Parenting Tip Ep 5: DHA & Vitamin D

Nutrition for your Baby

As first time parents, you may be overwhelmed by the supplements out there for baby. We were and I remember the first question that came to our minds was “Do we really need all these?”

Thankfully, after much research and consultation with experienced families, we managed to narrow things down. These are the other two supplements your baby will need. Will it be harmful if they don’t take these? No one has come forth to indicate so, and we don’t think so either. However, if these are helpful for your baby’s development and we suggest you look into them. 

Vitamin D is for bone development and regardless of the stories you might have heard, it’s more than just parking your baby out in the sunshine on the balcony. That works only for superman, I think. 🙂

I think my parents did that to me when I was a baby but let’s just say there is a better way to ensure your baby gets their appropriate dosage of Vitamin D. You can still bring them out for strolls (natural sunlight is always good) and top it up with Vitamin D supplement. The recommended dosage is 400 units per day. In some packaging, they may use mcg and you need to look for those that provide at least 10 mcg per day. Vitamin D can be given to the baby right from birth.

Recommendation:

DHA is an important supplement
DHA forms an important supplement for your baby’s nutrition needs

DHA is the other supplement, important for your baby’s nutrition needs. It enhances brain and eye development for your baby. 

The confusion starts when the pharmacist tries to introduce a stronger DHA supplement for the mom, suggesting that the baby can get their DHA through the breast milk. That is not wrong but there is no way to measure how much of that DHA goes into the baby’s system. 

What we recommend is to have separate DHA supplements for both moms and babies. Moms after giving birth will also need to replenish their minerals, and taking DHA helps in that. As for babies, it is better to get DHA for them separately. The DHA for baby consumption comes usually in small fish-like capsules with tail tips that can be twisted off to pour the DHA (oil-like substance) into the breast or formula milk. DHA is recommended for babies after 4 weeks old. The recommended dosage (usually 1 capsule) is written on the packaging and it’s best to follow that unless otherwise advised by your paediatrician. 

Recommendation: 

Conclusion

The choice of nutrition for your baby is an important consideration. We highlighted essential supplements such as Vitamin D and DHA. Both are important supplements for your baby’s development and we recommend separate portions for moms and babies, instead of trying to have it passed down from mom to baby through breast milk. A common question is whether it is a bad idea to give other supplements to your baby. We don’t think it is bad but so as not to be vague about it, it doesn’t help any human to take in too many supplements. There may be no harm but equally there isn’t a clear benefit either. 

Got a question about Vitamin D or DHA? Leave us a comment and we will get back to you.

 

 

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