Mother’s milk is the ultimate super-food, containing just about everything a baby needs–except Vitamin D. Why? Humans originated along the equator and abundant sunshine originally provided infants with all of the bone-fortifying vitamin they required. Modern-day bambinos, however, could use a little help. According to a Pediatrics study, 5% to 37% of infants require a supplement to meet the American Academy of Pediatrics standard for Vitamin D: 400 international units a day.
Bottle-fed babies don’t fare any better. In order to hit that 400-unit mark, an infant would have to imbibe 32 ounces of fortified formula a day, an amount that tummies under 6-months-old just can’t handle.
The bad news: our greatest source of vitamin D, the sun, is a no-no. The A.A.P. recommends zero sunlight in baby’s first six months to help prevent cancer and skin damage. Sunbathing is still prohibited from seven months on: sunscreen, hats and protective covering are prescribed by every doctor.
The good news: the supplement is available in drop form and is inexpensive. Just ask your pediatrician.
Check out more on babies and their vitamin needs here.