret.  Focus on one key aspect and health will follow..

What is that one key focus?

Gut Health for Kids.

The Best Baby Health Tip you will Get

Imagine a thriving garden. Lots of beautifully scented flowers – roses, tulips and sunflowers; flourishing vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes.

What is the foundation of that thriving garden?

The soil.

And, without the right soil, you could plant a 1000 flowers or 2000 vegetables, but none of them would grow.

It’s the work a gardener puts into the soil that enables the garden to flourish and thrive.

So, like the soil is the foundation of a thriving garden – Gut health is the foundation of a baby’s health, both now and in their future.

 

NOTE: if you are wondering what this means for you if you have health issues… I think health similar to being dealt a hand of cards.  You have got your cards, nothing you can do to change that… BUT, you want to play one heck of a hand. Eating well, sleeping and moving the pillars to play that hand of cards well.

 

A Baby’s Gut Development –
the secret to long-term health

In your baby’s first 1,000 days their gut is still maturing.

Think of this time as the time a gardener puts into the soil. If a gardener puts effort into making that soil the healthiest it can be, when they eventually plant a seedling – that seedling will thrive with a little sun and rain. If a gardener doesn’t spend any time nurturing that soil, after planting their seedlings they will have to put sprays and insect controls to help keep that plant growing.
When you nurture your baby’s gut development in their 1st 1,000 days they will thrive and flourish – they will be ‘those kids who never get sick’.


Why are your baby’s 1st 1,000 days important?

This is the window when your baby’s gut lining and gut bacteria balance is developing.  Reaching maturity around their 3rd birthday.

After age three, your little one’s gut bacteria becomes stable. 

Their quality of life will be affected by what bacteria they are exposed to, or,  not exposed to in their first 1,000 days.

Gut bacteria balance is one piece of the puzzle linked to childhood and adult diseases.

Early good bacteria exposure playing a role in three main areas of development. Digestive, Immune and Brain development.

 

1. Digestion and metabolism

Gut bacteria play a key role in normal bone, growth and body development.

Meaning, what happens now in their gut will play a role in your baby’s

  • body shape – their risk of developing obesity in childhood or later.
  • development of strong bones… or not.
  • ability to absorb nutrients from foods, or not.
  • growth, or lack of growth

 

2. Immune System

Gut bacteria play a key role in training your little one’s immune system. This will then affect their short term and long-term health.

Meaning, what happens now in their gut will play a role in

  • How sick they are as a baby and child. From food allergies, skin rashes such as eczema, to ear infections and ‘acute sickness’.
  • How sick they will be as an adult. With gut bacteria being a piece of a puzzle in the formation of adult diseases such as autoimmune, diabetes, obesity, cancer, even heart disease

 

3. Brain and Neurological development

Gut bacteria play a key role in not only their mood but how they react to life situations.

Meaning, what happens now in their gut will play a role in

  • Your baby’s temperament.
  • Your child’s behaviour and ability to throw tantrums.
  • Your precious one’s moods, from depression to anxiety (now and later on)
  • Your little one’s ability to concentrate, learning now and later when in school.

 

Take a pause for all of that to sink in.

Overwhelmed? I was when this was brought to my attention.

But…  there are some simple things that can be done.

7 Baby Health Tips

 

  1. Your health during pregnancy
  2. Mode of delivery
  3. Breastfeeding
  4. Antibiotic exposure
  5. Diet
  6. Lifestyle

These topics will be covered more in part II of this blog…

So make sure you check out part II where you will learn more specifics in how you as a parent or parent to be can maximise this window.

1. HealthIER at Conception

The best gift you can give your future children is to be in the best health possible your-self before being pregnant or during pregnancy.

Fathers-to-be take note as well. A dad’s health at conception plays a role in how healthy that child will be.

So,

If you’re wanting to be pregnant soon or you are pregnant now – Be the best health you can be.

This will be different for everyone as your microbiome was laid down years ago.

But, all is not lost.

Health is not all or nothing. There are varying levels of ‘fitness’.  I can be fitter than I am, just like I can eat healthier than I do right now… doesn’t make me not fit or not healthy.

Become a healthier, (emphasis on health-IER) version of yourself.

Start today by looking at your diet, or maybe it’s more fresh air and movement you need?

Small steps count, when becoming healthIER.

If you’re having five coffee’s a day – try for one less a day.

Is it easy to add in a vegetable or two for breakfast?

Snack on fruit rather than the bakery twice a week.

Invest in a fun drink bottle and leave that in your car or at your desk, to help your drink more water

Find one small thing you can do today or this week and start there. Once that is down as your new habit… choose another

If you’re relatively healthy, do yourself a favour and introduce foods that will be good for your gut…

Pre-biotic and Pro-biotic foods

Download mazing-microbiome-foods list and eat foods which will help you to get your gut in a better shape… This will be helping your baby or baby-to-be.

 

Also, make sure you are eating plenty of insoluble-fibre rich foods:

The easiest way is to base your meals around vegetables… all meals, even breakfast.

Don’t go past making small changes. They add up.

Again, to let it sink in…

What is one step can you do today to become healthier?

2. HealthIER During Pregnancy

“You can eat what you want your pregnant”.

Over four pregnancies this has been said to me too many times to count

If you concentrate just on weight, I can see how one could think this.

But, health is more than weight.. Especially when pregnant.

If you are pregnant or will be in the future, think of pregnancy as the one time when what you eat will play a HUGE role in your little-one-to-be health at birth and health when they are an adult.

So, if you are pregnant right now become a healthIER version of yourself day by day.  Even if it is getting more fresh air. Your baby’s health will benefit enormously.

 

3. Mode of Delivery

Nature didn’t get it wrong.

When a baby comes down the birth canal they get a huge dose of beneficial bacteria. From both the birth canal and the door next to the birth canal.

The differences in the microbiome of infants born via C-section v’s birth canals is huge.

So, if you are going to choose, the best start is coming down the tunnel nature intended.

However.

Sometimes you don’t get to choose.

Or, sometimes a previous birth has left you in a state of shock when thinking about labour and a C-section feels like the safest option.

If you are planning a C-Section or have to have one after being in labour… this happens, the best thing you can do is ‘Seed’ your baby.  This requires taking swabs from your vagina and rubbing in on your baby’s skin.

Sounds gross.

But, get your head around it.

It will help your baby and their future health.

As part of your birth plan make sure your midwife, partner and or doctor knows that you want this done.

A heads-up.  This is relatively new, so don’t expect your doctor or midwife to know about Seeding. It may be your job to help teach them how ‘beneficial’ it is.

 

4. Breastfeeding

Imagine…

Stumbling on an elixir that would guarantee better life-long health. You would drink it, right? You would possibly cross over the mountains to get it?

Exclusively breastfeeding for 6months is that elixir for babies.

Breastmilk is teaming with HMO; Human Milk Oligosaccharides. These little gems cannot be replicated by science and are essential to providing your little one with a healthy start to their beneficial bacteria and gut health.

HMO are not digested by your baby, they are digested by your little one’s bacteria.  HMO feed their beneficial bacteria.

Breastmilk is the only food specifically designed for your baby’s growth and development.

 

5. Antibiotics

Imagine,

A luscious, dense Amazon Rain-Forrest – teaming with life.

Now, image

That same Rain-Forrest just destroyed by a fire.

This is what antibiotics do.

Antibiotics, the microbiome destroyer. Antibiotics mean against life and it’s not just the bad bacteria they kill.

In this time right now – if your pregnant, just had a baby or have a toddler, taking or giving your little one antibiotics will change the landscape of their gut. The effects last for years. Like the re-generation after a fire in the Amazon.

Even longer, if you are in the time when their gut or ecosystem is developing.

It seems senseless to me to destroy this crucial balance when your little one has an ear infection that ‘may’ be caused by bacteria.

Always question your doctor about giving antibiotics.  Yes, they are life-saving.. but quite often they are given when a baby’s life is not on the brink.

As of writing this, I have not had antibiotics in 15 years and 10 into parenting – none of my children have ever had any antibiotics.

Antibiotics are overprescribed and unfortunately their effects last years – maybe even a lifetime.

 

6. Diet

Are you pregnant, or breastfeeding or is your little one under 3?  The food you and your little one is eating is seeding their gut right now.

What can you do?

If your Pregnant or breastfeeding…

Increase your prebiotic & probiotic foods as well as fibre from vegetables.   Download mazing-microbiome-foods list if you have not already and incorporate more of these foods into your diet.

 

Is your Baby is 9 months or younger?

If you have just started your little one on solids or will do soon? Sign up for F.I.R.S.T foods email course. F in F.I.R.S.T foods is Feeding Beneficial bacteria.

 

Is you Baby is 1-3 years old?

If you have a young one right now, diet is important and there are two key areas in good beneficial bacteria boosting foods:

  • Probiotics: teaching your kids to love fermented foods such as sauerkraut is huge. To help my kids accept this food as a ‘normal’ food, we played the ‘who can keep a straight face’ (no screwed up sour faces) when eating sauerkraut. If you are new to fermented foods, you train your taste buds for it too.
  • Prebiotics and Fibre: Meaning vegetables, vegetable and more vegetables.

 

If you’re struggling with getting your kids to eat any sort of vegetables you may have to read Healthy Little Eaters first. Start with their relationship to food first, so they love eating healthy food.

 

This will not only seed their beneficial bacteria, maximizing this window…

But, will keep them healthy.

 

7. Lifestyle

I can still feel the angst in my heart when I think about going to that playgroup

I was living in Canada.

Once a week I would take Rocket and Eckhart who were 2 ½ years old and 8 months at that time to a playgroup.

Walking in we were directed to the line where all kids, parents and babies had to wash their hand with antibacterial soap.

If your child popped outside to play when they came back inside.

Back in line. Washing hands.

Before snack.

Bank in line. Washing hands.

After a snack.

Back in line. Washing hands.

Oh, and if Eckhart, put a toy remotely close to her mouth, it would go into a big bucket to be sterilised.

Yes, then I would be…

You guessed it.

Back in line. Washing hands.

Becoming so preoccupied with bad bacteria aka germs, we have lost the perspective of why we are keeping clean for.

For health.

Why a dirty baby, maybe a Healthier baby.?

Dirt may be a good thing when it comes to life-long health.

Babies who have a pet at home or were raised on a farm and able to dig in the dirt, possible eating a spoon or two have a different bacteria than those who were raised with everything that was spick-n-span with no germs allowed.

And, they are healthier.

Stop waging war on bacteria

Yes, they can make your child sick,

But, bacteria can also make your child healthy.

It’s all a balance

Let your little ones play in the garden dirt or sand at a beach, if they get some in their mouths… no worries.

Teach them to wash their hands after using the toilet.

If your baby has a pacifier, instead of ‘sterilizing’ it, suck it.  This helps seed their gut.

Use your ‘gut instinct’ when allowing them to get dirty.

Want to raise an Adventurous Eaters?

Get 10 bite-sized easy to digest emails and discover the foundations to Adventurous Eaters.

 
Start my free course
Maximise this ‘window’ your baby or young one is going through.

The time when you are pregnant plus their first 1,000 days is when your little one’s microbiome is developing reaching maturity around 3years of age.

 

Overview of Baby Health Tips

  • You and your partner be the healthiest version of yourself, before trying for a baby.
  • Aim to be HealthIER one day at a time when pregnant & or breastfeeding,
  • Have a back-up of ‘Seeding’ if you end up having a C-Section
  • Make breastfeeding a priority
  • Feed beneficial bacteria in your baby’s first foods
  • Teach your toddler to love fermented foods and pre-biotic foods
  • Take antibiotics only when absolutely needed
  • Let your baby get dirty

Want to raise an Adventurous Eaters?

Get 10 bite-sized easy to digest emails and discover the foundations to Adventurous Eaters.

 
Start my free course

HEALTH TIPS FOR BABY

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This