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Baby Vitamin D
Infant Nutrition,  Baby Care,  Essential nutrients,  Infant Nutritional Requirements,  Nutrients,  Nutrition

Do Babies Need Supplements for Vitamin D

Do Babies Need Supplements for Vitamin D


Vitamin D: its role in the body

Why give a vitamin D supplement to babies?

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: encourage a diet rich in vitamin D

Is there a risk of vitamin D overdose for my baby?


Vitamin D is essential for the growth of babies. Supplementation is necessary to maintain sufficient calcium in the blood to prevent rickets and growth retardation. When and how should it be given? Are there any risks if I overdose?

Good to know: a vitamin D intake is also recommended for adults during the fall and winter.

Vitamin D: its role in the body

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus and, therefore, in mineralizing bones, teeth, and cartilage. It promotes a good mood and plays a protective role in certain conditions, including:

Osteoporosis, cancers (breast, colon, ovary, prostate), heart disease, cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), multiple sclerosis, diabetes, flu, colds, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and other infectious diseases.

Note: fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that are soluble in fats. They include vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Why should babies be given a vitamin D supplement?

The vitamin D synthesized by our body is only effective if activated by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays on the skin. Therefore, the synthesis is reduced in periods of low sunlight. In infants and small children, supplements are necessary to avoid the appearance of a deficiency:

The sun is dangerous for babies and small children. They are, therefore, not exposed to the sun.

Pregnant women are often deficient. It is, therefore, essential to give vitamin D to breastfed babies.

The frequency of rickets has decreased with the appearance of infant milk enriched in vitamin D and the supplement given systematically to babies.

Vitamin D for babies: how to administer it?

Vitamin D is prescribed to infants in the form of drops or doses. To avoid discomfort and misdirection, it is essential to follow these guidelines:

Administer vitamin D in drop form before feeding or bottle feeding in a semi-seated position.

Never lay the baby down immediately afterward.

Place the pipette against the inside of the cheek.

Slowly press the plunger for a drop-by-drop flow.

When to give vitamin D to babies?

The frequency of vitamin D administration depends on the age of your baby. The intake of vitamin D is recommended from birth:

From 0 to 2 years: every day.

From 2 years of age: during the winter only, as the baby is not exposed to much sunlight.

Note: in summer, the baby spends time outside in the sun. Thus, the vitamin D his body produces is activated by UV rays.

What is the dosage of vitamin D for babies?

Not all babies need the same amount of vitamin D. They depend on the vitamin content of the milk and the type of skin of your child:

A baby fed cow’s milk not fortified with vitamin D needs a higher dose than one fed with fortified infant milk.

A child with dark skin needs higher doses because the skin filters more UV light.

Consult your pediatrician for the right dosage for your child’s needs.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: encourage a diet rich in vitamin D

Vitamin D needs to increase during pregnancy to allow the development of the fetus’ skeleton. However, it is difficult to reach the recommended daily dose through food alone because few foods contain vitamin D: cod liver oil, butter, milk, dairy products, egg yolk, liver, fatty fish (trout, salmon, herring, sardines), certain dried mushrooms (shiitake, cep, and morel mushrooms), yeast, cereals, etc…

Note: some foods are artificially fortified (marked as “vitamin D fortified”), including infant milk and some industrial products.

Therefore, vitamin D intake is recommended for pregnant women in the last trimester of pregnancy to prevent rickets in the newborn.

According to recent studies, 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D is necessary for an adult body. These needs rise to 4,000 IU for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Is there a risk of vitamin D overdose for my baby?

An overdose of vitamin D can cause the following symptoms:


Nausea and vomiting;

Weight loss;

intense fatigue.

These symptoms stop when the vitamin is stopped. There can also be:

  • kidney stones from excess calcium in the urine;
  • hypercalcemia, i.e., an excess of calcium in the blood.

This is why no supplementation should be given without the advice of a pediatrician.

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