Vitamin D supplements for babies

Key points about vitamin D supplements for babies

  • Vitamin D helps your baby use calcium to build and maintain strong bones.
  • The commonly used vitamin D supplement for infants and children in New Zealand is called Puria or Clinicians Vitamin D drops.
  • Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.
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Vitamin D is known as the 'sunshine vitamin' because our bodies can make it from the sun. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun are used to make vitamin D.

Babies and children need vitamins to help with growth and development. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins. It helps your baby build and maintain strong bones.

Puria® and Clinicians Vitamin D drops® are vitamin D supplements that are available as liquid drops. The liquid drops are most commonly used in babies. 

Babies can't safely get the vitamin D they need from the sun. Their skin is very sensitive and should not be exposed to direct sunlight.

Breast milk is the ideal and recommended food for your baby but it is not a good source of vitamin D.

Low levels of vitamin D in babies can cause rickets. This can result in weak bones, delayed walking, bowed legs and swollen wrists or ankles.

Research shows that ALL babies will benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement in their first year of life.

  • Taking a vitamin D supplement is especially important for babies if they have naturally dark skin because they are at higher risk of low levels of vitamin D. 
  • Babies who are small or premature are at increased risk of rickets. These babies must take vitamin D supplements. 

The usual dose is one drop once a day. The dose does not need to increase as your baby grows. Give it to your baby once a day when feeding breastmilk or formula.

You should start giving Vitamin D within your baby's first week or when your baby is taking full feeds by mouth (oral). Keep giving one drop of Puria® or Clinicians Vitamin D drops® daily until your baby's first birthday or until your doctor asks you to stop.

The bottle has an in-built dropper with instructions on the bottle. The dropper that provides a single drop when the bottle is tipped on a 45° angle. Do not shake. Allow a few seconds for the drop to form, as it may not come out immediately. You can give it with milk.

Each bottle of Vitamin D drops contains 90 drops, so at 1 drop daily, each bottle should last for 3 months.

Missed dose due to vomiting: Babies usually have no trouble taking Puria® or Clinician's Vitamin D drops® as they taste pleasant. But if your baby vomits less than 30 minutes after giving the dose, give the same dose again. If it is more than 30 minutes, do not give another dose until it is next due.

You can store the bottle at room temperature. You don't need to keep it in the fridge. Throw it away 3 months after opening.

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Link to Māori Pharmacists website

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Reviewed by: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

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