Vitamin D for babies

Questions and answers
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What does Vitamin D do for babies?
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Babies need vitamin D for healthy growth and development. It helps them build strong bones and teeth.
Why do babies need Vitamin D?
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Isn’t sunlight a good source of vitamin D? Vitamin D is produced naturally when skin is exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, Canada’s higher latitude means we may have a reduced ability to get vitamin D from sun exposure for a large part of the year. This is particularly important in more northern regions. Sunscreen and clothing further limit the amount of vitamin D produced.
Should I give my baby Vitamin D?
I eat more foods containing vitamin D while I’m breast-feeding, do I still need to give my baby a vitamin D supplement? Yes. Although foods like salmon, margarine and milk are good sources of vitamin D, the levels are not high enough to enrich your breast milk to the level your baby needs.
Vitamin D for baby while breastfeeding
There is no question that breast milk provides the best nutrition for your baby. However, the vitamin D content of breast milk has been shown to be low (<6-20 IU/250 mL)* and may not be high enough to meet your baby’s needs.
How much Vitamin D does a baby need?
Experts such as the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada recommend that all exclusively and partially breastfed infants or infants receiving breast milk be given a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU from birth to two years of age.
400 IU is the recommended amount of vitamin D for babies 0-1 years.
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* Ask your baby’s doctor if Tri-Vi-Sol or Poly-Vi-Sol is right for him. 1 First Nations, Inuit and Metis Health Committee and The Canadian Pediatric Society. Vitamin D Supplementation: Recommendations for Canadian Mothers and Infants. Pediat Child Health 2007 (reaffirmed Oct 2010); 12(7):583-9. 2 Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for calcium and vitamin D. November 2010.
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