What are the vitamin D needs of infants?


Quick Answer

The recommended daily dose of vitamin D for infants aged zero to 12 months is 400 IU, or 10 micrograms, according to a 2013 study from McGill University and the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements. The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends 800 IU during winter months when there is less direct sunlight.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The McGill University team followed 132 infants who were given doses of vitamin D between 400 and 1,600 IU over 12 months. Measurements such as weight, length, head circumference, bone minerals and vitamin D blood levels were taken at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age. After the 3-month mark, there was no advantage to giving a baby more than 400 IU per day of vitamin D in terms of healthier skeletal growth. Vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium, which leads to better skeletal growth in humans.

The NIH explains that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supplementing a breast-fed infant with 400 IU of vitamin D until the baby is weaned. Mothers who take vitamin D supplements may have higher amounts of the nutrient in breast milk, and those higher amounts are passed onto infants. Typical breast milk, without supplementation, has between 25 to 78 IU of vitamin D. The AAP does not recommend exposing an infant to direct sunlight to receive daily doses of vitamin D.

Learn more about Babies & Toddlers

Related Questions