Vitamin D Supplement For Baby

To avoid developing a vitamin D deficiency, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfed and formula-fed infants be given daily supplements.

To avoid developing a vitamin D deficiency, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfed and formula-fed infants receive at least 400 IU of vitamin D at every feeding.

To avoid developing a vitamin D deficiency, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfed and formula-fed infants be given a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU.

To avoid developing a vitamin D deficiency, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfed and formula-fed infants under 6 months be given a vitamin D supplement.

To avoid developing a vitamin D deficiency, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfed and supplemented infants to be given 400 IU/day of vitamin D beginning at age 6 months.1,2 This is supported by current research that indicates that breast milk alone is not sufficient to supply an adequate amount of Vitamin D to meet an infant’s needs.

Best Vitamin D For Breastfed Babies

It depends on whether you breastfeed your baby or how much vitamin D-fortified formula or cow’s milk your baby is drinking.

Consider these guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics for vitamin D for babies:

  • Breastfed or partially breastfed babies need 400 international units (IU) of liquid vitamin D a day — starting soon after birth. Babies should continue to receive this amount of vitamin D until weaned or until they drink 32 ounces (about 1 liter) a day of vitamin D-fortified formula or, after age 12 months, whole milk.
  • Babies getting less than 32 ounces (about 1 liter) a day of vitamin D-fortified formula need 400 IU of liquid vitamin D a day — starting in the first few days after birth. Babies should continue receiving the vitamin D supplement until they drink at least 32 ounces (about 1 liter) of vitamin D-fortified formula a day.

When giving your baby liquid vitamin D, make sure not to give more than the recommended amount. Read the instructions that come with the supplement and use only the dropper that’s provided.

While breast milk is the best source of nutrients for babies, it likely won’t provide enough vitamin D. Babies need vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus.

Too little vitamin D can cause rickets, a softening and weakening of bones. Since sun exposure — an important source of vitamin D — isn’t recommended for babies, supplements are the best way to prevent vitamin D deficiency.

As your baby gets older and you add solid foods to your baby’s diet, you can help meet the daily vitamin D requirement by providing foods that contain vitamin D — such as salmon, egg yolks and fortified foods.

If you have questions about your baby’s need for vitamin D supplements, talk to your baby’s health care provider.

Vitamin D Deficiency in Babies Symptoms

Vitamin D is needed to support healthy bone development and to prevent rickets, a condition that causes weak or deformed bones. Vitamin D deficiency rickets among breastfed infants is rare, but it can occur if an infant does not receive additional vitamin D from foods, a vitamin D supplement, or adequate exposure to sunlight.

Do infants get enough vitamin D from breast milk?

Breast milk alone does not provide infants with an adequate amount of vitamin D. Shortly after birth, most infants will need an additional source of vitamin D.

To avoid developing a vitamin D deficiency, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfed and partially breastfed infants be supplemented with 400 IU per day of vitamin D beginning in the first few days of life. Families who do not wish to provide a supplement directly to their infant should discuss with a healthcare provider the risks and benefits of maternal high dose supplementation options.

Once a child has started eating solid foods, parents can make sure their child is getting enough vitamin D from foods or supplements.

Why are infants at risk for vitamin D deficiency?

The risk for vitamin D deficiency is increased when there is limited exposure to sunlight or when an infant is not consuming an adequate amount of vitamin D. Although reducing sun exposure is important for preventing cancer, it also decreases the amount of vitamin D that a person can make from sunlight.

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To reduce the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping infants younger than 6 months out of direct sunlightexternal icon and protecting them with clothing and hats.

A mother giving a her baby a vitamin supplement

Other factors that decrease the amount of vitamin D a person can make from sunlight include:

  • Living at high latitudes (closer to the polar regions), particularly during winter months.
  • High levels of air pollution.
  • Dense cloud covering.
  • The degree to which clothing covers the skin.
  • Use of sunscreen.
  • Darker skin types.

To avoid developing a vitamin D deficiency, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfed infants under the age of 6 months receive 400 IU/day of supplemental vitamin D in addition to sun exposure or infant formula with the vitamin.

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