Vitamins for Babies

You’ll be glad to know that normal babies who are breastfed or who drink a commercial infant formula (cow milk or soy based) already get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for all known vitamins and minerals (calcium, iron, zinc, etc.) for infants. The RDA for babies is determined, in fact, by measuring the content of vitamins and minerals in the breast milk of healthy U.S. mothers!
Commercial formulas are required to provide the RDA of vitamins and minerals in every quart or liter of formula, which is about how much a 4- to 6-month-old baby is likely to consume in one day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that a baby be breastfed for at least the first 12 months of life. If that is not possible, AAP recommends that the baby get a commercial formula fortified with extra iron for the first 12 months, before regular cow’s milk is introduced, sometime after age 1. So, if a baby is breastfed or gets an approved formula for the first year, there is no need to give any extra vitamins. If your baby is fed a milk that is not recommended, like goat’s milk, the baby’s doctor will probably recommend a vitamin and mineral supplement.

Babies older than 12 months who eat a reasonable American diet, with fruits, breads and crackers, dairy products, and some meat and vegetables do not generally need any extra vitamins or minerals.

If your child is a very picky eater, her doctor can help you determine whether she needs any vitamins or extra iron or calcium — but most healthy children need nothing more than a nutritious diet.

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