How Does the Immune System Develop and Strengthen Babies?

Breast milk plays an important role in the development of the immune system in infants. If there is no congenital disease, babies who do not sleep enough and do not have a balanced diet may have a weakened immune system. So, how to strengthen the immune system in babies in this case? We told you everything about the immune system in babies, let’s get started!

When does the immune system develop in babies?

Pediatrician Dr. Gonca Özmen says that the immune system of babies begins to develop in the womb. The mother’s nutrition during pregnancy, infections and stress are also effective in the formation of the immune system. The immune system in newborn babies is weak in the first months, but it starts to protect the body by getting stronger with infections over time. In the development of the immune system in babies after birth;

  • Nutrition,
  • The physical condition of the living environment,
  • past infections,
  • contact with microbes,
  • The drugs and vaccines used are effective.

Immune system in premature babies

Pediatrician says that the immune system is not sufficiently developed in premature babies. Therefore, premature babies benefit greatly from breast milk. With its special composition, breast milk both supports the immunity of the baby and provides protection against infections.

Immune system in infants who cannot breastfeed

It is not a case that the immune system does not develop in babies who cannot receive breast milk. Babies who cannot get breast milk after birth for various reasons are fed with formula milk. Although formula milk supports the baby’s immune system with its content close to breast milk, it should not be forgotten that the best thing for the baby is to be breastfed until the age of 2. In this case, it is important that you can add breast milk to your baby’s diet, albeit a little.

What is immune system weakness in babies?

Low immune system in infants is the condition of deficiency of immune system elements and inability to do their job well. This can rarely be hereditary, or it can be due to environmental factors, such as someone entering the house from outside and bringing a virus.

What causes immune system weakness in babies?

  • malnutrition,
  • insufficient sleep,
  • Negative environmental factors,
  • Overstrain,
  • stress.

What are the signs of low immune system in babies?

In some babies, the immune system may not work adequately due to some congenital diseases. Since the immune system has many parts, the findings may vary depending on which part is affected. your baby;

  • If you are sick often,
  • If there are recurrent bacterial, viral or fungal infections since birth,
  • If there is an abnormality in growth and development due to recurrent diarrhea,
  • If he cannot get over the disease he has caught for a long time,
  • If he gets frequent thrush infections, he may have a weakened immune system.

In this case, it is absolutely necessary to investigate the immune system disease.

How to treat immune system weakness in babies?

Child Health and Diseases Specialist Assist. Assoc. Dr. Nilüfer Galip says that the immune system treatment in babies is planned according to which part is affected. If there is a serious low level of antibodies, the baby may need to receive protective antibodies through a vein every 3-4 weeks. At this point, early diagnosis and treatment of infections is very important.

In some cases, preventive antibiotic treatments can be applied. Except for a simple upper respiratory tract infection;

  • If you have had more than 3 pneumonias per year,
  • If you have had more than 4 ear infections per year,
  • If there is a history of life-threatening infections such as meningitis, tests for the immune system are needed.

How is immunity test done in babies?

The diagnosis of immunodeficiency is made by examination and laboratory tests. Blood tests are carried out in two stages. In the first stage, screening tests are performed, and in the second stage, more specific tests are performed. Thus, abnormal findings detected in screening tests are analyzed in detail. In order for the tests to be interpreted correctly, an expert on immune deficiencies is required.

How to strengthen the immune system in babies?

What should you do to strengthen immunity in babies, which foods have immune-boosting effects? Let’s move on to our recommendations!

Immune-boosting miracle food breast milk for babies!

Breast milk is one of the most immune-boosting foods for babies. Especially the first milk (colostrum), which comes after birth, lays the foundations of immunity because it has high antibodies. At the same time, beneficial bacteria taken from the mother during suckling also support immunity. Therefore, it is very important that you breastfeed your child until the age of 2.

enough sleep

Sleep has a great effect on strengthening the immune system in babies. Babies need more sleep than adults, and babies who don’t get enough sleep are more susceptible to diseases. During sleep, the body repairs itself and produces white blood cells that fight infections. For this reason, you should make sure that your baby is getting enough and quality sleep.


The most important treatments for strengthening the immune system are through vaccination. So, getting vaccinated is just as important as breast milk. Timely vaccinations prevent dangerous bacteria and viruses from spreading throughout the body. Although there has been an opinion that some parents are against vaccination in recent years, it should not be forgotten that diseases such as polio, measles and whooping cough are protected by vaccination. Therefore, you should not neglect to complete routine childhood vaccinations.

Foods rich in vitamins, iron, zinc and selenium

With the transition to supplementary food, you can benefit from foods that strengthen the immune system in babies. Vitamins A, C, D and E, which we call the antioxidant group, and iron, zinc and selenium must be taken in sufficient quantities.

  • Yellow and dark green vegetables and fruits,
  • Kiwi, melon, orange, tangerine, turmeric and ginger,
  • Walnuts, chickpeas, beans, flax seeds, cheese, yogurt, olives, and olive oil,
  • Meat, chicken, salmon and tuna, veal and lamb liver are among the foods that strengthen the immune system in babies.

It is necessary to get the need for vitamin D by feeding from the sun with outdoor activities as much as possible. In addition, immune-boosting soups for babies can be made with nutritious foods such as broccoli, carrots and peas.

Despite all their efforts, mothers who have a vitamin deficiency in their child can use supplements. Among the drugs that strengthen the immune system in babies, there are also rich sources of zinc. Although they claim to be natural ingredients, you should not use supplements such as immune-boosting syrup or medicine for babies without the advice of your doctor.

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