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Side Effects of Vitamin D Drops for Babies

author image Michelle Fisk
Michelle Fisk began writing professionally in 2011. She has been published in the "Physician and Sports Medicine Journal." Her expertise lies in the fields of exercise physiology and nutrition. Fisk holds a Master of Science in kinesiology from Marywood University.
Side Effects of Vitamin D Drops for Babies
Your baby may require vitamin D drops. Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Your baby's body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but you probably slather sunscreen on your baby when she's outside to protect her delicate skin. Healthychildren.org, a website of the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends a vitamin D supplement, especially for breastfed babies, to prevent rickets, which is a disease characterized by softening of the bones. Speak with your pediatrician before giving your baby vitamin D drops. Further, always give the correct dose because giving your baby too much can lead to unwanted side effects.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D works closely with calcium in your baby’s body to build and maintain strong bones. It also regulates his immune system and cells, which may protect against cancer. Vitamin D is found in some foods, such as fatty fish, fortified milk and cereal and eggs. Aside from rickets in children, low levels of vitamin D may contribute to cancer, high blood pressure, depression and obesity. Only small amounts of vitamin D transfer to breast milk, which is why your doctor may suggest vitamin D drops for your baby.

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Breastfed babies should receive 400 international units of vitamin D daily, according to the HealthyChildren.org website. You typically find these drops in a 1 milliliter combination multivitamin or a vitamin that contains vitamins A, C and D. Vitamin D is added to infant formula so formula-fed babies do not need the drops. The exception to the rule is if your baby is taking in less than 32 ounces, or 1,000 milliliters, of vitamin D-fortified formula a day.

Side Effects

Use the dropper that comes with your baby’s vitamin D drops and fill it to the recommended amount so your baby doesn't get too much. The tolerable upper limit of vitamin D is 1,000 IU for infants 0 to 6 months and 1,500 IU for infants 6 to 12 months. If you exceed this dosage, babies may experience thirst, poor appetite, weight loss, bone pain, fatigue, sore eyes, itchy skin, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, frequent urination, muscle problems and a metal taste in their mouths.


Chronic high levels of vitamin D can also increase calcium levels, according to the Linus Pauling Institute website. Hypercalcemia is a term used to describe too much calcium in the blood. It can cause kidney stones, bone loss and calcification of organs including the heart and kidneys. Calcification is a build up of calcium in blood vessels or organs that may interfere with organ functioning.

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