0 - 12 Months

Why babies need a vitamin D supplement

Baby drinking from a bottle

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends supplementing breastfed or partially breastfed babies and those consuming fewer than 32 ounces of formula with 400 International Units (IUs) of vitamin D daily. 

Why do babies need a vitamin D supplement?

  • In a study of 1,400 infants in the United States from 2009 to 2016, less than one-third met the recommended intake of vitamin D. 
  • Because the composition of breast milk is dependent on the lactating woman’s nutrition, widespread vitamin D deficiencies in women of childbearing age impact breastfed and partially breastfed infants.  
  • Formula is designed to satisfy all of babies’ nutritional needs, but its vitamin D content assumes a daily intake of 32 ounces or more, which is more than some babies consume. 
  • Direct sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D for older children and adults, but babies under 6 months should avoid it because their skin is especially susceptible to UV damage and serious burns.
  • Vitamin D helps your baby build strong bones, fight infection, improve heart health, and absorb other important minerals, including calcium. 

How to give babies a vitamin D supplement

Commercial pediatric vitamin D drops can be purchased over the counter. Many brands contain the recommended daily amount for babies in one drop, while others require the entire dropperful. The liquid can be placed on the breastfeeding parent’s nipple, directly in the baby’s mouth, or in a bottle of formula or pumped milk. 

While vitamin D is important, don’t panic if you miss a day or two of supplementation. 

Be sure to use the dropper that comes with your baby’s supplement and don’t exceed recommended amounts, as excessive doses of vitamin D can be harmful. 


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Posted in: 0 - 12 Months, Feeding, Newborn Care, Baby Care, Health, Lovevery App, Child Development

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