Vitamin D preparations

Which vitamin D preparation should I use?

Vitamin D preparations for babies are liquid and contain 400 IU in each dose. Consider using a preparation without artificial colours and flavours and with minimal preservatives and sweeteners. It is important to choose the right concentration so that babies do not get more than the recommended dose.

A) Vitamin D preparations

Vitamin D is often recommended for breastfeeding babies.

Commercial preparations of vitamin D in coconut oil with no other additives are available. Other preparations might include artificial colours and flavours, preservatives, and sweeteners. In general, products with fewer ingredients are better because there is less risk of intolerance or reactions.

Some preparations provide 400 IU of vitamin D in a volume of 1 millilitre (1/5 teaspoon). A dropper is often provided to measure the correct amount. With other preparations you only need to give the baby one drop.

Drops are easier to give as they can be:

  • Put on your nipple before breastfeeding.
  • Put on a freshly washed fingertip and wiped onto the baby’s tongue.
  • Dropped onto the baby’s tongue or into the baby’s mouth between the cheek and gums.

Larger amounts of liquid may be spit out by the baby or result in choking.

B) Giving vitamin D

Make sure you:

  • Do not give the baby more than the recommended dose as excess amounts can poison babies (FDA 2017).
  • Use the right concentration of vitamin D preparation.
    • Preparations for babies have 400 IU in one dose, but preparations for adults can have 1,000 IU in one dose.
  • Follow the directions on the container.
  • Use the dropper that comes with the product, if one is provided.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Infant Overdose Risk With Liquid Vitamin D [Internet]. Maryland: U.S. Food and Drug Administration; 2017 May 8 [cited 2017 Jul 3]