Calcium deficiency in babies is often times overlooked. It happens mostly because we don’t think a child can be deficient in calcium given the amount of milk he intakes on a daily basis.
Obviously babies, like adults, need their set of nutrients from their diet (whether breastfed or formula or solids). If, for any reason, proper nutrients are not provided to his body, he obviously becomes deficient in it. Although all vitamins and other nutrients are equally important, a calcium deficiency should not be overlooked.
Calcium is needed by a baby’s body for proper functioning of the muscles, nervous system, bone health, bone mass and the heart. So you have to ensure he gets enough calcium in his diet.
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What Are The Reasons Behind Calcium Deficiency In Babies?
There are a number of possible reasons on why a calcium deficiency may happen in an infant or toddler.
- One of the major reasons is gestational diabetes. If you currently have or had diabetes, there is a likely chance that your baby will have a calcium deficiency.
- Believe it or not, we have been told to give cow’s milk to infants if the mother cannot breastfeed for whatever reason. And cow’s milk happens to be one of the major culprits for calcium deficiency in babies as it is rich in phosphorous.
- Remember how your pediatrician asked you to give Vitamin D to your baby? Failure to give it on a regular basis leads to the deficiency of calcium.
- Also, if you breastfeed and you yourself are low on Vitamin D supply, chances are your baby will have a calcium deficiency.
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What Are The Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency In Babies ?
Although mild at times, babies do show symptoms of calcium deficiency and they can range from anything like –
- Sleeplessness at night
- Episodes of constant crying
- Some babies have profuse sweating on the head when they sleep at night
- Calcium deficient babies do not teeth early
- Joint and bone deformities
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased immunity
- Convulsions – which is basically the seizures because of fever
- Low BP
- Slow heart rate
You need to watch out for any of these symptoms in your baby and if he exhibits any of them, consult your doctor immediately.
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What Are The Treatments For Calcium Deficiency In Babies?
The first thing you must do is ensure that your baby gets enough sunlight. The more sun exposure you give your baby, the more Vitamin D will produce in his body. And consequently, the calcium levels will automatically increase.
- Avoid, as much as possible, giving your baby cow’s milk until he turns 1 year old.
- Breastfeed as much as you can. If it is possible for you, then don’t even give formula to your baby. Give only breast milk because there’s nothing in it that is not required by your baby’s body. It is all that’s needed.
- However, if you have diabetes, check with your doctor about breastfeeding your calcium deficient baby.
- Do not forget to give your baby Vitamin D supplements.
Tell us about your experience if you have had calcium deficiency in your baby. If you have any questions to ask us, and we’d be happy to help.