Babies need vitamin D for healthy growth and development. It helps build strong, healthy bones and teeth. If a baby does not get enough vitamin D, they are at risk of getting rickets. Rickets is a disease in which bones do not grow properly.
Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because our skin can make vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Because it is recommended to keep babies out of direct sunlight, they are not able to make enough vitamin D to meet their needs.
Breast milk provides the best possible nutrition for babies. To make sure your breastfed baby gets enough vitamin D, give them a liquid vitamin D supplement with 400 IU of vitamin D3 every day. The supplement should not contain other vitamins. This should start as soon as possible after birth and continue until they are two years old. You can stop giving vitamin D if your baby completely stops breastfeeding.
Carefully read the label for instructions on how to give the supplement. Only use the dropper that comes with the supplement.
Babies who are only fed infant formula do not need a vitamin D supplement because vitamin D is already added to infant formula when it is manufactured.
Services related to this information:
Public Health Nursing offices, Eastern Health
811 HealthLine (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929 / TTY 1-888-709-3555