The importance of the first 1,000 Days for your baby’s gut and health immunity
From the moment we are conceived until we are 1,000 days old (from conception to two-years old), nutrition and gut microbiota play an essential role in laying the foundations of our health later in life.
The first 1,000 days are widely accepted to be the most significant period in a child’s development, as when babies are born, they start off with less than 100 different species of bacteria in their gut, and during these 1,000 days they start to build this microbiome up. During this formative time, a child’s organs and body systems grow rapidly and are highly responsive to nutritional influence and research has shown an association between an unbalanced gut and different types of diseases, such as diabetes, allergies and obesity. So, as you can see, helping you child create a healthy gut straight from birth is key to their future health and immunity.
The gut and immune system develop rapidly throughout the first 1,000 days, as babies move from a protected environment to one where they are exposed to lots of immune challenges. Nutrition plays a significant role in influencing the gut microbiota, shaping the development of both the gut and the immune system. From birth, microbes in the gut perform essential duties:
- The digestion and metabolism of food
- The production of neurotransmitters that affect behaviour and cognitive function. The gut microbiota exerts influence over anxiety, mood, sociability and cognition
- The development and activation of the immune system. The gut is the centre of the immune system – 70-80% of the body’s immune cells are in the gut
Supporting the maturation, diversity and condition of the gut microbiota through optimal nutrition in the first 1,000 days is fundamental for the development of a healthy immune system, protecting against harmful bacteria, reducing risk of disease, and safeguarding future health.
Supporting your baby’s immunity
In early infancy, babies are dependent on milk as the sole form of nutrition, and it is important that all nutritional needs are met. While some people may worry that introducing a supplement to a new-born baby will affect their delicate digestive system, whether your child is breastfed or formula-fed, Baba West’s Bifikalm offers a number of benefits and is a great way to boost their gut health.
With the research conducted by both Baba West and our partners at Probio 7, babies who are combination-fed, or who receive formula exclusively, can continue to promote the development of a healthy and diverse gut microbiota.