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Vitamin D and your Baby

It is important to make sure your baby is getting enough vitamin D in their diet. Vitamin D:
  • Supports healthy growth and development.
  • Works with calcium to build strong bones and teeth.
  • Decreases the risk of illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, skin and muscle conditions, and multiple sclerosis.
 
What if my baby does not get enough vitamin D?
Babies and children who do not get enough vitamin D can develop a vitamin D deficiency. This means that their bodies do not have enough vitamin D to perform normal tasks and stay healthy. This can lead to:
  • Problems with bones and teeth.
  • Problems with body tissue and function.
  • Development of rickets - a disease that affects the way bones grow and develop.
 
Does my baby need a vitamin D supplement?
If your baby is fully or partially breastfed, they need a vitamin D supplement.  Babies who are only fed formula do not need vitamin D supplements because vitamin D is added to infant formula.
 
How much vitamin D does my baby need?
Health Canada recommends that supplementation begin at birth and continue until 400 IU of vitamin D is provided from dietary sources or until 24 months of age for exclusively or partially breastfed infants/toddlers. Some babies are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency and may need more supplements if:
  • They are exclusively breastfed.
  • They have darker skin.
  • They live in a northern community.
  • Their mother has low vitamin D.
Vitamin D supplements should be given based on your baby's needs. To find the right amount of vitamin D for your baby talk to your health care provider or contact us.
 
*supplementation of 10 micrograms (400 IU)