Last updated: August 6, 2021

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After the birth of a child, it can be quite complicated to keep track of everything. In the area of nutrition alone, there seem to be many topics that can be overwhelming: Vitamins, trace elements, supplements? To help you find your way through the jungle of topics, you will find not only recommendations for use, but also further information on the topic of vitamin D in our vitamin D drops for babies test 2021. In the article you will find, for example, criteria that are important before buying a supplement, as well as the recommended dosages and information about possible side effects.




First of all, the most important things

  • Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all, because unlike the other vitamins, it can be produced by the body itself. Through its own synthesis, the body even covers 90 percent of its daily requirement.
  • Supplementing vitamin D is especially recommended for babies. They do not absorb enough of it through their food, but also cannot produce enough themselves because they hardly have any direct contact with the sun's rays, which are responsible for synthesis.
  • Food supplements with vitamin D can be either of animal or plant origin. The vitamin can be produced with lanolin as well as with lichen or fungi.

Best Vitamin D Drops For Babies: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for vitamin D drops for babies

If you want to buy a supplement for your baby, it should of course be of the best quality. These and other factors play a role in whether it is worth buying a product. These include the following factors, for example:

If you pay attention to these criteria before you decide on a preparation, you should get a good product. We will describe the individual points in more detail in the following paragraph.

Dose

You should pay attention to the dosage of food supplements. If the dose is too low, you will have to take large amounts of it to cover your daily requirements. However, if the dose is too high, too much of the vitamin could enter the body and have to be excreted again - or, in the worst case, could lead to side effects.

An overdose can lead to undesirable side effects.

It is therefore important to pay attention to the correct dose, not only to avoid spending too much money on vitamins that your body does not absorb, but also to ensure that you can take them comfortably. This is especially important for preparations for babies, as administering food supplements can prove more difficult here. If fewer drops of the supplement need to be taken, it can be easier than if large amounts are taken. Especially because vitamin D is fat-soluble and a baby might react with resistance to a lot of oily liquid.

Ingredients

Since you probably just want to make sure your baby gets enough of this vitamin with a vitamin D supplement, you should avoid unnecessary ingredients. Besides the vitamin D and the oil in which it is dissolved, the following ingredients may also be present in the supplement:

  • Other vitamins
  • Fluoride
  • Fillers
  • Flavourings

Some of these ingredients can be useful, but they don't have to be. Therefore, you should get an overview of what exactly you want and which ones are superfluous.

A combination preparation can be a relief.

For example, if more vitamins need to be supplemented, a combination can be a relief. This way, not only can less be forgotten, but also less has to be fed to the baby. The same applies to fluoride. It is useful for healthy teeth and is therefore added to our table salt, for example. However, this can already ensure a sufficient supply. Fillers and flavourings are less useful. However, flavourings could ensure that the child accepts the preparation better or resists it less. However, this probably varies from baby to baby and from product to product.

Allergens and nutritional information

It is not necessarily self-evident that vitamin D drops for babies do not contain any allergens. Therefore, a brief look at this is not amiss. For example, it should not contain lactose or gluten. But there are also preparations that are not suitable for different diets. For a vegetarian or vegan diet, you should look for the appropriate label. The origin of vitamin D can be of plant or animal origin.

Requirements

Along with the dose provided by a supplement, you should also keep an eye on the requirement. The two are closely related. The following table shows the recommended daily amounts; for comparison, the last line shows the daily vitamin D requirement for adults:

Age Daily requirement
0 - under 4 months 10-12.5 μg
4 - 12 months 10-12.5 μg
12 months and over 5 μg
Adults 5 μg

(1, 2, 3) In the first few months, the daily vitamin D requirement of an infant differs from that of an adult. Therefore, supplementation is a good way to meet this. It is also recommended in the winter months after the first year (1, 2).

Guide: Frequently asked questions about vitamin D for babies answered in detail

To make sure you don't have any more questions about vitamin D and supplements in the form of drops for babies, we have compiled the answers to the most frequently asked questions in the following section. Once you have read this, you should be able to make a well-informed decision for or against products.

What is vitamin D and how does it work?

Vitamin D is not actually a 'real' vitamin, as they cannot be made by the body - but vitamin D can. However, it is referred to as such and this article will keep it that way, even though it is a so-called prohormone (3, 4). The functions and general effects that vitamin D has in the body are many and varied. For example, they include the following:

  • Bone building
  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces risk of diabetes
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces risk of infection

(4, 5, 6) Vitamin D, for example, ensures that calcium is absorbed from the intestine and used for bone building. But in addition to the listed effects, there could be other, unknown ones. This is supported by the fact that almost all cells in the body are equipped with vitamin D receptors (4). In summary, it can be said that vitamin D is an important substance for the body that has numerous positive effects when it is present in sufficient quantities.

When does it make sense to take vitamin D drops for babies?

Since vitamin D is often deficient in babies, it is generally recommended that it be given as a food supplement during the first 12 months of life. After this time, supplementation in the winter months after the first year of life is also considered useful. (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8) One reason for this is that breast milk or other products used to feed babies have too low a vitamin D value to cover their needs through food alone. Another reason is that babies hardly have any direct contact with the sun, which is responsible for the formation of 90 percent of the necessary vitamin D - especially not in winter. (4, 7)

Vitamin D Tropfen für Babys-1

The sun plays a major role in the production of vitamin D in the body. About 90 percent of our daily requirement comes from this source.
(Image source: Unsplash / CHUTTERSNAP)

So supplementing vitamin D makes sense for all babies so that they can develop normally and without problems. In infancy, the need becomes lower and the body's production higher, which is why supplementation is then only necessary in winter.

What is vitamin D made from?

Vitamin D is obtained from different raw materials in the same way. They are treated with UV-B radiation and this is how vitamin D is formed, similar to the way it is in the human body when it comes into contact with sunlight. The raw materials used are, for example, lanolin obtained from sheep's wool or lichens and fungi. The result obtained from lanolin is not vegan, but the vitamin D from the plants is. However, it can also be more expensive because the effort is greater.

What types of vitamin D drops are there for babies?

Vitamin D supplements exist in various forms, some of which differ greatly from each other. These differences are smaller for vitamin D in the form of drops, but they still exist. Here we would like to introduce you to two types of vitamin D drops.
Type Description
'Pure' vitamin D drops These are preparations that consist only of vitamin D and the oil in which it is dissolved.
Drops with other ingredients In addition to the vitamin and the oil, there are other substances in the product here. These can be other vitamins, but also colourings or flavourings.

Both types of vitamin D drops can have advantages, but also disadvantages: Pure vitamin D drops are practical because you only have to pay attention to the dosage of one active ingredient. If side effects occur, you can directly attribute them to them. Drops with other ingredients can have advantages, for example, meeting the need for other vitamins such as vitamin K. This can be particularly practical because you only have to pay attention to the dosage of one ingredient. This can be especially handy because you only have to think of one remedy. With other ingredients such as colourings, flavourings or other fillers, on the other hand, you hardly have an overview of their effect and origin.

Vitamin D Tropfen für Babys-2

The vitamin D contained in food supplements can be obtained from animal or plant raw materials. For example, from lanolin, which is produced during the production of sheep's wool, or from lichen or fungi.
(Image source: Unsplash/ Ksenia Makagonova)

You should therefore make sure that you only buy a combination preparation if it is really necessary. If possible, you should avoid other ingredients. Fortunately, this is not difficult, as many manufacturers already do not use them.

How should vitamin D drops for babies be dosed?

The dosage of vitamin D drops should always be based on the baby's needs. We have already presented a table with the daily requirements of babies above, which you can use as a guide.

Note: Vitamin D is given either in micrograms (μg) or in international units (IU). One microgram corresponds to 40 IU and one international unit to 0.025 μg.

The products generally state on their packaging or in the package leaflet what concentration of vitamin D is in a drop. You can use this as a guide and adjust the drops to your needs. This means that you will need to take less or less frequently if the drops have a higher concentration.

What are the alternatives to vitamin D drops for babies?

Maybe you are still a little sceptical about giving your child food supplements from infancy and wonder if there are any alternatives. Therefore, we would like to show you the possible alternatives and give you an assessment of whether they are useful or not.

Sun

First of all, you should know that vitamin D is naturally absorbed from food (10 percent) and produced by the body (90 percent). This happens when our skin is directly exposed to sun rays. For optimal conditions, don't wear clothes or sunscreen. The problem, however, is that in our latitudes, the sun's rays are barely sufficient to synthesise the amounts of vitamin D we need every day. This is even more true for babies, as they are hardly exposed to the sun without protection - and for good reason. The biggest source of vitamin D is therefore omitted in babies. (4)

Food

Babies are fed breast milk or industrial alternatives to it for the first few months. Vitamin D is hardly found in food, mainly in fish, which is not eaten when babies are young. There is also not enough vitamin D in breast milk or similar products to meet the child's needs.

Food vitamin D amount/ 100 ml
Breast milk 0.067 - 0.073 μg
Breast milk alternatives 1.2 to 2.1 μg

(7, 9) As a reminder, a baby's daily requirement of vitamin D is approximately 10-12.5 μg (1, 2, 3). It is also not possible for vitamin D to be fortified in breast milk by the breastfeeding person supplementing herself, so the level for the baby is higher (10). The only way to ensure that an infant has enough vitamin D in the first few months is to supplement. The alternatives only offer themselves as part of the solution, but are not sufficient on their own.

How do I give vitamin D drops to babies?

Since babies probably do not like it when oily drops are dropped directly into their mouths and spitting out or otherwise resisting should be avoided, other ways of administering vitamin D are needed. The easiest way to give the drops is to add them to a liquid, i.e. breast milk or a breast milk alternative, and then drink them at feeding time. If the baby is nursing directly at the breast, another option is to apply the drops to the nipple.

Do vitamin D drops cause side effects in babies?

No side effects occur with vitamin D supplementation if the recommended doses are followed. Only if the supplementation is too strong can side effects occur, which must be avoided by accurately adhering to the dosage. Over-supplementation can lead to hypervitaminosis, or hypercalcaemia. This means that the calcium level in the blood rises because the calcium balance is disturbed. In addition, osteoporosis can occur, a bone metabolism disease which, among other things, makes bone fractures more likely. (3)

What happens if I forget to give my baby vitamin D drops?

The effects of forgetting to give your baby vitamin D drops vary depending on the duration. If you only forget to supplement once or for a few days, it is not necessarily a big deal. You can simply start again. Important: Do not make up for the forgotten days or drops all at once! This could lead to over-supplementation and have undesirable side effects.

Vitamin D Tropfen für Babys-3

Babies cannot produce enough vitamin D in the first few months, but also do not absorb enough through food. Therefore, infants should be supplemented with vitamin D.
(Image source: Unsplash / Luma Pimentel)

If you have forgotten to take the food supplement for a longer period of time, i.e. several weeks or even months, it makes sense to clarify the next steps. You should see a doctor for this. They can tell you whether your child's values are OK and plan the next steps with you.

Image source: amylv/ 123rf.com

References (10)

1. Kersting M., Schöch G. (2007) Normale Ernährung von Neugeborenen, Säuglingen, Kindern und Jugendlichen. In: Lentze M.J., Schulte F.J., Schaub J., Spranger J. (eds) Pädiatrie. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-76460-1_21
Source

2. von Kries R. et al. (2009) Prävention und Früherkennung von Krankheiten. In: Schlack H.G., Thyen U., von Kries R. (eds) Sozialpädiatrie. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-01477-2_5
Source

3. Löffler G., Brigelius-Flohé R. (2007) Vitamine. In: Löffler G., Petrides P.E., Heinrich P.C. (eds) Biochemie und Pathobiochemie. Springer-Lehrbuch. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-32681-6_23
Source

4. Friedrich A. (2020) Vitamin D – Sinn und Unsinn. In: Ratgeber Multiple Sklerose. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-61663-5_24
Source

5. Glatzel H. (1962) Die Grundstoffe der Nahrung. In: Giese W. et al. (eds) Ernährung. Handbuch der Allgemeinen Pathologie. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-28643-2_1
Source

6. Ramos-Lopez E., Badenhoop K. (2020) Vitamin D-Stoffwechsel, Störungen. In: Lehnert H. (eds) DGIM Innere Medizin. Springer Reference Medizin. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-54676-1_32-2
Source

7. Kersting M., Przyrembel H., Zwiauer K., Baerlocher K., Müller P. (2020) Normale Ernährung von Neugeborenen und Säuglingen. In: Hoffmann G., Lentze M., Spranger J., Zepp F., Berner R. (eds) Pädiatrie. Springer Reference Medizin. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-54671-6_30-2
Source

8. Schmid I. (2012) E. In: Schmid I. (eds) Ambulanzmanual Pädiatrie von A–Z. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-24683-8_5
Source

9. Abou-Dakn M. (2015) Stillen – Laktationsmedizin. In: Schneider H., Husslein PW., Schneider K. (eds) Die Geburtshilfe. Springer Reference Medizin. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44369-9_47-1
Source

10. Zellweger H., Adolph W.H. (1954) Vitamine und Vitaminkrankheiten. In: Adolph W.H. et al. (eds) Krankheiten aus Äusseren Physikalischen Ursachen Ernährungskrankheiten Vitamine und Vitaminkrankheiten. Handbuch der Inneren Medizin, vol 6, 2. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-28531-2_6
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Kersting M., Schöch G. (2007) Normale Ernährung von Neugeborenen, Säuglingen, Kindern und Jugendlichen. In: Lentze M.J., Schulte F.J., Schaub J., Spranger J. (eds) Pädiatrie. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-76460-1_21
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
von Kries R. et al. (2009) Prävention und Früherkennung von Krankheiten. In: Schlack H.G., Thyen U., von Kries R. (eds) Sozialpädiatrie. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-01477-2_5
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Löffler G., Brigelius-Flohé R. (2007) Vitamine. In: Löffler G., Petrides P.E., Heinrich P.C. (eds) Biochemie und Pathobiochemie. Springer-Lehrbuch. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-32681-6_23
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Friedrich A. (2020) Vitamin D – Sinn und Unsinn. In: Ratgeber Multiple Sklerose. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-61663-5_24
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Glatzel H. (1962) Die Grundstoffe der Nahrung. In: Giese W. et al. (eds) Ernährung. Handbuch der Allgemeinen Pathologie. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-28643-2_1
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Ramos-Lopez E., Badenhoop K. (2020) Vitamin D-Stoffwechsel, Störungen. In: Lehnert H. (eds) DGIM Innere Medizin. Springer Reference Medizin. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-54676-1_32-2
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Kersting M., Przyrembel H., Zwiauer K., Baerlocher K., Müller P. (2020) Normale Ernährung von Neugeborenen und Säuglingen. In: Hoffmann G., Lentze M., Spranger J., Zepp F., Berner R. (eds) Pädiatrie. Springer Reference Medizin. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-54671-6_30-2
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Schmid I. (2012) E. In: Schmid I. (eds) Ambulanzmanual Pädiatrie von A–Z. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-24683-8_5
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Abou-Dakn M. (2015) Stillen – Laktationsmedizin. In: Schneider H., Husslein PW., Schneider K. (eds) Die Geburtshilfe. Springer Reference Medizin. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44369-9_47-1
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Zellweger H., Adolph W.H. (1954) Vitamine und Vitaminkrankheiten. In: Adolph W.H. et al. (eds) Krankheiten aus Äusseren Physikalischen Ursachen Ernährungskrankheiten Vitamine und Vitaminkrankheiten. Handbuch der Inneren Medizin, vol 6, 2. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-28531-2_6
Go to source
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