Babies do a lot of growing from conception through their first birthday. Along the way, we use a number of different supplements to help babies grow as healthfully as possible.
Here’s a look at the support system found in every new parent’s cabinet, from when babies are just a speck to 20+ pounds!
There’s a whole new class of pre-pregnancy vitamins that support male and female fertility.
Men can start supplementing their intake of powerful antioxidants like Vitamins C, E, Selenium, Zinc, and Lycopene at least three months prior to conception to ensure healthy sperm.
Doctors also suggest women begin taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid at least four weeks before conception, as folic acid is most important in the early stages of pregnancy.
PreMama makes a fertility drink mix for Him and Her that couples love.
Once pregnant, every woman takes prenatal vitamins.
It may surprise you to know that prenatal vitamins were rarely used until only thirty years ago when doctors found a link between birth defects and a folic acid deficiency. The key nutrient in prenatal vitamins is folic acid to help prevent those birth defects, but most also contain the same vitamins as a daily vitamin and the omega-3 fat DHA to support healthy brain and eye development.
What to Expect has a great round-up of the best prenatal vitamins for every taste.
Month One - Three
During the first few months of a baby’s life doctors recommend a Vitamin D supplement to ensure babies get 400IU of Vitamin D per day. Vitamin D is already added to formula, but babies who are exclusively breastfed need to add a supplement typically in the form of drops.
Vitamin D can be found naturally in the sun, but babies born in the winter, babies who spend a lot of time indoors, babies in higher latitudes, and babies with darker skin need supplementation.
Vitamin D supports proper bone growth and prevents rickets, soft skulls, and other conditions.
Baby D makes affordable and easy-to-use drops that can be found almost anywhere.
Month Four - Six
Iron is necessary for healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen and support proper brain development during infancy and early childhood.
Breast milk contains very little iron. While most newborns have a store of iron for their first 4 months, the AAP recommends that breastfed infants add 1 milligram of iron for each kilogram of body weight starting at 4 months of age. Babies who drink iron-fortified infant formula may not need a supplement.
Iron supplementation can stop once a baby begins eating iron-fortified cereals and iron-rich foods.
Novaferrum makes iron supplements in multiple flavors that babies love.
The latest science and recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics say that babies should start getting regular servings of peanut, egg, dairy, tree nut, and wheat protein once they are ready for solid foods. Early allergen introduction supports the development of tolerance to a variety of foods and reduces the risk of developing food allergies.
Dairy is easily found in yogurt or formula, and most baby cereal is made from wheat. But parents struggle to add peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs into an early eaters diet. Lil Mixins protein supplements are a safe, easy way to get nut and egg proteins into your infant’s diet regularly.
Weaning from Breastmilk
Once a baby is mostly eating solid food and weaning from breastmilk, it’s easy, especially for picky eaters, to start missing some nutrients and vitamins. Thankfully, daily vitamins have expanded from the horrible tasting chalky chewables of yesteryear to a wide variety of drink mixes, chewables, and liquid vitamins that can work for any family.
A diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein is best. But by adding a daily vitamin into the mix, parents don’t have to worry if their baby refuses anything but cheese for a couple days.
The Picky Eater has a good round-up of the healthiest vitamins for toddlers.