This is because their immune system is weak and inexperienced immunity. Luckily, by boosting your baby’s immune system, it is possible to avoid many illnesses. Below is more information about the baby’s immune system and habits that can give your baby’s immune system a boost.
What is the Immune System
The immune system is a network of proteins and cells in the body that help it fight against infections. The white blood cells identify a foreign body, a bacteria or virus that gets into the body and produces antibodies that will fight them, thus preventing diseases. Additionally, these antibodies remember an attack that they have fought before they can fight it with ease in case one has a similar attack.
At birth, your child’s immune system is low since they have not been exposed to germs and bacteria that cause diseases. However, the immune system improves as the baby grows up and they have more exposure.
Immune System in Babies
Antibodies that help fight diseases are passed from the mother to the baby during pregnancy. This happens during the last three months of pregnancy through the placenta. Your level of immunity determines the number of antibodies that you pass to your baby during pregnancy.
Additionally, as you deliver, the bacteria in the vagina are passed to your baby and this helps build the colony of bacteria in the gut. Other antibodies are passed on to your baby after birth through the colostrum in the baby’s milk. However, despite the several antibodies passed on to the baby through the mother, their immune system is still weak. This is especially for premature babies who are born before getting enough antibodies from their mother.
Boosting the Baby’s Immune System
Fortunately, it is possible to adopt practices that will help boost the immunity of your baby. They include:
- Vaccination– vaccination is the easiest way to boost your baby’s immunity. The baby’s body is introduced to weakened bacteria that the body will fight and thus preventing infections in case the baby is exposed to the same bacteria in future.
- Breastfeeding- antibodies, and probiotics are among the constituents of breast milk. For this reason, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed for them to pass as many antibodies as possible.
- Supplements and diet– before six months, breast milk and formulae will be enough to give all the minerals and vitamins that your baby may need and vitamin supplements should be avoided since some of them kill the bacteria important for immunity. After introducing solid food, give a variety of fruits and vegetables as you continue breastfeeding to boost the immune system.
#Please note that development differs from one child to another
# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.
Last reviewed January 2019