Cod liver oil is a tradition passed down through generations as something you give to kids to supplement their vitamin D intake. It’s largely outdated now, and so you really don’t have to worry about giving it to your baby.
This is something that most babies these days do not need. First, if your baby is still breastfeeding, they’re relying on you and what you’re eating as their sustenance through the breast milk. If they’re on formula it will be fortified with vitamins and minerals. If they’re on solid foods, you can give them rice cereals that are also fortified. And when they start eating fingers foods you can control their intake of vitamins with your choice of food items.
So while previous generations might have been doing what they needed to do to fight off things like rickets, there’s no need to keep up inane traditions just because our mothers did it and their mothers did it and so on.
Can I Give My Baby Cod Liver Oil? Answer: You Can, Through Breast Milk
If you really want to give your baby cod liver oil, you shouldn’t do it directly, but indirectly by taking it yourself and passing it to your baby through your breast milk. This is the way to make certain that they are getting it in the proper dosage, and will prevent any adverse side effects. Interestingly enough, the vitamin D doesn’t pass on through the breast milk, but the cod liver oil will help with your baby’s brain development, which is always a good thing.
Vitamin D and Your Baby
Unless you are certain that your baby has a vitamin D deficiency, there’s really not a cause to be alarmed. If you are still breastfeeding your baby you should make sure that you are eating enough foods that are high in Vitmin D so that your breast milk will have ample supplies of it. Things like salmon, tuna and eggs. Even better, you can just get some sun exposure, because that is the most effective way to boost your Vitamin D levels. That way your baby will be sure to get what they need from it, and you don’t have to resort to taking things like cod liver oil.
The Problem With Supplements
You might think that supplements are the way to go to outsmart the system and make sure that you and your baby are getting all that you need. But really they’re just shortcuts to eating right and living well, and they never measure up to getting these nutrients the natural way. If you eat a lot of junk and then hope to make up for it by taking a multivitamin, or giving your baby cod liver oil, it’s just not as good as eating healthy from the start. You may think that it’s too expensive to buy healthier foods, and that you’ll just buy what you can and then get supplements to fill in the blanks, but in truth it all adds up to about the same price when you run the numbers.
Hopefully you’ve already established a healthy diet during the 9 months you were pregnant, and you are continuing on with it at least until you are done breastfeeding. If this is the case, you needn’t worry about things like cod liver oil, or supplementing your baby’s diet. They will be getting all they need from your nursing sessions and will develop the way nature intended. However, if you have been lax on what you eat, if you’ve been overeating or indulging in junk food, you have good cause to be concerned that your baby is lacking in nutrients and vitamins.
But don’t beat yourself up, because that won’t solve the problem. Just be more mindful of your lifestyle, and realize that your world changed back when you got pregnant, and you need to make some changes now if you failed to before. You’ll still want to set a good example for them later in life, and you don’t want to relapse back to your old ways of eating. Use your baby as the perfect excuse to get on board with a healthier lifestyle.