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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Vitamins and Babies

Vitamins and Babies

In concern for their baby's health, many parents wonder whether they should be giving their babies vitamins or nutritional supplements. Many experts disagree about the necessity of vitamins for babies, but the experts due agree that vitamins are safe for babies to take. So, knowing this, the decision whether to give your baby vitamins or not is mostly up to you. There are a few things to consider, however, before you make up your mind.

• Breast-fed babies usually get plenty of nutrition and vitamins from their mother's breast milk. This is especially true if the mother is eating a healthy diet that includes a wide range of foods and food groups. The only exception to this is if a breast-fed is not getting enough sunlight or if your baby's skin is dark in color. Since humans do not produce vitamin D, they need sunlight to help their bodies make it. If your child is indoors a lot or if their skin is dark, then they may not be getting enough sunlight to make their bodies produce this vitamin. In this instance, vitamin drops can be given to your baby as early as six months of age.

• Bottle-fed babies that drink formula are usually getting plenty of vitamins. Commercial formula is enriched with added vitamins and nutrients and those should be more than enough to keep your baby healthy. The exception to this is if you give your baby cow's milk. Most babies are switched to cow's milk from formula around the age of twelve months. After you make the switch to cow's milk, you will probably want to enrich their diets with vitamins or vitamin drops, especially if your baby does not like a variety of baby foods.

• A healthy diet is by far the best way for baby to get their vitamins. This is usually fairly easy to do since many baby foods include a mix of nutrient rich foods. And if your baby doesn't like a certain baby food, it is fairly easy to a find a different flavor with the same vitamin content.

If you do decide to give your baby vitamin supplement, you will be better off choosing a liquid form. Vitamin drops are concentrate drops of vitamin containing liquid that can be administered directly onto your baby's tongue or mixed into a bottle with a little bit of water.

You should also read the label on any vitamins that you decide to buy very carefully. Babies only really need a supplement of a few vitamins such as A, the B group, C and maybe D. Babies do not need iron, magnesium, potassium and other such supplements.

When giving vitamins to your baby, be sure to follow the doing instructions on the bottle exactly. This includes information regarding the amount to give your baby and the frequency in which you should give it. Never give your baby more than the recommended dosage, even if you are not sure if they swallowed the entire dose. Vitamins in large quantities can be dangerous and the risk of overdose is higher in children and babies than in adults since they weigh much less.

Before deciding to give your baby a vitamin supplement, it is best to discuss the decision with your doctor. Your doctor can better describe the guidelines that you should follow when dosing your baby with a vitamin supplement. Your doctor can also tell you which vitamins will work best for your baby's situation.

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