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Many mothers wonder if their baby is taking enough vitamins. Should you give your baby vitamins?
Pediatricians have different vitamin guidelines for each age group. To determine the answer to this question, you must read the guidelines for your baby's age group as highlighted below:
If your baby is breastfeeding, you do not need to give your baby any vitamins. Breast milk is known to have a comprehensive nutrient profile that is unrivaled by any external vitamin.
The exception to this rule of course is Vitamin D. Vitamin D is recommended as a supplement for both breastfed and formula milk babies.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends Vitamin D supplementation for all babies. A daily dose of Vitamin D can be taken in the form of a multivitamin drop. Please consult with your pediatrician for more information on multivitamin drops.
Natural Sources of Vitamin D: You can give your baby Vitamin D by exposing him/her to natural sunlight for 15 minutes per day. You should avoid sun burns.
6 months – 1 year
At 6 months of age, your baby starts eating solids. With this diet change, your baby's dietary and vitamin requirements increase drastically.
The most prominent mineral in this stage is iron. The iron requirement jumps from 0.27 mg daily to 11 mg daily.
Your pediatrician will prescribe iron if deemed necessary. Do not administer any vitamins without consulting with your pediatrician first.
Natural Sources of Iron: Natural sources of iron include pureed meats, iron-fortified cereal, pureed legumes such as lentils and green vegetables.
1 year and above
At 1 year of age, your baby's brain and nervous system undergo a growth spurt. In this stage, your baby needs a comprehensive vitamin and mineral profile through his/her diet.
The most prominent vitamin in this stage is Vitamin B12, in addition to Omega fatty acids.
Natural Sources of B12: Natural sources of B12 include fish, meat, eggs and cow's milk.
Natural Sources of Omega fatty acids: Natural sources of omega fatty acids include fish, and flaxseed.
Is it true that the food I eat affects my breast milk?
Your food directly affects your baby when breastfeeding. If your body lacks a certain vitamin, this deficiency can affect your breast milk.
You must consume a complete diet rich in fiber, vitamins, mineral and essential fatty acids. Avoid junk food and empty calories as they do offer any benefit to your baby.
Your doctor may opt to prescribe a multivitamin. Do not administer any vitamins without consulting with your doctor first.
For more tips, check out our Nutrition Section.