Vitamin D also known as The Sunshine Vitamin!
Vitamin D gets it’s name because it needs UVB sun rays to be made – you can see why this is a problem in Ireland! When you consider that you’re not really meant to have your babies exposed to any sun that does actually escape through the clouds it really indicates that we might need to consider other sources! This is why we have a recommendation in Ireland that all babies under one year of age should be given a supplement of 5µg of Vitamin D3 every day! This is true for both breast fed and bottle fed babies.
What do we need vitamin D for?
We need Vitamin D to help our bodies to use calcium which is critical for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. If we don’t have enough our bones can become weak and in some cases even cause rickets in children. Rickets involves a weakening of the bones which can result in bone deformities and increased likelihood of fractures. The reason the guidelines say that supplementation is essential up to 12 months of age is because of an increased need for Vitamin D due to the speed that babies grow at during that period. It’s worth noting that babies with darker skin are even more at risk of low levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D also plays a role in promoting healthy muscles and even immune system.
What else is important to know?
- You need to give vitamin D to your baby even if you took a supplement whilst pregnant.
- D3 is the best form of Vitamin D to give your baby – that’s whats in most of the products now so you don’t really have to worry too much about choosing.
- Vitamin D is fat soluble – this means that it can be harmful to take too much – always read the label.
Which one should I get and where can I get it?
You should choose a product suitable for babies with just Vitamin D3 in it – if you feel your baby needs other multivitamins you should read my full multivitamin guide by clicking here as there are a few vitamins which you can take too much of, vitamin D is one of these, so you have to be careful. Vitamin D products differ in dosages in different formulations so always read the label on the product you buy to make sure you are giving a suitable dose. Abidec Vitamin D3 drops comes in a slightly aniseed flavour which babies don’t seem to mind at all and you just need to give one drop! I found it useful to give it whilst changing nappy as I was more likely to remember when I saw it beside the nappy things and it was easy to drop into their mouths as they lay back. BabyVit D3 pump also contains one daily dose per single pump and some mums prefer using this to drops – a personal choice!
I hope you found this information helpful and as always don’t hesitate to contact me on the WonderBaba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) with any questions or for one to one advice for your little one! You can also consult with me in person at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 or over the phone on 012600262.