From birth to 6 months, babies only need breast milk and vitamin D drops every day. If your baby is not breastfeeding, only use infant formula with iron.
Breast milk is best for babies.
- Provides all the nutrients your baby needs
- Includes antibiotics that fight off germs
- Protects against allergies
- Helps baby have normal weight gain
- Helps baby's brain develop
- Reduces risk of ear infection, lung infection, upset stomach, allergies, and dental problems.
Breastfeeding is best for moms.
- Helps mom bond with her baby
- Saves time and money
- Protects against breast cancer
- May protect against ovarian cancer and weak bones
- Helps some mothers lose weight gained during pregnancy
While breastfeeding is a traditional practice in Inuit culture and a natural act, it also requires learning and practice. If you are having trouble with breastfeeding or have questions, talk to your health care provider or the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program.
Sometimes, breastfeeding is not possible and that is okay. If you have questions about your baby's nutrition, talk to a health care provider like a nurse or dietitian.
Vitamin D is important for babies and children. Eating foods with vitamin D and giving vitamin D drops helps build strong, healthy bones. To help babies and children have strong bones and teeth:
- Feed them foods rich with vitamin D.
- Country foods—fish, fish eggs, bird, eggs, maktaaq
- Store bought foods: milk, eggs, canned fish, some yogurt, margarine
- Give a vitamin D supplement every day if needed.
If babies and small children do not get enough vitamin D, they may develop rickets. Rickets is a very painful disease; it makes bones get soft and bend. To help prevent rickets, pregnant and nursing women can eat foods with vitamin D and take a vitamin D supplement every day, no matter the season. Vitamin D tablets are easy to take and do not make you feel sick.