Vitamin D Supplements For Breastfed Babies – Is it Necessary and Importances

4 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Vitamin D Supplements For Breastfed Babies

Breastfeeding is the best for your baby. This is a saying you may have heard through the years. And why not!! Breast milk has all the nutrients that a growing baby requires. It also provides protection against many infections and is a key contributor to the development of resistance in babies. But certain nutrients such as vitamin D may be absent in breastmilk or may not be present in sufficient levels. For this reason, vitamin D supplements for breastfed babies are crucial.

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for babies and is essential for proper growth, development, and bone health. Babies are exposed to limited sunlight and hence cannot synthesize this vitamin on their own. For these reasons, supplementing Vitamin D to your breastfed babies in the form of drops is very important.

In This Article

Is a Vitamin D Supplement Necessary For Breastfed Babies?

Vitamin D is crucial for your baby as it makes their bones more robust, promotes growth and development and promotes their dental health as well. Several bone-related diseases occur in babies just because of the deficiency of vitamin D. The most common bone disease is rickets. So, to keep your baby away from such conditions and add strength to your baby’s bones, an adequate amount of vitamin D is extremely essential.

If you fail to make your breastfed baby intake the required amount of vitamin D, there’s a high risk that your baby may be more prone to fractures or growth issues. Not just this, Vitamin D is essential for other body functionalities as well. An adequate amount of vitamin D in a baby’s body would ensure the healthy development of the brain and, at the same time, keep up their immune health. It might become very tedious without supplementing vitamin D.

Importance of Vitamin D Supplements For Breastfed Babies

Importance of Vitamin D Supplements For Breastfed Babies

You might already know how vital vitamin D is for your baby. Apart from promoting growth and development and bone and teeth strength, vitamin D is also essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus into the body.

A deficiency of vitamin D in babies can lead to

  • Delayed motor development
  • Frequent fractures
  • Deficiency diseases such as rickets
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lethargy

Since breast milk is not a good source of vitamin D for babies, supplementing this vitamin through other sources is very important.

[Read : Calcium For Babies]

When Should You Consider Vitamin D Supplements For Breastfed Babies?

Every breastfed baby, whether fully or partially on breast milk must be given a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU per day according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Most infant formulas are fortified with vitamin D and can meet your baby’s vitamin D requirement to a certain extent. Your pediatrician will routinely recommend vitamin D drops if your baby is on breast milk. Remember to never start these medications on your own without consulting the doctor.

Most Common Vitamin D Supplements For Breastfed Babies

food rich in vitamin D

The most commonly recommended vitamin D supplements for babies are vitamin D drops. These must be given to babies younger than 6 months of age who are completely or partly breastfed.

For babies who are older than 6 months of age and are on solids, the following foods act as very good sources of vitamin D. Remember to introduce them at the appropriate ages and in the appropriate manner.

1. Salmon

You might have heard about salmon fish. It is a good vitamin D. On average, wild-caught salmon is known to have more vitamin D than farmed salmon.

2. Egg Yolks

Fishes are not the only source of vitamin D; eggs are also the best source of vitamin D as it is regarded as one of the most nutritious foods. You will find most of the protein content in an egg in the whites. However, vitamins, minerals, and fats are primarily in the yolk.

3. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are the only good non-animal source of vitamin D and a must-add to your baby’s diet.

[Read : Mushrooms For Babies]

Are There Any Side Effects of Vitamin D Supplements For Breastfeed Babies?

High intake of vitamin D can cause the following symptoms in babies

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue

If you observe your baby going through any of these symptoms in your baby, you will need to see your pediatrician immediately. The dosage of vitamin D may need to be reduced.

Breast milk does not have vitamin D, one of the essential nutrients for proper growth and development. This is why most doctors will prescribe vitamin D supplements for breastfed babies. Ensure to stick to the dosages and timings prescribed by your doctor and do not exceed the dosage that your doctor has recommended for your baby to avoid unnecessary side effects.

[Read : Loss of Appetite in Babies]


1. Does Vitamin D Make a Baby Sleepy?

Intake of vitamin D does not cause any drowsiness in babies. However, if there’s a deficiency of vitamin D in babies, it can lead to fatigue and drowsiness

2. How Long Do Newborns Need Vitamin D Drops?

Breastfed babies need 40o International Units of liquid vitamin D in a day. You will need to continue this till you wean your baby off breast milk and start your baby on cow milk. You can also stop calcium supplements if your baby is drinking at least 1000ml of vitamin D fortified milk in a day.

3. Do Vitamin D Drops Cause Constipation in Babies?

Excessive intake of vitamin D can cause loss of appetite, stomachache and constipation in babies.

Read Also: Iron Supplements For Breastfed Babies – Is it Necessary and Importances

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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