vitamins for baby

[deleted account] ( 12 moms have responded )

I know vitamin D is important for breastfed babies, but mine vomits his up frequently. His vitamins do not have any iron in them, just vitamin a, c, and d. I give it to him slowly, propped up and have tried before feedings, after feedings, and somewhere in the middle. How important are these vitamins???


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Debbie - posted on 12/12/2008





Breastfeeding babies need extra vitamin D. Not true! Everyone needs vitamin D. Formula has it added at the factory. But the baby is born with a liver full of vitamin D, and breastmilk does have some vitamin D. Outside exposure allows the baby to get the rest of his vitamin D requirements from ultraviolet light even in winter. The baby does not need a lot of outside exposure and does not need outside exposure every day. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and is stored in the body. In some circumstances (for example, if the mother herself was vitamin D deficient during the pregnancy) it may be prudent to supplement the baby with vitamin D. Exposing the baby to sunlight through a closed window does not work to get the baby more vitamin D.

[deleted account]

It is true that rickets is caused by a lack of Vitamin D but I would suggest that the overabundance of high SPF sunscreen on babies and children are more of a causation of this than anything else. There really is no need for sunscreen everyday for every moment a child is outdoors, something like that would interfere in Vitamin D absorption. There is no reason to fear rickets in a healthy breastfed baby with a healthy mother eating a nutritious diet.

I also don't believe that babies become anemic around 6 months...anemia always being a sign of disease or illness not a normal outcome of a healthy breastfeeding child.

The physiological reasoning behind a child's iron stores naturally lowering at this age is becasue they are beginning solids and so should be receiving all the iron they need from nutritious food. If they kept those iron stores plus added to it from food intake the human body could quickly become toxic.

There is no real good reason for giving vitamins. If you choose to keep doing so, just change brands and see if your baby handles that well or just quit and wait until your child is older and has a better developed digestive and immune response.

Carrie - posted on 12/12/2008




You do not need to give your little one the vitamins if you are taking prenatal vitamins or multivitamins. I have talked to my doctor about this and a little sun goes a long way. My kids were never on them and are doing great! I took my prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding and like I said the doctors...regular and my obgyn said that is all they need. No added extras

Zee - posted on 12/11/2008




I live in Seattle as well and I'm on my second child and have never heard of giving either one of them Vitamin D. My midwife never mentioned it. Our pediatrician hasn't mentioned it either. Weird. I'm not sure how important they are. I know breastmilk is the perfect food for babies and has all the vitamins a little one should have. Def. check out I hope it all works out. :-)

[deleted account]

Hi Julia-I have not heard that side of why to give your baby iron before, I've only heard the negative side. Now I am confused. :) It's good to learn something new, though so thank you. The vitamins I give my son were handed to me at my first well baby appointment and refilled every time after that. They have never had iron in them and I have never questioned it. My lactation consultant told me about the bad side of iron fortified vitamins awhile back, but I have not done any research on it. Now I have something to ask my doctor about at his 4 month checkup! :)
It's not the taste that bothers him though, they go down just fine. A couple minutes go by and we have a huge mess. Still not sure why... and there is no direct sunlight available in the forecast any time soon.... Again, thanks for all the info, it helps to see different sides of things and to know different opinions. I used to live in Australia and I am really missing the sun for all kinds of reasons now! :)

Julia - posted on 12/11/2008




The reason they need iron is because at around 6 months of age, their red blood cells start to die off...the extra ones they had built up from when they were in the womb and they become slightly anemic. The iron helps to avoid this anemia. The iron I give does not cause staining. I'd like to be able to take my baby out every day for a walk to absorb the vit D they need, but it's not that simple. I recently saw a news article about how rickets is coming back because of the lack of vit D in children's diet. I just want to be able to give my child the best beginning she can have. She is exclusively breastfed on top of her solids.

[deleted account]

Hi Rebekah! Thanks for the input-my vitamins do not have any iron in them though-I know the risks of this-I'll try for the 15 minutes outside thing-if there isn't any sideways rain. :)

[deleted account]

Breastfed babies may not need fact giving infants vitamins with iron can cause more harm. Iron can deplete zinc, magnesium, and molybdenum. It can also destroy Vitamin E and cause staining of the teeth and constipation. In fact if your child shows graying of the teeth then it means your child has an overload of iron. Iron can also set up the body for bacterial infection if there is more than the body can absorb. And iron can deplete natural bacteria in the gut...something you don't want to risk.

An exclusively breastfed infant will receive all the iron that they need from mothers milk if she is eating a nutritious diet. Breastmilk is low in iron for a infant has iron reserves built up from the placenta and this iron starts to lower around 6 months when babies genearally start solids. I would seriously hesitate supplementing with fact there has been studies done about developmental delays being linked to iron fortified formula.

About Vitamin D...15 minutes of direct sunlight sunscreen.. is enough to get the vitamin D anyone needs. High noon in the winter...and remeber the sun shines south in the winter as well. You could even nurse in a sunny window for some benefit, even though outside light is the best. Many people lament how low in nutrients breastmilk is...such as iron and D...but really if a newborn needed it would our breast milk not be rich in it!

If your child is vomiting...I would say just stop. The risk to toxic overload is more than the risk of nutrient lack in a healthy breastfeeding baby with a healthy momma on a good diet.

[deleted account]

I think my baby does need vitamin D because I live in cloudy Seattle so I can't depend on him getting it from the sun. :)

Julia - posted on 12/11/2008




My LO LOVES her vitamins. The pediatrician gave them to us because most babies like the taste. I can say that's true! They are called My Kidz Iron and you can get them online. They have iron, Vit D, A and C in them. Vitamin D is VERY important for developing strong bones. You really should try something different if he spits them up. My daughter has never vomited these up and now she sucks them right down!

Bobbie - posted on 12/11/2008




Depending on where you live your baby may not need them. has great info on it.

User - posted on 12/11/2008




I've never heard about them! Sorry can't give you much more info than that except to say I have attended all the classes at child health and they've never mentioned anything. Or at ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association). So I cant see that they could be that important. Hope this helps put your mind at rest.

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