Sunday, January 02, 2011

Vitamin C for Babies

It's winter and everywhere I turn, there are colds, flu, and babies with incessant runny noses and ear infections. The day before Christmas break, my own son came down with the flu. That is strange for us, because we regularly take Vitamin D to help prevent colds and flu. But after forgetting our D for a week, it happened. Immediately I gave him his liquid D, as well as Vitamin C throughout the day. He was sick for only three days. Lucky? No. Vitamins!

My son is 9, so you might be thinking, like most parents, that Vitamin C is not appropriate for babies. Not so. As a matter of fact, there have been studies done showing that Vitamin C has shown promise in SIDS prevention. The reality is that Vitamin C is useful for treating or preventing a number of health problems in babies, children, and adults.

The question, however, is how much C should a baby take? Well, it depends, mainly on whether your baby is healthy or not. A sick baby needs more. A healthy baby needs less. And don't think you can get help from a doctor because that's probably not going to happen in this lifetime. But it's good to know that Vitamin C is not toxic. The worst that can happen is diarrhea, which is actually a good sign that you have reached the amount necessary to saturate the blood with C. Here is a guideline for typical amounts depending on the illness.

Why would you want to give a baby Vitamin C? I think the better question is, why would you want to give your baby dose after dose of antibiotics when they aren't working? Most parents don't realize how unhealthy antibiotics are, or that taking an antibiotic actually weakens your immune system. My son had one ear infection when he was a baby, and got strep throat while ON the antibiotic for the ear infection. That's crazy! But if the doctor had known about Vitamin C, my son would have been taking Vitamin C, along with the antibiotic to kick out the ear infection while boosting his immunity. (These days, I'd use higher doses of C to prevent the doctor visit in the first place!)

So babies get a lot of colds and ear infections (those not on Vitamin C that is!) First, you should give your baby Vitamin C on a regular basis. If someone is sick in the family, give more. If your baby shows signs of respiratory distress or runny nose, kick up the dose. Give Vitamin C all day long, not in one big dose. What they don't need will be elminated with urine, so it's important that it keeps going into the body. Increase the dose until your baby shows signs of intestinal distress, such as gas or loose stools. Then, keep giving the C, but at smaller doses. Do not be afraid of giving too much, as VITAMIN C IS NOT TOXIC. Many parents are afraid to put anything into their baby without the doctor telling them how much. You are just going to have to get over that. It amazes me that we don't question doctors who want to put DRUGS into our babies but when it comes to a vitamin, we get all nervous! I guess the problem is that we think if vitamins actually worked, the doctor would have already tried it. Nope! Doesn't work that way! Read about the politics of the RDA and Vitamin C.

The sooner you accept that the health of your baby is truly in YOUR hands, and that doctors don't know everything, the better off your baby will be. Just use your head!