Parenting do’s and don’ts for a healthy baby: 2023 guide

healthy baby
Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

What if I told you that a newborn’s first 1,000 days are crucial to preventing diseases, allergies and more and the key to a healthy baby and beyond? How about if I told you that your baby’s biome – aka the tiny world inside them made up of a mix of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live on us and in us – could hold the key to either preventing or provoking diseases of the immune system, which include not only food allergies and asthma but also eczema, ADHD, IBS, type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease and other health challenges later on in life?

I was recently sent a news release about a new book THE BABY AND THE BIOME: How the Tiny World Inside Your Child Holds the Secret to Their Health by author Meenal Lele. In it, she reveals the answer—and it’s not bad genes or bad parenting. Informed by extensive medical research and her firsthand experience as an “allergy mum,” Lele sheds light on the key role of your newborn’s microbiome in dictating their health going forward, and in particular in relation to immune diseases.

Interweaving the story of her firstborn son Leo’s life-threatening struggles with food allergies and asthma with significant, potentially life-saving scientific findings, Lele aims to lead that revolution by educating parents about how to prioritize and strengthen their baby’s microbiome and lay the foundations for a health baby and then everything that comes after that, by protecting its delicate skin, gut, and lung barriers.

As someone who has struggled with various auto immune conditions in my life, this was an absolute revelation to me. And so I am delighted to share some key do’s and don’ts to help every parent out there lay the foundations for a healthy baby to give your child the best start in life that will set them up for better health during their formative years and beyond.


Get mum’s vaginal health in order before birth

A healthy vaginal microbiome is mostly lactobacillus species. Signs that the microbiome is off are BV, recurrent yeast infections, UTI’s etc. 

Choose a vaginal birth if it’s a safe option

Babies get a healthy starter microbiome from vaginal birth. C-sections & the antibiotics during a C-section should be avoided if unnecessary.

Breastfeed if possible

But it doesn’t have to be exclusive! Otherwise get a probiotic + HMOs to support your formula of choice

Strongly consider an infant probiotic

Ideally with L Rhamnosus & B infants / B Breve / B longum – The healthiest infant gut is mostly Bifidobacterium. A good probiotic can’t hurt. 

Start eating a diverse diet by 6 months

…and be sure to include all the major allergens every week. 

healthy baby
Photo by Stephen Andrews on Unsplash

Get outside

Sun, fresh air, and clean dirt/grass are still the best ways to support a healthy biome.


Bathe your baby for 2-4 weeks

There’s no need! After that, warm water baths are great, and an occasional mild soap is fine if baby has a massive blow-out

Ignore colic

Hours of crying and bad sleep are clear signs of distress. If your baby is experiencing colic, talk to a doctor about possible allergies.

Skip infant vaccines

Many immune diseases start when the body overreacts to an infection. It’s okay to delay the vaccines, but get them in.

Feed your infant or toddler child any added sugar

and definitely no artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes. 

MEENAL LELE is a mum to two boys, medical researcher, and chemical engineer with a degree from the Wharton School. She is the founder of CEO of Lil Mixins, a company devoted to educating parents about how to prevent their children from developing allergic diseases. She lives in Philadelphia, PA, with her family.  

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