Vitamins for Babies
All breastfed babies should get daily Vitamin D drops because it is not well transferred through the milk. As long as they are receiving any amount of breastmilk, babies need supplemental Vitamin D. These vitamins can be found at pharmacies and typically stores like Target and Walmart that have baby sections. Some are a single drop that you put on the breast before your baby latches; others are a dropper full that you administer in the mouth or bottle. Check the packaging for instructions.
Full term babies who are taking a normal amount of formula do not need additional vitamins as the daily vitamin requirement is provided in the formula. Premature babies may need vitamins in addition to the formula.
Vitamins for Older Children
Ideally, your child will get all the vitamins and nutrients needed for growth and development from a well-balanced diet. For some children food allergies, other dietary restrictions, or just plain being picky impairs their ability to get the full daily complement of vitamins and nutrients. In these circumstances you may give a children’s multivitamin. Check the instructions on the packaging for how much each day, which is based on age or weight. We do not recommend the gummy vitamins due to the increased risk for cavities and other dental problems.
If your child does not drink any vitamin D-fortified milks (cow, almond, etc), then you should give them some form of vitamin D. This can be in the form of vitamin D drops (400 IUs/drop) for infants under 1 year old, or vitamin D drops made for children over 1 year old (600 IUs/drop), or a children’s multivitamin if preferred.
Children do not need supplemental vitamins if their diet is somewhat balanced with multiple colors and food groups. We do not recommend giving extra vitamins, as vitamin levels in the body that are too high can cause side effects or be harmful to the body. If you have questions about giving your child vitamins, please discuss it at your next check up.