In most cases, breast milk or formula offers just about everything a baby needs for the first four to six months. The exception is vitamin D, which is advised as a supplement for breastfed babies and babies who drink less than 32 ounces of formula each day. (See listed below for more details.)
Studies have actually shown that a lot of vitamins, fluoride, iron, water, juice, formula and solid foods are not advantageous to healthy breastfed babies during the first 6 months, and some can even be damaging. There are certain cases where a vitamin supplement might be needed for a breastfed baby during the first year (see below for specifics).
Will Supplements Help a Baby’s Health?
After age 4 to 6 months, as your baby’s diet slowly alters from an all-liquid diet to one that contains increasingly more solid food, your doctor may or might not suggest extra vitamin supplements.
Babies who eat a variety of foods in time shouldn’t require them, however there are exceptions. For example, supplements may be needed if your baby was born prematurely, at a low birth weight, or little for gestational age; consistently beverages less breast milk or formula than other babies his age and does not comprise the distinction with food: or has chronic health problems that affect his ability to eat. Make sure to ask your baby’s healthcare provider if you have unique concerns.
Your very own health photo may enter play too. For example, women who have had stomach coronary bypass or who take certain medications daily might absorb fewer nutrients. This can decrease the nutrition material of their breast milk.
If you follow a vegan diet, inform your baby’s healthcare provider. Vitamin B12, iron, zinc, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients that vegan mommies and babies might have to make an extra effort to take in through diet or a multivitamin-mineral supplement.
In basic, however, even if your diet isn’t really perfect (and whose is?), your breast milk will likely contain the nutrients your baby needs. That stated, your own nutrient shops may suffer if your diet is less than outstanding, so consider taking a multivitamin while you’re breastfeeding.
When you begin serving solid food, your baby might be getting more vitamins and minerals than you think– particularly if he eats fortified foods, which typically have actually added vitamin A, zinc, and folate. Examine food labels. A study by the American Dietetic Association showed that while supplements were helpful for babies who had marginal consumption of some nutrients, other infants received excessive amounts.
Also, bear in mind that the U.S. Fda (FDA) does not manage vitamins, so quality and potency might vary in between brands. (See our post on purchasing supplements for guidance.)
Here are the supplements your baby’s doctor may suggest:
Breast milk and formula both include iron, but about the time your baby begins solid foods, the iron requirement leaps (from 0.27 mg daily through 6 months to 11 mg daily from 7 to 12 months). At that point, it’s important for your baby to have a good source of iron from food. Excellent sources include pureed meats, iron-fortified cereal, and pureed legumes such as lentils, kidney beans, lima beans, black beans, and pinto beans.
Your baby’s doctor might advise an iron supplement if your baby does not eat iron-rich foods. Babies born prematurely have actually less saved iron at birth and usually need to take an iron supplement.
Only small amounts of vitamin D are transferred in breast milk. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now advises that you provide your breastfed baby a supplement of 400 IU per day of vitamin D, starting in the first few days of life. Babies who are completely or partly formula fed but drink less than 32 ounces of formula a day also need a daily 400 IU vitamin D supplement.
Our bodies produce vitamin D after the skin is exposed to sunshine. However ideally your baby will not be sunbathing at all in the first 6 months, so he won’t get enough vitamin D from the sun– even if you reside in a reasonably warm location, such as Florida.
The skin of really young babies is additional thin and fragile, and every minute of sun direct exposure adds to skin cancer risk and wrinkling later on in life– even if the skin does not burn. Sun block assists keep babies safe in the sun, however it likewise blocks the rays that enable the body to produce vitamin D.
Vitamin B12 is important for development of the nerve system and to avoid anemia. This vitamin is naturally found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. If you’re breastfeeding and you do not eat much (or any) animal protein, it is essential to have a regular and trustworthy source of vitamin B12– whether it’s from a supplement or strengthened foods– so that your baby’s diet will likewise contain appropriate amounts of the vitamin.
DHA, an important omega-3
DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid crucial for baby brain and eye development, shows up in your breast milk in proportion to the quantity of DHA and essential fatty acids in your diet. (Formula is strengthened with appropriate amounts of DHA.).
Find out more about omega-3s and omega-3 supplements and how to get this important fat into your diet.
DHA supplements aren’t usually suggested for babies, but breastfeeding mamas who do not consume a dietary source of DHA– vegetarians and vegans, in specific– may want to consider taking a supplement. Vegetarians and vegans and their babies have been discovered to have lower blood levels of DHA than those who eat meat.
Will supplements assist a baby’s health?
Is it OKAY to give a baby supplements to assist it grow?
For the majority of healthy children, supplements aside from those advised by your doctor are not recommended. Most of the times, formula will have all the nutrients that a brand-new born baby needs in order to be healthy, and may even contain some other ingredients that are unneeded. One exception to this is with concerns to breast fed babies, who are often suggested to be offered a vitamin d supplement during the first couple of months of life. Additionally, your new baby did get (in many cases at US medical facilities) an injection of a vitamin right at birth, called vitamin K, that helps reduce the risk of spontaneous bleeding. After birth, bacteria that are usually present in your baby’s gut will make enough of this vitamin that it will no longer be needed to supplement.
If you have a specific need for different treatment and care, open conversations with your pediatrician will expose these needs and they can be dealt with as they show up. Otherwise, continue to use formula (reconstituting the mix exactly as directed) or breast milk up until your child is old enough to start attempting solid foods. Again, talk with your pediatrician if you have further, individual, issues.