Much of your baby’s happiness comes from his physical health and well-being. In fact his stomach is not just responsible for digesting food, and absorbing and producing nutrients, but also affects his mood and keeps him happy.
The tummy is known as the “second brain”
There are 100 million neurons located along the tummy and this is its nervous system. That is why the tummy is sometimes referred to as the “second brain”. This nervous system secretes many neurotransmitters such as a ‘feel good’ hormone called serotonin. 90 to 95% of the body’s serotonin is in fact produced in the stomach, and it regulates mood, behavior, sleep and appetite. Do you notice how babies seem to sleep better after feeding?
There is a powerful two-way connection between the brain and the gut. Which means that the tummy and the brain talk to each other all the time. Emotions can influence the tummy‘s function and the tummy sends messages to the brain about baby’s appetite and sleep. Scientists have been learning more and more about this intense communication and how it impacts your baby’s overall health. A healthy tummy microbiota, the friendly bacteria present in the tummy, plays a role by sending signals to the brain through the tummy’s nerve connections. The brain uses this information to monitor conditions inside the tummy and help keep your baby happy! When there is a good balance of microbiota in the tummy, the brain receives a set of signals that all is well. On the other hand, if the composition of the tummy microbiota becomes unbalanced, it can send alarm signals to the brain, which can upset your baby and make him unhappy.
A Two – Way Communication
Here is how the intense 2-way communication between a baby’s tummy and his brain takes place:
1 From brain to tummy: Emotions influence functioning of the tummy.
2 From tummy to brain: The tummy sends messages to the brain which regulate physical and mental well-being, hence affecting the mood.
Good Mood Starts With Good Food
Now that you know about the connection between the brain and your baby’s tummy, it is important that you ensure you provide your baby with the right diet that can support easy digestion. Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to build a healthy tummy since breast milk contains different types of friendly bacteria that support the growth of diverse healthy tummy microbiota. Foods like cereal and vegetables contain dietary fiber, which serve as prebiotics and support easy digestion. Learn more about how to prepare healthy recipes that keep your baby’s tummy happy and healthy. A happy tummy always put a smile on your baby’s face!