Build your Baby’s Immune System
+ Understanding your Baby’s Immune System
Our immune system is made of special organs and cells and can fight any infection from microbes. It comprises of white blood cells, antibodies, the lymphatic system, the complement system, the thymus, the spleen, and the bone marrow that actively fight infection. However, in a new-born baby or toddler, the immune system is not developed properly, and they are prone to any infection or disease.
Babies develop their immunity slowly by getting sick and fighting countless germs, viruses and other microorganisms. However, there are a few things you can do to boost your child’s immune system and help them fight off illness. Babies get sick a lot when they are new-born and growing up. Such children tend to get diarrhoea, six to eight flu/cold per year, ear infections and other higher infections. While there is a lot that you can do to keep your baby healthy, from having a nutritious diet to taking supplements, you can increase you Baby’s immunity by adapting few more ways like wrapping them up nicely in a warm blanket to vaccination to give sure his/her immunity a good boost.
+ Things you should know about your Baby’s Immune System
1. During the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, the antibodies from the mother are passed to the baby through the placenta. This provides some protection to the new-born from infections, however, the strength and amount of immunity passed on to the bay depend on the mother’s own health and strength of the immune system. If you have had any disease in the past, then your baby will get some of the antibodies needed to fight that disease. Though, if you haven’t experienced the disease earlier, your baby won’t be protected from it.
2. Even during birth, bacteria from the mother is passed on to the new-born baby, which helps develop the colony of healthy gut bacteria that This helps to build the colony of bacteria in their gut that backs their immunity.
3. Breast milk, specially the first breast milk also plays an important role in Baby’s immunity, as it provides more antibodies.
4. The immunity passed on from the mother to the baby at birth doesn’t last very long and start to decrease within the first few weeks or months after birth.
5. While growing up, babies are exposed to countless virus and microbes, which helps them produce their own antibodies. However, it takes time for their immunity to develop fully.
6. Premature babies are at a higher risk of infection and severe diseases because their immune systems are weaker as they are born prematurely and haven’t had the time they needed to get antibodies passed to them from their mothers.
7. Premature babies are always at a higher risk of catching the infection because their immune systems aren’t fully developed due to premature birth. As they do not receive enough antibodies from their mothers, it is important to boost his/her immunity through food, breastmilk, vaccination etc. For such babies, it is important to keep an eye on their health and make sure to inform the doctor if there are any signs of fever, breathing issues, cough, breathing problem and diarrhoea.
8. It is an interesting fact that 70% of the immune system exists in the gut. The gut (intestinal tract) is very essential for our overall development, growth, and health. Maintaining a healthy environment in your baby’s gut will let the development of microbiota which is very crucial to help build a strong digestive and immune system in your baby during the first two years of his/her life.
+ Tips to build your Baby’s Immunity
Here are some of the best steps you can take for Boosting Immunity in your baby.
Breast milk contains antibodies called immunoglobulins that support baby’s immune system. It also passes on proteins, sugars, fats, antibodies and probiotics. Whenever a mother comes into contact with germs, antibodies are developed in her body to help her fight off the infection. Which then passes to the baby through the breast milk. Also, it is a known fact that breastfeeding babies have fewer chances of getting infections and they can get better more quickly than the babies who depend on milk formula. It is advisable to keep breastfeeding even when you’ve introduced solid food in your baby’s diet.
2. Try a Good Diet and Supplements:
Supplements also plays an important role in your baby’s immunity. Antibiotics can kill some of the good gut bacteria that are essential for immunity. Therefore, good probiotics are often recommended as a way of boosting a Baby’s Immunity after when they take antibiotics. It is advised to consult to your doctor before you consider giving these supplements to your baby. Breast milk also provides all the essential vitamins and minerals that your baby needs. It is recommended to avoid giving supplements to babies, but you can try a variety of fresh foods, fruits, green leafy veggies that provide sufficient nutrients that your baby needs.
Vaccination is also the safest and most effective way to protect your baby against severe diseases. Vaccination affects an immune response in the same way as a virus or bacteria would. It will prepare your baby’s immune system to recognize and fight off any viruses of any diseases and prevents serious complications in future. Babies are vaccinated at the time of birth, then after 6 weeks and when they are 4 months old and 6 months old and for the few years in their life.
Including fresh fruits, veggies in your baby’s diet will be the key to boost his/her immune system. Fresh strawberries, guava, grapes, oranges and grapefruit can provide an abundance of vitamin C and antioxidants that your baby needs to fight diseases. Green veggies like spinach, broccoli, fresh tomatoes can easily be introduced in your baby’s diet in a form of juice or soup.
5. Physical Activity:
When your baby gets to run around in the lawn in the fresh air, his immune system boosts through this physical exercise. Babies who are physically active have a stronger immune system to fight bacteria and germs. You can also introduce activities like swimming or just letting them run around in an open and safe space.
6. Make sure your Baby gets sufficient Sleep:
Insufficient sleep even in adults lead to bad health and illness. So you need to make sure that your baby gets enough sleep during the day and night. As sleep deprivation makes the babies irritable and often sick, it is necessary that your baby takes proper naps throughout the day. This will not only help regain their lost energy, develop their brainpower but also boost their immune system. So it is important that you make a cosy environment for your baby, wrap them up in a soft blanket and keep them warm which will help the baby get a good sleep.
7. Create a clean Bacteria-free Environment:
To protect your baby’s health and immune system, it is advisable to create a clean and germ-free environment. Babies or toddlers have a desire to put everything in their mouths which allows germs to easily enter their body. This is why you must make sure their room, clothes, toys, or space around is squeaky clean and germs free. And make sure to wash your baby’s hands and feet as often as you can as they get germs while crawling around on the ground.
8. Make Sure to keep the environment a smoke-Free Zone:
While smoking is harmful to all of us, the health of a baby is at greater risk. Even a little smoke of a cigarette can lead to great damage to their health and cripples their respiratory systems. This can later develop into bronchitis, breathing difficulties, and asthma if your baby is exposed to smoke often. Smoke toxins are very harmful that can cause serious damage to a baby’s immune system.
9. Fresh air and Sunshine:
It’s important that you introduce your baby to the external environment once in a while. As we know vitamin D is a vital immunity-boosting and, bone-building vitamin, and it comes mainly from exposure to the sun. Fresh air and a little bit of sun every day are one of the best Natural ways to boost immunity in your child. Especially in winters, make sure your baby a little bit of sun every now and then. Also, fresh air is important not just for adults but for babies too. It clears out the lungs and boosts your little one’s mood. Running around in the lawn under the sun outside will also lead to some activity that helps to maintain your baby’s overall physical growth and health.
+ Try these Immunity-Boosting Super Foods for your Baby
This delicious snack contains Vitamin E and can boost immunity not only in adults but also in babies.
Garlic is a known superfood that has excellent anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral capabilities which gives your baby’s immunity-a good boost. It might be a little difficult for your baby to like it at first, but you can introduce it in your baby’s diet by adding it in a very small amount in a soup.
3. Bone Broth:
Bone broth made from either fish or chicken is also useful to help develop strong bones in your baby. A nutritious diet and a healthy environment can help to boost immunity in your baby and maintain his overall health while keeping infections and diseases at par.