As a new parent, you’re probably going above and beyond to do everything you can to get your baby off to the healthiest start possible.
In addition to making sure your baby gets enough to eat, as much snooze time as possible, and all the hugs, kisses, and cuddles you can possibly provide, you may be wondering if there’s anything else they need.
On the nutrient side of things, there may be — and that’s vitamin D.
Most of us know about the benefits of vitamin D for bone health, but may not realize vitamin D’s potential benefits for mental health, immune function, and normal brain development in our children, notes Elisa Song, MD, a holistic pediatrician.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants receive 400 IU (international units) of vitamin D daily. This can be tricky for infants under the age of 6 months, however, who should be kept out of direct sunlight because they’re too young for sunscreen.
If you’re feeding your baby formula sold in the United States, it’s fortified with enough vitamin D that a supplement isn’t necessary. However, if you’re exclusively breastfeeding or feeding less than 32 ounces of formula per day, pediatricians recommend giving your baby a supplement.
Even though breast milk is considered a “perfect food” for your growing baby, it doesn’t contain enough vitamin D to support your baby’s needs — even if you are taking a supplement yourself. And without enough vitamin D, your baby is at risk for a vitamin D deficiency.
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Vitamin D is found in many food sources, including fatty fish, cod liver oil, eggs, and mushrooms, however these foods should not be given to a baby until they are older than 6 months.
For an infant who has no need for other multivitamin supplements, the vitamin D-only preparations are the most appropriate supplements, according to Tolu Adebanjo, MD, a pediatrician at Orlando Health.
Adebanjo recommends that parents should look for brands with 400 IU of vitamin D3 per drop to provide the recommended intake.
To create this list of the best vitamin D drops for infants, we reached out to board certified pediatricians to understand the nutrient needs of young babies, especially where vitamin D is concerned. We also researched scientific studies and referred to the recommendations of the AAP.
Furthermore, you can rest assured knowing that all vitamins and supplements published on Healthline must pass an extensive medical vetting assessment before publication.
And, as always, before giving your child a supplement of any kind, be sure to check with your child’s healthcare provider to make sure they approve.
Everything made by the Nordic Naturals brand is non-GMO and third-party tested, which far surpasses the very strict international standards for supplements of this nature. This vitamin D3 supplement is made with organic extra virgin olive oil as the carrier oil and is delivered via oral droplet.
Since 1965 this supplement brand has been creating products that are rigorously tested by a lab that’s registered by the Food and Drug Administration — comforting for parents to know! It comes with an easy-to-use dropper that can provide your baby with the recommended 400 IU dose either on baby’s tongue or in food, formula, or bottle of breast milk.
Founded by Dr. Zak Zarbock, a pediatrician and dad, Zarbee’s Naturals creates a vitamin D supplement for babies containing natural ingredients only — no drugs, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, flavors, or dyes.
All of their products are gluten-free and pediatrician recommended. This supplement is given in an oral droplet either in breast milk or bottle or mixed with food. Remember, though, that your baby must finish all of what you mix the drop with, in order to get the full dose.
Mommy’s Bliss sells several infant remedies, including a probiotic, elderberry syrup, and even gripe water — and all of their products are USDA organic, including their vitamin D drops.
This supplement comes in a regular glass droplet bottle, but they also sell a squeeze bottle, which may make administering it to your baby much easier. This supplement is made without artificial colors and flavors, sucrose, gluten binders or fillers, or petroleum-based by-products.
In an easy-to-administer squeeze bottle, UpSpring offers a vitamin D3 supplement that’s natural and free of flavor, dye, dairy, gluten, GMOs, sugar, and preservatives.
These drops are made in the United States and can be given to your child from the newborn stage all the way until the end of their first year.