As most people have probably noticed, babies have this inherent quality of drawing people to them, evidenced by the hordes of people that love the smell of baby powders and lotions, and babies are the center of attention in most rooms they find themselves in.
It is a common phenomenon, but one rarely explained. Perhaps it’s a result of the general inhibition that draws everyone’s attention. Or, perhaps, a product of self-preservation. Whatever the case, you can’t deny that your most prevalent instinct when it comes to such small children is to protect, especially as a parent.
Part of protecting them, of course, comes in the form of their health and nutrition. Who doesn’t want their child to grow up big and strong, without any health complications? This question brings us to our topic today their health and nutrition, specifically multivitamins.
Can We Give Babies Multivitamins?
Generally, experts recommend that all children aged between 6 months to 5 years get vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C, and D every day. Clearly, this classification includes babies of a certain age. As for those younger – those eating only slightly more than 500ml a day (about a pint of infant formula) – should not be counted out.
Why Should You Give Babies Multivitamins?
As discussed in the opening, it comes down to nutrition. And if the child is getting all that needs to thrive. Most parents who start giving their children vitamins merely want to guarantee a higher quality of life for their children. And this, of course, should be the goal.
Now, breast milk provides everything a baby needs for the first four to six months, and you shouldn’t start too early (you can pretty much give your children Vitamin D supplements at any age). However, this does not consider all babies.
For example, those born prematurely, with low birth weight, or too small for gestational age; consistently drinking less breast milk or formula than other babies are perfect candidates to be given multivitamins to make up for the difference. In most cases, these will even be prescription-based. The same goes for babies with chronic illnesses.
What To Consider When Buying Multivitamins For Babies?
We don’t always recommend going to the doctor when taking multivitamins. However, when it is a baby, you must get a recommendation, if not a prescription.
Babies are still developing their bodies and, as such, aren’t equipped to deal with any complications that might arise. Therefore, it is best to avoid experimentation and ask those that know best to give you a hand when making important decisions.
Not only will your pediatrician thank you, but you’ll also avoid more pressing trips to the doctor in the future.
The Nutrients Themselves
Now, as we’ve mentioned, babies are still developing and don’t necessarily need all the nutrients we deem crucial. For example, grown women need a significant amount of iron intake, but large amounts of iron can be poisonous to small children. So, you need to do your research about your baby’s needs and not go overboard trying to give them everything. A visit to the doctor could come in handy here.
For those that don’t know, additives are anything unessential to the product that is either there to drive up the price or be actively harmful. You can probably see why they are a concern for you and your baby. In their less dangerous variety, they might come in the form of preservatives that increase shelf life, synthetic colors, and fillers. All these do is drive up the price or make the product look prettier. And preservatives do increase the shelf life to make products more appealing, but this can lead to them being less effective in the long run. The more dangerous type may contain some product that might cause an allergic reaction or a nutrient only acceptable in limited amounts.
So always check the label and, for your baby’s sake, make sure your multivitamins don’t contain any ingredients that you don’t recognize.
It’s unlikely that you need reminding, but babies are tiny and unlikely to be doing much hard work. We bring this up to make sure you know that the amount of nutrients a baby needs is nothing compared to what a fully grown adult or even a bigger child might need. For example, babies only need 9IU of Vitamin E daily instead of the 22IU adults and teens might need.
When choosing a multivitamin supplement, look for established quality brands tested by unbiased third parties. Such third parties could include NSF International, United States Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab.com, Informed-Choice, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG), or any other equivalent in your country. This step is crucial as such organizations are responsible for protecting public health by making sure questionable products don’t get on the market.
Once again, making a trip to your pediatrician could make this much more straightforward.
All that time ago, in our section on why you should give babies multivitamins, we discussed the various conditions your child could have that would make multivitamins a must. These conditions included premature birth, low birth weight, being too small for gestational age, and chronic illnesses.
However, we did not mention that, usually, these ailments come with other medicines. So, you need to make sure the multivitamins don’t nullify or negatively affect the absorption rates of those medicines.
Summing up, despite common belief, it’s ok to give babies multivitamins – especially if they suffer from one of the conditions we covered. However, we recommend getting your doctor’s approval, giving some serious thought to what the baby actually needs, and doing your due diligence.
Now, admittedly, this seems like a lot, but after worked to get your bundle of joy (whether it be suffering through pregnancy, the adoption process, or something else), can’t you bear just a little more to make sure your baby stays happy and healthy. Hopefully, we helped you figure out just what your angle needs. Happy Shopping!