I can never forget the year 2011 (and it’s not just the obvious 9/11 being the reason for it!). We moved with our 14-month-old happy, healthy toddler from London to Gurgaon. Before we moved here, whenever we visited India, she was the apple of everyone’s eyes in the family. I am not the one for comparative statistics, but somewhere looking at her growth charts which showed she was 75th percentile in height and weight made the mom in me swell with pride. People would stop in the way to admire my baby, calling her everything from Russian doll to Kashmir ki kali. Needless to say, there was a lot of ‘nazar utaarna’ rituals done by doting Grandmas for their darling ‘phoren-returned’ granddaughter.

And then we moved to India. I went from full-time stay-at-home mum to full-time working, traveling, high-flying corporate mum. My exclusively breastfed baby now needed to be weaned, and other healthy alternates of milk needed to be introduced. We started with the obvious choice of organic cow’s milk, as she was already above the age of 1 year. But within hours of ingesting the milk, she started experiencing stomach cramps, and there was terrible onset of diarrhoea. We couldn’t understand the reason. I was already being obsessive about the hygiene of the solids prepared for her, as our stomachs were a bit sensitive to the spicy food here still. I started being even more hawk-like in overseeing her meal preparation, most of the times stretching myself before and after work to ensure her meals were being prepared properly, with the best possible quality of ingredients (read organic and atrociously expensive!). We even sourced those packaged baby meals which she was eating in London (Yes, yes, I can see you rolling your eyes at me now! I agree I was a mad mom!)

I believed I was doing everything I could, but my baby’s health wouldn’t improve. She would get frequent bouts of diarrhoea every 3-4 days. We were running every week from pillar to post trying to find the best paediatrician who could solve this mystery for us, but we would just get a blanket statement that probably she had a poor digestive system, and it was still getting used to the ‘Indian’ viruses. Three months passed. From 75th percentile in weight, my baby dropped to 3rd percentile. I would cry myself to sleep every single night, guilty of being a working mum, guilty of getting her from London to India, guilty of not being able to take care of her enough….( I am getting a lump in my throat writing this… God, parenting is tough! Reliving those moments writing about them is tougher!)

And then, we found a paediatrician who herself had returned from the US. Both my husband and I literally went on our knees to her to please diagnose what was wrong with our child. We couldn’t watch her suffering like this anymore. We were strongly contemplating returning to UK next month, if she didn’t get better. That day she mentioned the term ‘lactose intolerant’ to us. We had heard of it for the first time honestly (Lactose intolerance, gluten free food, wheat allergies were lesser known terms 9 years back…). She stopped my daughter’s intake of milk and milk products completely. She had been completely weaned off breast milk by then, so I was really worried about the nutritional intake for such a small child, where the primary source of calcium and protein is milk in their diets. But we altered her diet to include more eggs, chicken, fruits and vegetables to cover up for the deficiencies, if any. She also prescribed probiotics to improve my toddler’s gut health.

Being an over-protective mum, I researched extensively on probiotics on reaching home (yes, Google existed… it’s not that long back!). I found that intake of probiotics is extremely important for a child’s tummy’s wellbeing. Probiotics are gut-friendly bacteria which help in digestion, immune system function and even help treat or prevent certain diseases. Probiotics are especially helpful in treating diarrhoea or constipation – both of which are common in the potty-training phase of kids. Not only this, probiotics are also helpful for children taking antibiotics as these can cause stomach pain, indigestion, watery stools or constipation depending on the child’s tendency. Probiotics are generally considered safe for children unless a specific condition exists, which can be best advised by your paediatrician. Apparently, probiotics can even help children with autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergies, but this is yet to be proven. Probiotics seemed like a go to remedy for everything!

Armed with this knowledge, I was all for introducing probiotics in my daughter’s diet. But I was already giving her the most easily digestible form of it- Yogurt! Then why weren’t her tummy troubles going away? The paediatrician told me this was specifically because she was lactose intolerant and could not digest any form of milk or milk products currently.

This is when we introduced a well-known brand’s probiotic vials for her. I used to give her 2 per day, whenever she had an upset stomach. Most mums will nod their head in agreement with me when I say that this probiotic supplement is one of the most trusted brand of probiotic recommended by paediatricians all over the world. The vials which are available in the market by the name of Enterogermina (generically called Bacillus Clausii) is a probiotic which improves gut flora. It is available both in oral suspension and capsule form for both kids and adults. The best part is my kids love it!!! My fussy eater who would scrunch her nose at everything would happily run to take her daily dose of the vial! I actually tasted one to check what was so great about the taste after seeing her enthusiasm to have it! It tastes just like water, and can be easily mixed with kid’s drinks too, in case they don’t want to have it otherwise. No restrictions on having it before food or after food, so one less thing to worry about!

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These probiotic vials have been our go-to remedy for tummy troubles since then. My then toddler is now a healthy who can guzzle a huge glass of milk in minutes! Two kids, and eight years later, I still carry the capsules and vials whenever I am traveling, and I can breathe easy with them in my first aid kit. My frequent- traveller hubby carries his pack too! All I can say is thank you Sanofi for creating such a remarkable remedy for our tummy!

#ByeByeTummyTroubles #Momsforprobiotics #HappyTummy #happybellies

This is in association with Enterogermina