Essential Nutrients for Babies - What you need to know about vitamin D in the first year of life

Essential Nutrients for Babies - What you need to know about vitamin D in the first year of life

New parents face a steep learning curve in the first year of their baby's life. Every day, week, or month there are new milestones and new decisions to be made, and not a lot of time to sleep on it! Thankfully, when it comes to ensuring your baby is getting the nutrients they need for cognitive development, it's something of a no-brainer.

Nutrigen Babytamin Drops contain 19 essential nutrients to support healthy growth and development in infants up to 12 months. Just 12 drops a day provide 100% or more of sixteen vitamins and minerals for infants aged up to 6 months, including 500 IU of vitamin D, a vital nutrient for building strong bones and teeth.

Vitamin D for Babies – How much do they need?

Sunlight exposure is the main source of vitamin D for most adults, but not for most infants and young children. That’s because, quite rightly, we protect our kids from the damaging effects of the sun by sticking to the shade and using sunscreen and protective clothing. Too much sun is dangerous for everyone, but too much sun in childhood significantly increases the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing, not to mention resulting in a nasty and painful sunburn.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), all infants should have a daily intake of 400 IU of vitamin D, beginning in the first few days of life, to support healthy growth and development. This means that all nursing infants should receive a daily supplement providing 400 IU of vitamin D. Why? Because the level of vitamin D in human milk is insufficient to meet demand in those important early years.

Human milk contains 25 IU of vitamin D or less per litre, and the average 6-month-old baby drinks just 600-900 mL per day (Kent et al., 1999). To meet vitamin D requirement from breastmilk alone, a baby would need to drink 16 litres of breastmilk every day!

Why do Babies (and Adults!) Need Vitamin D?

Babies and adults need vitamin D for the proper absorption and use of calcium. In childhood and our early twenties, vitamin D helps us to build strong, healthy bones and teeth and as adults, vitamin D helps us to maintain bone density. Vitamin D is also important for proper immune function, muscle activity, neurological development, and nervous system activity.

In recent years, researchers have also been looking at the possible connections between low levels of vitamin D conditions such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and autoimmune conditions including multiple sclerosis (Medline Plus).

Optimal Nutrition for the First Year of Life

Vitamin D is not the only nutrient needed for a healthy and happy baby, of course. That’s why Babytamin also features vitamins A and C to support immune function, skin health, and eyesight, alongside minerals including iodine, selenium, and zinc to support thyroid and immune function, growth, and healing. B vitamins are included in this daily formula to support nervous system function, digestion, and energy metabolism, helping to fuel your baby's learning and growth every day up to 12 months of age.

Babytamin drops are easy to administer. They can be given directly or mixed with milk, juice, or water. Or, as your baby starts to explore solid food, try adding Babytamin to pureed vegetables such as peas, sweet potato, carrot, banana, or yoghurt (be careful not to exceed the recommended dose).

Nutrigen also offer essential nutrients for babies and children in the form of syrups, beverages, and sprinkles for food, helping you ensure that your little one gets what they need for a happy, healthy start to life.

 

References

Kent, J.C., Mitoulas, L., Cox, D.B., et al. (1999). Breast volume and milk production during extended lactation in women. Exp Physiol, Mar;84(2):435-47.

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Vitamin D Deficiency. Page last updated November 6, 2017. Accessed March 28, 2018. Available: https://medlineplus.gov/vitaminddeficiency.html

US Centers for Disease Control. Vitamin D. Page last updated March 21, 2018. Accessed March 28, 2018. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/vitamin-d.html

 

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