Does my baby need to take vitamins?
Real Mom Problem
“My daughter is seven months old. The last three doctor's appointments we've had, the pediatrician has been pushing the issue of giving her vitamin drops. I keep saying no and today they said it was so important because she won't get any Vitamin D from my milk. I still declined because she's thriving and growing on breastmilk just fine. But I was wondering if there was any truth to that?”
- 1. Doctors often recommend vitamin drops for babies to prevent Vitamin D deficiency and Rickets
- 2. In sunny climates, you can try bringing your baby into the sunlight for 10-15 minutes each day
- 3. Breastfeeding moms can take their own Vitamin D supplements to pass on more of the vitamin to their babies
- 4. Always consult with your baby's doctor before making any decisions about vitamin use.
Real Mom Solutions
Many pediatricians prescribe vitamin drops for babies beginning around two months old, but often breastfeeding moms aren't comfortable supplementing their babies with anything beyond breastmilk. Check out what these moms suggest doing about vitamin supplementation for infants.
Vitamins Are Worth Trying
The doctor prescribed vitamin drops at my daughter's first visit when she was a week old. Vitamin D doesn't go through breast milk so they need extra, especially if you live somewhere like Oregon where there is very little sunshine.
Ideally we get Vitamin D from the sun. That said, if you live in a northern clime without daily sun exposure or if you are heavy with the sunscreen or stay in air conditioning all the time, D supplements might be beneficial.
Vitamins Aren't Necessary
Vitamins aren't necessary. I wouldn't supplement with vitamin D. Only a few babies have gotten rickets. It is a disease that can be treated, and it isn't fatal. I don't want anything in my babies' systems other than my milk the first 6 months. I don't see the need to force a baby to take terrible tasting vitamins.
Basically, you may want to think about the drops IF your baby may be at risk for not getting enough from the sun because of where you live or your skin tone. In that case, they make "just D" drops so you can skip the multi-vitamins. Otherwise, don't worry about it!
I don't supplement my infants. Ten to fifteen minutes of sun provides enough Vitamin D to last you a week or more so that's our "supplement."
If you are worried about Vitamin D, it is an option to put him near a window that gets good sunlight in a diaper or light clothing. Most breastfed babies do not require any vitamin supplements.
Supplement Yourself Instead
My pediatrician and lactation consultant both recommended that I supplement myself rather than my baby. I made sure that we got some sun time every day that we could, and I have taken 2000 ius daily since he was born.