Why Do Newborns Need Vitamin D

Procedures For Data Collection

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After the agreement to participate in the study, 3ml of blood were collected from each infant, after 8-hour fasting, to analyze serum concentrations of 25D, PTH, alkaline phosphatase , calcium , phosphorus and albumin. The collected blood was transported in thermal box with recyclable ice, under temperature between 2º and 10ºC, and sent to the respective laboratories. After centrifugation, 600 l of serum was stored at -80°C until the end of data collection for analysis of 25D and PTH in the laboratory of Endocrinology and Metabolism of the FMRP-USP and 600 to 800l of serum was separated for analysis of Ca, P, AP and albumin that were determined every day in an automatic analyzer in the Biochemical laboratory of the FMRP. The intra and inter-assay errors were, respectively, less than 10 and 20% for the two parameters.

At the beginning of the study, a sociodemographic questionnaire was answered by mothers or guardians, and included questions such as the mother’s age, educational level and family income. Infant clinical and nutritional was also obtained and included variables such as sex, age, skin color , birth weight and breastfeeding. Questions about the hour, time and frequency of sun exposure, type of clothing when they exposed to the sun, cap or hat usage and the use of sunblock in the last seven days, were collected through a structured questionnaire elaborated by the researchers.

How Much Vitamin D Is Necessary For Babies

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute of Medicine recommend a daily intake of 400 IU of vitamin D for babies within the first year. For babies older than 1 year, the amount increases to 600 IU per day. To determine whether your baby is getting enough vitamin D, consider the following:

  • Breastfed babiesand partially breastfed babies will not get enough vitamin D from breast milk alone, so supplementing with liquid vitamin D is necessary and important.

  • Formula-fed babies are likely to get a good amount of vitamin D from their formula, as most brands are fortified with vitamin D. Check the label of your formula and consult your childâs healthcare provider. However, to get the full recommended amount of vitamin D, babies will need to consume 32 ounces of fortified formula a day. Most newborns and many young babies wonât drink this much, so supplementation with vitamin D drops is probably necessary. Check with your provider to be sure.

Itâs also important to keep in mind that every baby is different. Some babies may require more vitamin D, including those with the following conditions:

  • obesity

  • have had recent surgery

  • are taking medications that block the absorption of vitamin D.

To determine the appropriate amount of liquid vitamin D to give your little one, consult the chart below and your childâs healthcare provider.

What Are Vitamin D Drops

Vitamin D is measured in International Units . Be sure to select a brand of drops that is formulated specifically for babies, and does not contain any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Also try to find a brand that has a concentrate of 400 IU per drop dosage. Keep the drops in their original package, so that you or other caregivers can easily follow the directions. Always use the dropper that comes with the product, as it is manufactured specifically for that specific brand of vitamin D supplement drops.

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What Should I Look For When Buying A Vitamin D Supplement

A single vitamin D3 supplement in a liquid format is recommended. Some supplements require you to place a drop of vitamin D on the breast and others need you to fill a dropper to 400 IU and place it in your babys mouth. Follow the manufacturers instructions carefully and only use the dropper that comes with the vitamin D supplement purchased.

Vitamin D From The Sun

Why do babies need Vitamin D?

Despite the ability to absorb Vitamin D from the sun, we have learned over the past few decades that the suns rays are harmful to our skin. The AAP recommends that children six months of age and younger be kept out of the sun altogether. Infants six months and older should wear protective clothing and sunscreen to minimize their exposure to sunlight. Short periods of sun exposure are sometimes recommended as a way to obtain vitamin D, but sun exposure must be handled safely, since its impact on skin cancer in the future is not well known. Sun exposure can also be an unreliable source of vitamin D because of latitude, season, sunscreen use, skin pigmentation, and pollution. Because of this, infants need to obtain the majority of the vitamin D they need from their diets.

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How Can I Make Sure My Child Is Getting Enough Vitamin D

Your childs age matters when it comes to cows milk. For children older than 12 months, plain whole cows milk is a great source of vitamin D.

Most cows milk sold in stores is fortified with vitamin D. For babies younger than 12 months, cows milk is not recommended because it may put your baby at risk for intestinal bleeding. It also has too many proteins and minerals for your babys kidneys to handle easily and does not have the right amount of nutrients your baby needs.

For babies who are fed onlybreast milk or who receive both breast milk and infant formula:

  • Breast milk usually does not provide all the vitamin D a baby needs, so breastfed babies will need a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D per day beginning shortly after birth.

For babies who are receiving onlyinfant formula:

  • Vitamin D supplementation is not needed.
  • Infant formulas are fortified with vitamin D.

How To Give Your Baby Vitamin D Drops

Administering our organic vitamin D drops to your little one is as simple as its list of ingredients. Before removing the cap, tip the bottle upside down. Mix a single drop in with your babys food, milk or formula, or place a drop on the nipple of a bottle or pacifier. Thats it once you have done that, store the bottle in a dry, cool place until the next day.

Vitamin D is essential to your infants growth and development and his or her overall health. To ensure your little one receives the nutrients necessary to thrive, supplement his or her diet with Wellements Organic Vitamin D Drops.

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Why Children And Adults Need Vitamin D

Children need vitamin D for bone growth and development. So do babies developing in the womb. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium.

Serious vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, delayed motor development, muscle weakness, aches and pains, and fractures.

Vitamin D deficiency in adults has been linked to osteoporosis, some cancers, heart disease and diabetes.

If women dont get enough vitamin D during pregnancy, their children are at greater risk of developing rickets later in childhood. This risk is reduced if children get enough vitamin D after birth.

Why Do Children Need Baby D Drops

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Vitamin D helps the body in absorbing calcium and phosphorus, two elements that are key to the development of healthy bones. It also supports the immune system and promotes the healthy function of nerves and muscles. Daily requirements for vitamin D depend on individual factors, but in general, babies should receive 400 IU of vitamin D every day, starting soon after birth.

It’s particularly crucial for babies not to develop a deficiency of vitamin D. It can result in a disease called rickets, softening the bones’ growth plates and possibly leading to bowed legs, knock knees, thickened wrists and ankles, delayed growth, bone pain, and weakened muscles.

The safest and most reliable way to make sure your little one is getting what they need is the use of baby D drops. This is especially true for babies who eat formula that isn’t vitamin-enriched, if they consume less the 32 ounces of formula daily, considering newborns should not spend their time under direct sunlight in the first months of life.

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Does My Baby Get Enough Vitamin D From Sunlight

Skin uses sunshine to make vitamin D and thats why its often called the sunshine vitamin. The Region of Peel is in the northern part of the world, so we dont get enough sunshine throughout the year for babies to make the vitamin D they need through their skin. We also use clothes and keep babies out of direct sunlight because of their sensitive skin and to prevent skin cancer.

Remember that sunscreen shouldnt be used on babies under six months of age.

Which Babies Are At High Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Your baby is at high risk of vitamin D deficiency if they are breastfed and:

  • they have naturally dark skin
  • you have been told that you are low in vitamin D
  • one or more of your children has had rickets or seizures resulting from low blood calcium levels

Babies who are born preterm with low body weight may be vitamin D deficient.

Babies who are breastfed over winter months in New Zealand may also be vitamin D deficient by late winter/spring.

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Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency In Babies

Vitamin D deficiency isnt easy to spot in babies, partly because they cant tell you how theyre feeling. And fatigue and muscle pain, symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, are common symptoms of several other conditions. In addition, signs of vitamin D deficiency may not show up until months or years later.

But doctors may check your babys vitamin D levels if your baby has:

  • Frequent illnesses or infections.
  • Poor growth.
  • Frequent bone fractures.

Dont wait to see if your baby has symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, Dr. Liermann says. Supplement Vitamin D regularly to prevent deficiency. And if you have any concerns about your babys health, talk to your pediatrician.

Ways To Increase Your Childs Vitamin D Intake

Vitamin D supplement recommended for all infants
  • The most common source of Vitamin D is sunlight. It is the best way to ensure that your child gets both fresh air as well as Vitamin D. Early morning sun is best.
  • There are some foods which can also help to increase the Vitamin D in your childs body. Foods like Salmon, cod liver oil and organ meats and fortified foods like milk and cheese, are rich sources of Vitamin D.
  • There are many supplements available. Vitamin D3 as oral drops 400 IU/ml Syrup 400 IU/5 ml and Tablets as 1000 and 2000 IU in blister packing and also as sachets, in powder form with each sachet containing 60000 IU of Vitamin D3. You can check with your childs doctor which dosage to go for.
  • Apart from the regular vitamin D3 drops, injections and sachets are also available. Use only if prescribed by your doctor.
  • Homeopathy also has a few medicines which help in reducing this deficiency. Medicines like Silicea, Calcarea carb, Calcarea Phos are few common medicines that many homoeopathy doctors suggest.

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So dear mommies, if you see any of the mentioned symptoms in your child, be sure to get him/her checked by a doctor. Dont self medicate as your baby needs a very small amount of medicine and you can inadvertently end up giving more.

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How Can Breastfed Babies Get An Adequate Amount Of Vitamin D

If you follow traditional practices, you cant go wrong!! In India, there is the age-old practice of massaging babies with oil and giving them a sunbath by placing them semi-naked in the sun for half an hour or so.

Our body has the natural ability to synthesize Vitamin D. When babies are placed in the sun it serves a dual purpose. One is of course, that Vitamin D gets naturally made in their body -and the second is that sunlight also has disinfecting properties, which is good for babys private parts.

How Much Vitamin D Do Breastfed Babies Need

If youre breastfeeding, your newborn babys main source of vitamin D will come from your breast milk. So if you are deficient in Vitamin D, it can cause a vitamin D deficiency in your baby. Naturally, the vitamin D content of breast milk is low *, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a vitamin D supplement if youre breastfeeding, as well as giving your baby a daily liquid vitamin D supplement until their diet provides at least 400 IU of vitamin D per day.

*Range of vitamin D levels in breast milk, measured in lactating women taking a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU.

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Vitamin D Your Baby And You

It is a known fact that human milk is the superior infant food. Human milk is the most complete nutritionally, immunologically, and is the only food designed specifically for your baby. Given that it is expected to be perfect, you may be confused about why your babys doctor is encouraging you to give your breastfed baby vitamin D supplements.

In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics amended its recommendation regarding vitamin D supplementation of infants and children. The current recommendation reads:

A supplement of 400 IU/day of vitamin D should begin within the first few days of life and continue throughout childhood. Any breastfeeding infant, regardless of whether he or she is being supplemented with formula, should be supplemented with 400 IU of vitamin D. :1142-52)

Why is vitamin D important?

Vitamin D is a key nutrient in the maintenance of bone health in children and adults. Because vitamin D is essential for promoting calcium absorption in the body, vitamin D deficiency is marked by such conditions as rickets , osteomalacia , and can lead to osteoporosis if left unchecked longterm. While researchers are still working to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between low levels of vitamin D and other health issues, anecdotal and epidemiological correlations have been found between vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency and the following:

I spend a lot of time outside. Surely Im not deficient in vitamin D.
Should I supplement my breastfed baby with vitamin D?

Pregnancy Vitamin D And The Foetus

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A Cochrane review in 2002 concluded that there are limited data available regarding maternal vitamin D requirements during pregnancy, despite the fact that maternal vitamin D concentrations largely determine the vitamin D status of the foetus and newborn infant. With restricted vitamin D intake and sunlight exposure, maternal deficiency may occur, as has been documented in a number of studies. It is important to note that women with increased skin pigmentation or who have little exposure of their skin to sunlight are at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency and may need additional vitamin D supplements, especially during pregnancy and lactation. Adequate nutritional vitamin D status during pregnancy is important for foetal skeletal development, tooth enamel formation, and perhaps general foetal growth and development. There is some evidence that the vitamin D status of the mother has long-term effects on her infant.

These data suggest that doses exceeding 1000 IU of vitamin D per day are necessary to achieve 25-OH-D concentrations of > 50 nmol/l in pregnant women,. The significance of these findings for those who care for the paediatric population is that when a woman who has vitamin D deficiency gives birth, her neonate also will be deficient.

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