Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mama Bean has a tip for new mamas

Instead of using the vitamin D drops for infants, I suggest using the vitamin D(3) drops made for grown-ups. It's the same stuff, but more concentrated (so you give baby less at a time) and it's unflavoured, so no added sugar, colourings or flavours.

We started out giving Bean the infant/toddler vitamin D. We bought the generic brand, because name brand was $3 more per bottle. The recommended dose is 1 mL/day, which contains 400 IU of the vitamin. When Bean was brand new, 1 mL seemed a HUGE amount of liquid, as we were struggling just to get 30 mL of actual nutrition down his gullet. He didn't seem adverse to the taste, but he knew it wasn't breastmilk, and he didn't just slurp it down. I'm not sure why they choose to make it sweeter (like a thousand times sweeter) than breastmilk (or formula, I imagine). I don't think that actually makes it more palatable to them (nor would the strange fake banana flavouring, which I happen to love, but babies don't know what real bananas are, let alone fake ones...) and we worry so much about putting extra sugar and additives in their food otherwise...

Then, it always made Bean gassy or burpy or generally spit-up-y, so he would promptly lose those 30 mL we'd so painstakingly installed in his digestive system. Even when we waited, in between feedings, he'd still find a couple tablespoons of delicious baby-puke to spread liberally upon my lap. And the effect might even last until the next feeding. It was frustrating, to say the least. We were not terribly consistent with his vitamin dosing in those Delirious Early Days, because it just seemed to add to the Delirium.

We visited a healthfood store in Cowtown over Christmas, and noticed a bottle of D3 drops without the baby-friendly packaging. These drops have 1000 IU per 1 mL drop, so to get the 400 IU for a baby, you only have to give 0.2 mL. The stopper is conveniently marked at 0.2, 0.5 and 1.0 mL. It was more expensive for the bottle, but we're getting five doses for every one dose of the infant-type. And then I found out D3 drops in a regular supermarket drug department are even cheaper than the baby brands, AND more concentrated so you get more doses per bottle, and it's just the bargain of the century!

So, the dose is so small, and tasteless, little two-month old Bean didn't even notice us put it in his mouth, he just swallowed it down like so much drool. Even now he doesn't really notice the drop of liquid, so much as he wants to chew on the dropper. And I get to feel frugal and clever every day I give it to him. And I am much more consistent now about actually doing that every day haha.

However, I did notice the drops are supposed to be refrigerated, which I haven't done for these eight months, so I'm worried the vitamins have been degraded by heat and/or light and I'm just giving him worthless vitamin D metabolites. So if you do get these drops instead of the infant drops, check if chilling is necessary. (Is chilling recommended on the infant ones, too? I don't have a bottle anymore to check...) Anyway, just a little tip I wanted to share, because it was a daily annoyance that we found a way around, and maybe other people who are daily annoyed by the same issue would like to make the switch.

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