Vitamins + supplements recommended to support newborn development
We spoke to Dr. Nicole Avena, Nutrition Expert and author of What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler, about the vitamins and supplements that she recommends to support your newborn's development.
Just like adults, children face many challenges to getting all of the nutrition they need on a daily basis. Whether it’s due to our eating habits, the quality of the food we eat, or our environment, a gap can form between the amount of nutrients we’re getting and how much we really need. Vitamin and mineral supplements specifically designed for children can help fill that gap for our little ones.
With that in mind, here are some of the most important supplements for your little ones:
- Omega 3 DHA - This is an especially powerful supplement when combined with our sensory products because DHA helps your baby’s eyesight mature throughout the first year of life. DHA is also an essential nutrient to aid in brain development. If you are breastfeeding your infant, it’s a good idea to take these DHA supplements yourself. Formula fed babies may benefit from a DHA supplement, or you can find the right formula that is fortified with enough DHA.
- Vitamin D - Low levels of vitamin D are common, yet vitamin D is essential in growing children for strong bones. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a vitamin D supplement starting just days after birth in both breast-fed and formula fed infants.
- Iron - Full-term infants are born with iron stores that should last them about 4-6 months. For full-term babies, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that iron supplementation starts around 4 months. However, if your baby was born prematurely or with a low birth-weight, he or she may have reduced iron stores and will likely need supplementation right from the start. Too much iron can be harmful though, because it is stored in the body (unlike water-soluble vitamins), so it’s important to keep supplements out of reach and discuss the right dosage with your pediatrician.
- Vitamin B12 - This vitamin helps prevent anemia as well as supporting healthy neurological function. You can often find B12 by itself or in many over-the-counter infant multivitamin drops/liquid supplements.
- Multivitamin - For some parents, a multivitamin supplement is perfect because it has everything you need in one bottle. When purchasing a multivitamin and mineral supplement, be sure to read the ingredient list so you know what’s included and in what amounts.
Thank you Dr Nicole for helping to demystify vitamins and supplements and their important role in our babies’ health.