For the first six months of a baby’s life, breast milk or baby formula usually provides all the nutrition the infant needs.

What are the benefits of vitamin supplements for your baby?

In order to grow, develop, and maintain good health, children need vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins A, C, and D are important nutrients for your baby’s health but can be difficult to obtain through food alone at this age. There are only a few foods that contain vitamin D, and your baby’s tummy is too small for her/him to eat enough to get all the vitamins she/he needs. Infants with fussy eating can have a tough time getting all the nutrients they need.

We get most of our vitamin D from sunlight on our skin. Sunlight, unfortunately, isn’t available all year round in some places, so it’s hard to get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D drops are therefore recommended from birth to make sure all babies are getting enough vitamin D.

All babies do not require vitamin supplements. You may be surprised at how many vitamins and minerals your baby is getting once they begin eating solid foods. Fortified foods have added vitamin A, zinc, iron, and folate to increase their nutritional value. Don’t give supplements to your baby without consulting your doctor first.

Is it necessary to give vitamins to breastfed babies?

Breastfed babies should be given a daily vitamin D supplement from birth, regardless of whether the mothers themselves take vitamin D supplements. It is recommended to start giving iron supplements to breastfed babies at 4 months until iron-rich foods (like cereals, meat, and green vegetables) can be introduced.

Is it necessary to give vitamins to formula-fed babies?

It’s a different story when it comes to vitamins and formula-fed babies. As long as your infant is getting about 32 ounces of quality formula like Kendamil Classic Stage 1 each day, he/she does not need supplements. Formula already contains vitamin D, iron, and other nutrients. Therefore, avoid low-iron formulas unless your pediatrician tells you otherwise.

Here are some tips for giving vitamins to babies:

•         Make sure you space it out – Avoid mixing multivitamins or iron with breast milk, milk-based formula, or other milk products for the biggest nutritional boost. Milk contains calcium, which can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb it. It is okay to mix vitamin D into a bottle or to give it during feeding, as it won’t affect uptake.

•         Ensure that it goes down easily – Have trouble getting your little one to take his supplement? Almost all infant vitamin drops are tasty, so your baby shouldn’t have issues. In the event that he/she continues to resist taking it, discuss strategies with your pediatrician, such as trying a different brand or switching to a more concentrated supplement.

•         Be careful – Make sure supplements, especially those containing iron, are kept out of children’s reach.

Final thoughts

It may be difficult to provide vitamins to many babies because they follow a special diet, have food intolerances, or suffer from allergies. As each diet will have different recommendations, your pediatrician can give you more information about your baby’s specific needs.

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