Selkirk Medical Group
Information for Parents
Vitamin D for Babies
Why is vitamin D important?
Vitamin D is needed to build strong bones and teeth. It may also play a role in
reducing the risk of many chronic diseases.
Does my baby need a vitamin D supplement? If so, how much?
All babies fed any amount of breastmilk need 400 international units (IU) of a liquid
vitamin D supplement. Start giving it once a day as soon as possible following birth,
or as directed by your doctor.
If your baby is fed only breastmilk: give your baby 400IU of liquid vitamin D daily
If your baby is fed both breastmilk and formula: give your baby 400 IU of liquid
vitamin D daily.
If your baby is fed only infant formula: your baby does not need a vitamin D
supplement, unless your doctor recommends one. Infant formula contains
Choosing a vitamin D supplement:
Vitamin D for babies and toddlers comes in a liquid form. Find it at your local
Choose a brand with 400 IU vitamin D3 (not vitamin D2 and not a mix of vitamins)
unless your doctor recommends a certain type or dose.
I am taking a vitamin D supplement myself. Does my breastfed baby still
need a vitamin D supplement?
Yes, your breastfed baby still needs 400 IU of liquid vitamin D given once daily.
Getting enough vitamin D is still important for your own health. Adults need 600 IU of
vitamin D daily.
What if I forget to give my baby the supplement?
Give your baby the supplement when you remember—but don’t give more than one
dose a day. Do not give extra to make up for missed days.
What if my baby keeps spitting up the liquid vitamin D?
It is very important that your baby receives the Vitamin D so you might try:
Giving it at a different time of day and before feeding, not after.
A different brand such as a product that gives 400IU in one drop instead of 1 ml
Why can’t I rely on the sun to meet my child’s vitamin D needs?
In Canada, we can’t make vitamin D from the sun during the months from
October to March.
In the summer, young children’s skin needs to be protected from the sun, even on
cloudy days. When our skin is well protected, it cannot make vitamin D from the
This information is from Interior Health’s Vitamin D for Babies and Toddlers handout. For more info see: