It’s essential for babies to have optimal levels of Vitamin D in their bodies up into childhood. Low levels at birth can cause a bit of jaundice in infants.
Mothers should begin taking vitamin D supplements while their baby is in the womb to make sure their own bodies have an adequate amount for the entire 9 months of pregnancy.
After birth though, when your baby isn’t receiving nutrients through the placenta it might be necessary to support your baby in various ways externally to ensure they get enough vitamin D in their own systems.
Perhaps the most important reason for a baby to have Vitamin D levels within the normal range is to facilitate with optimal immune system functions.
In addition, it’s needed to regulate proper calcium and phosphorus absorption, which helps keep up with the rapidly growing bone structure newborns have.
On the other hand, when vitamin D levels fall low is when various more subtle functions of the body begin to suffer. This entails slow-acting conditions like diminished tooth health or a baby being fussier on a daily basis.
An infant lacking the brilliant sunshine vitamin can experience these things until their levels are brought back up for an extended period of time.
In this article
- How To Test My Baby’s Vitamin D Levels
- Does Breastfeeding Or Bottle-feeding Make Any Difference
- What Happens If I Miss My Baby’s Dose of Vit D
- How Prevalent Is Vitamin D Deficiency For Young Children
- Bone density, Bow Legs, and Respiratory Complications
- Proper Dosage of Vitamin D for Babies and Toddlers
How To Test My Baby’s Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D deficiency can be an issue for small children at any time of the year. It’s important to understand that even if your child is frequently out in the sun, levels can still fall below the baseline.
There are at-home tests available for parents who wonder where their child’s levels fall but aren’t yet seeing any obvious symptoms of low vitamin D.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, all children should be screened for vitamin D levels, and those who are considered high-risk are best off having a blood test done.
Risk Indicators In Children
- If the child has medical conditions such as; Diabetes type 1 and 2 and Inflammatory Bowel Disease and GI Disorders.
- Babies who strictly breastfeed if their mother is not supplementing Vitamin D herself
- If the diet a child regularly consumes doesn’t offer Vit D containing foods like mushrooms or rice milk.
- Excessively heavy kids who are considered obese.
Deficiency is not uncommon in the US. In fact, many top studies have found that it is so prominent that 60% of children in America are deficient.
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Ask your pediatrician to have a blood test if you feel it’s necessary for your baby. You can also look online for a recommended at-home test that has been rated by parents and pediatricians.
Does Breastfeeding Or Bottle-feeding Make Any Difference
Breastmilk is not naturally high in vitamin D, estimated at about 50IU per quart. Babies who drink formula will get more supplemented in their bottles than a breastmilk session.
This means mothers who breastfeed should either supplement directly to their baby or take up to 6,400 IU’s a day to help their baby meet the daily levels of Vit D.
I recall seeing my breastfeeding coach after giving birth to my twins, and the first thing she suggested when we were having issues was for me to begin taking a supplement of vitamin D.
She said I need to keep my immune system healthy to keep up with the demands of breastfeeding.
Infant formula contains 400 IU’s a day if your baby drinks 32oz a day, if you find that your baby is drinking less than this you might consider supplementing in addition to the formula.
What Happens If I Miss My Baby’s Dose of Vit D
If you miss a dose of Vit D for your child, take it as soon as you remember. Then just focus on getting back on track.
Don’t double up on the dosage as this could cause more harm than good. It’s important to get back to your baby’s regular schedule of dosing after missing one.
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How Prevalent Is Vitamin D Deficiency For Young Children
In the US alone, 60% of children have a Vit D deficiency year around. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is or the season. Kids are still at risk of deficiency. In the summer months, the sun will help production and synthesis on a small scale.
Furthermore, lacking the sunshine vitamin can cause brittle bones that fracture far more easily in kids.
The problem is deeply widespread due to the symptoms that are experienced being so subtle. Parents don’t even notice the signs their kids are experiencing.
Bone density, Bow Legs, and Respiratory Complications
If a baby ends up with prolonged vitamin D deficiency, it can lead to brittle bones, skeletal deformities, or premature osteoporosis once adulthood is reached.
Because an infant’s bone structure is evolving at such a rapid rate, vitamin D supplementation is important from right at the start of life until.
Nutritional Rickets and Asthma
Yet, bone density is not the only thing to suffer from lack of vitamin D, a baby is more at risk to have respiratory diseases, too. In developing countries, a condition called Nutritional Rickets is more common amongst community members.
Nutritional Rickets is purely due to Vitamin D deficiency. Children who develop Rickets are more likely to have respiratory illnesses and muscle weakness of the chest.
This goes to show how crucial it is to have a good supply of vitamin D levels at any age, but especially in childhood. The risk of developing childhood asthma significantly decreases with proper Vitamin D levels in the body from infancy onward.
Bow Legging in Children
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Bowlegs in children occur due to the bones becoming brittle and bowing out to the sides from holding up the weight of the body. It’s actually caused by rickets itself, as the bones become weaker as the condition progresses.
Proper Dosage of Vitamin D for Babies and Toddlers
Vitamin D deficiency can be prevented by giving breastfed babies 400 IU’s a day until they are weaned from milk. Once they begin eating Vit-D fortified foods then they should begin consuming up to 600 IU’s a day.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants under 1 year of age supplement 400 IU’s a day, and 600 IU’s a day throughout childhood, through the dietary intake as needed.
Vitamin D can be found in foods such as; fortified cereals, fish, mushrooms, almond milk, rice milk, or orange juice.
Sunshine can also be a significant source of Vitamin D, although it isn’t a food. Therefore the body produces it from within instead of absorbing it through a breakdown in the intestines.
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You can aim to have your child in the sun for 10 – 30 at least three times a week to help them produce proper Vitamin D supply within their bodies.
If your child is dark-skinned, they might need a bit longer in the sun to receive all the benefits.
If you forgot to give your baby a dose of vitamin D, it probably won’t hurt their levels significantly. Maintaining proper levels of Vit D stores should be thought of as a long-term solution to improve anyone’s overall quality of life and a health booster.
Having blood work done for your kid every so often in childhood can help you get an idea of where they’re at. Vitamin D supplementation can make people feel better since it’s a form of deficiency in society that plays into mood stability, fighting off common illness, and energy levels too. Supplementing if levels are low can be a gentle way to boost the immune system overall.
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