What Does Vitamin D Do?
Vitamin D helps your child build strong bones and prevent rickets. Rickets is a condition of softening of the bones that can occur in growing children.
When Does My Child Need Vitamin D? And How Much?
All children need vitamin D beginning shortly after birth.
- Children younger than 12 months old need 400 IUof vitamin D each day.
- Children 12 to 24 months old need 600 IU of vitamin D each day.
How Can I Make Sure My Child is Getting Enough Vitamin D?
For babies who are receiving any breast milk:
- Breast milk usually does not provide all the vitamin D a baby needs, so breastfed babies will need a supplemental source. Talk to your child’s doctor or nurse about giving your child over-the-counter vitamin D drops. These drops contain enough vitamin D (400 IU each day).
For babies who are receiving infant formula:
- The amount of infant formula your child drinks per day can depend on your child’s age.
- 32 ounces of standard infant formula per day contains 400 IU of vitamin D. If your baby is drinking less than this amount per day, he or she may need a vitamin D supplement.
- Talk with your child’s doctor or nurse if you would like help making sure your child is getting enough vitamin D from the infant formula you use.
For children who have started eating solid foods:
Make sure your child’s diet has foods with vitamin D. Some examples of foods with vitamin D include:
- Some fish (for example, salmon or light canned tuna).
- Vitamin D-fortifiedproducts like cow’s milk (for children 12 months and older), yogurt, cereals, and some juices.
Vitamin D supplements are another way to help children get enough vitamin D every day. Talk with your doctor or nurse about vitamin D at your child’s next check-up if you have questions.
Learn more about vitamin D and sunlight for your baby.
For more information on vitamin D, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics Vitamin D Recommendation.