The 11 best baby vitamins for healthy development 2024

best baby vitamins

by Samantha Ball |
Updated on

With such a huge variety of baby vitamins available to buy, it can be hard to know exactly what your child needs and if they really need them.

While you might be offering a balanced diet full of all the fruits and vegetables if your little one is old enough, babies and young children can be quite fussy when it comes to food. It’s important that they get all the essential vitamins they need to help boost their immune system and support healthy development and growth.

Experts recommend that babies who are being breastfed should be given a daily vitamin D supplement from birth, while formula-fed babies who have more than 500ml of infant formula a day shouldn't need vitamin supplements.

Best baby and toddler vitamins at a glance

• Best flavoured baby vitamins: Natures Aid Mini Drops Multi-Vitamin - Buy now on Amazon
Best baby vitamins for gut health: BIOGAIA Protectis Probiotic Drops with Vitamin D3 - Buy now on Amazon
Best baby vitamins for breastfed babies: Baby Ddrops Liquid Vitamin- Buy now on Boots
Best NHS baby vitamins: Healthy Start Children's Vitamin Drops - Buy now on Superdrug
Best sachet baby vitamins: Optibac For Babies & Children - Buy now on Boots

Registered Family Nutritionist, Julie Clark, says: "Vitamins and minerals are essential for normal growth and development particularly in the early years as your child’s body is growing quickly and they’re used for chemical reactions within the body,

"Their key roles are to help the body use up the calories in food, process fat, protein and carbohydrates, and help in the repair and building of cells and tissues."

To round up our list of the best vitamins for babies and children, we spoke to experts and parents, and researched the reviews so we could be confident that these are the best out there, for a range of ages and requirements. We've also asked the experts your frequently asked questions, including whether vitamins are necessary for babies and what vitamins you should be looking for, so scroll down for all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Before purchasing any baby vitamins, it's always important to talk to your GP or a pharmacist for advice.

Best flavoured baby vitamins

Best baby vitamins Natures Aid Mini Drops Multi-vitamin

Rrp: $14.00

Price: $11.47

Designed specifically for babies, infants and children aged three months to five years, these Natures Aid Mini Drops Multi-Vitamin are easy to use and can be added to food or drink for an easy, fuss-free way of giving your baby their vitamins. Parents appreciated this ease, with one saying “love these drops for my daughter, we use them every day, the ease of the dropper makes it so good. My daughter enjoys helping use it and likes the taste”. 

It’s made up of nine different essential vitamins including vitamins C, D, B1, B2 and Niacin to support normal energy production and one reviewer felt that gave her peace of mind as it “has the vitamins (her daughter) needs for the day”.

They’re made from 100% naturally sourced ingredients, are sugar-free and don’t contain any artificial flavours, sweeteners or colours, but parents said their children liked the orange taste, with one reviewer saying “we've tried few baby vitamin drops, but our little one hated all of them. This product has the same smell, but my son just loves it mixed with like 30-60ml of water."

Pros

  • Liquid form so easier to add to food or drinks
  • Droplet included to measure the right amount
  • Can be mixed with drinks or food to encourage babies and children to take the vitamins
  • Free from sugar, sweeteners and artificial colours or flavourings

Cons

  • Not suitable from birth

Best baby vitamin drops

Containing three live friendly bacteria strains and 375 million live bacteria, the Kendamil Pro-Comfort Baby Drops support the development of your child’s microbiome, keeping everything in balance. One reviewer felt this helped with her baby’s trapped wind and irregular bowel movements, saying she ‘was recommended these from my sister who is a biomedical scientist, to help the microbiome in my babies gut - it’s safe to say these have worked wonders for us. Bowel moments more regular and no trapped wind so we have one happy little boy!"

Reviewers found it helped with constipation, colic and reflux, making their babies more comfortable and less gassy, with one saying, 'great product that has already helped my little boy after a week of use! I now have a much happier baby'. 

The drops are free from artificial colours, flavourings, sugar, gluten, soy and maltodextrin and can be used in conjunction with breastfeeding or bottle feeding. It uses an included pipette to measure out 5 droplets a day and the 7.5ml bottle should last for 30 days.

Pros

  • Contains live friendly bacteria to maintain a healthy gut
  • No artificial colours or flavourings
  • Gluten, soy, sugar and maltodextrin-free
  • A pipette is included to deliver an accurate amount

Cons

  • Some report the bottle leaks when shaken

Best multivitamin liquid baby vitamins

ON OFFER

Made for infants ages six months to four years old, this Vitabiotics Wellbaby Multi-Vitamin Liquid contains 14 essential vitamins, including vitamins A, C and D to help the growth and development of bones in children and to support their immune systems. It's free from artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours and does not contain lactose, alcohol or yeast.

It can be mixed into milk or water making it easy to use and one reviewer said that this was “perfect for little ones. I pop one spoonful in my child’s milk every morning”. Another parent agreed, saying"I have used this vitamin for my son since he was 6 months and have found this one to be the most effective with ease of administering as he likes it and doesn’t put up a fight like some of the others I have tried over the last 2 years”.

However, reviewers were mixed on the flavour, with some parents saying their babies and children loved the flavour and others saying their children didn’t enjoy it, but this is largely down to personal preference.

Pros

  • Contains 14 essential vitamins to support bone growth, cognitive development and the immune system
  • No artificial sweeteners or flavourings
  • Suitable for vegetarians

Cons

  • Some might not like the taste with no flavourings

Best baby vitamins for gut health

If your baby suffers from trapped wind but you also want to make sure they’re getting the vitamins they need, BIOGAIA Protectis Probiotic Drops could be the answer. This award-winning food supplement is a combination of a probiotic strain found in breastmilk and vitamin D, helping to support gut health and contribute to the normal function of the immune system and the growth and development of bone. It is safe from birth and can be taken with or without food.

Parents found that it helped when their babies were suffering from trapped wind or constipation and one noted that her baby is “so much happier, sleeps easier and longer”. While it has a higher price point than some of the others on our list, parents felt that this was justified by the results with one saying the “price is outweighed by the benefits of the product”.

Pros

  • Supports baby's immune system and gut health
  • Encourages good bacteria in the digestive tract
  • Contains a probiotic strain found naturally in breastmilk

Cons

  • Only a small volume and more expensive than other vitamins

Best baby vitamins for breastfed babies

Designed specifically for breastfed babies, the Baby Ddrops Liquid Vitamin contains 60 drops for 60 days. Mums agreed they’re easy to use as they’re administered by simply placing one drop directly onto the nipple before baby latches or even onto a cleaned finger to pop into your little one's mouth. As they only contain two naturally sourced ingredients - pure vitamin D3 and fractionated coconut oil - you can be confident your baby isn't getting any artificial flavours, colouring or other nasties.

Babies didn’t seem to notice any flavour change and took them happily, with one mum saying that they’re “hands down the best to use when breast feeding. One drop does not disrupt feeding”. Another agreed, saying ”I wish I'd had these in those early weeks, as they are so easy, just a single drop on the nipple and done”.

Pros

  • Provides 60 days worth of Vitamin D for bone development
  • No artificial colours or flavourings
  • Easy to administer as just one drop is all you need
  • Designed specifically for breastfed babies

Cons

  • Some mentioned the dropper isn't that easy to use

Best NHS baby vitamins

Containing three vital vitamins - vitamins A, C and D – these Healthy Start vitamins help maintain normal vision, the immune system and support the growth and development of normal bones. At just £4.29, most felt these were amongst the best value on the market. 

They’re delivered in an oral drop which gives you the option to give it directly using a spoon or to mix with milk, water or juice. Most parents felt it was “easy to administer” and one summed up the general feedback, saying “my toddler can't notice it in his milk / water. A really easy way to give a child what they need!” Others mentioned it could take a while to dispense and “you do need a bit of patience to get the drops”.

Pros

  • Pleasant tasting so babies and infants were happy to take them
  • Easy to use - can be given on a spoon or mixed with drinks
  • Contains the three main vitamins recommended by Health Visitors

Cons

  • Some felt the drops took a while to come out of the bottle

Best baby vitamins for bone and teeth support

As one of main vitamins recommended for babies from birth to the age of five, Vitamin D helps to support the immune system and muscle and bone growth. This award-winning Natures Aid Vitamin D3 Drops contains the suggested 400iu vitamin D to provide babies and infants with their daily dose. 

As it has no odour or taste it can be added into juice, water or food, or given straight from the dropper. Parents thought it was “quick and easy” with one saying that her “kids do not like the taste of other vitamin d supplements, but they are very happy to take this one. Would definitely recommend.”

Pros

  • Helps support the immune system and the growth of muscle and bone
  • Flavour and odourless so easy to mix with drinks
  • Contains the daily recommend amount of Vitamin D - 400iu

Cons

  • Some mentioned you might need to add the drops onto a spoon or syringe for a baby

Best value baby vitamins

The Haliborange Multivitamins Orange Liquid contains the recommend vitamins C, D and A, but also includes the antioxidant E, B5 for normal mental performance, and B2 to support the nervous system. 

Parents agreed that their children enjoyed the flavour, with one parent reviewer saying that it’s “so far the only multivitamin my toddler looks forward to having” and another saying her “(fussy four year old) absolutely loves it and looks forward to having a spoon every day. will continue to purchase.”

There are no artificial colours or flavourings and it doesn’t contain any added sugar. It’s also suitable for vegetarians.

Pros

  • Parents agreed it tastes good so children are happy to take it
  • Supports health and wellbeing with a wide range of vitamins

Cons

  • Reviews online are limited

Best baby vitamins tonic

Ideal for babies over the age of one, the VIVIO Junior Multivitamin Tonic for Kids contains 12 vitamins - A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, D and E, Biotin and Folic Acid) plus Zinc and Iodine to provide nutritional support to help with normal immune system function, cognitive function, and bone growth.

Though reviews were mixed on the taste, the majority felt that their children enjoyed it and reviewers were impressed with the results, with one saying it “contributed positively to my child's health” and another agreeing that her kids “all line up in the morning for their ‘super orange’”.

There’s no added sugar, and it’s gluten and lactose-free, as well as being suitable for vegetarian and halal diets.

Pros

  • Helps support the immune system with a range of vitamins, Zinc and Iodine 
  • Helps with cognitive function and growth
  • The orange flavour seems to be popular with most reviewers

Cons

  • Only suitable for 12 months plus

Best powdered baby vitamins

The Optibac for Babies & Children combines three probiotic strains with Vitamin D3 to help maintain a healthy gut and maintain immune health. Parents were impressed with the results and many agreed it worked wonders to relieve their baby's colic, reflux, constipation or trapped wind, with one reviewer saying “I have used this since my son was 8-9 months old and my goodness it works wonders.. as soon as he takes this there is an instant difference”.  Another said "my newborn had trouble with trapped wind, major constipation and colic... and was never sleeping as she was in so much pain... then I came across these... and omg, I have a different baby...Highly recommended!!"

One pack contains 30 sachets, which are already pre-measured for your child and can be easily mixed in to food or drink. They’re suitable for vegetarians, and are lactose, gluten and soy-free with no added sugar.

Pros

  • Can easily be mixed in with foods and drinks to make them easy to administer
  • Parents were impressed with the results for digestive discomfort
  • Dairy, gluten and soy free
  • Pre-measured in a sachet for easy use

Cons

  • More expensive than some brands

Best baby vitamins for growth and development

The Haliborange Halibaby Multivitamin Drops contains 10 essential vitamins, including A,C and the recommended 10μg of Vitamin D to contribute to healthy growth and development. They’re free from flavourings, colours, preservatives and can be mixed with water or milk. One reviewer felt the lack of flavour was a bonus, saying “I love the flavourless drops, great for my fussy baby”.

Pros

  • Contains 10 essentials vitamins for healthy growth
  • Suitable for breastfed babies too

Cons

  • Limited reviews online

Are vitamins necessary for babies?

Registered Midwife and Kendamil Expert, Emma Thompson said: "It's really important that babies take vitamin supplements, as recommended by the NHS. The guidelines recommend that all children aged six months to five years are given vitamin supplements containing vitamins, A, C and D every day."

"It's especially important that babies who are being breastfed should be given a daily vitamin D supplement from birth."

Emma also mentioned that if you're formula feeding your baby, and they're having more than 500ml of infant formula a day, then they don't need vitamin supplements as the formula is already fortified with vitamins.

How else can I introduce vitamins in my baby's diet?

Emma said: "If baby is older than six months and weaning, then ensuring a varied diet with a mix of vegetables, fruits and dairy products will help. There is also the option to use a vitamin drop designed for babies, just ensure you check the dosage."

What vitamins do babies and children need?

Iron

When your baby is born, they have their own stock of iron and zinc, which have been passed onto them while in the womb. However, by the time they're six months old, those stocks are running out and your baby needs 7.8mg of iron.

Dietician, Jo Travers, from The London Nutritionist says: "This is why you need to start weaning onto food at this age, milk does not provide enough nutrients for your baby, which is why you need food."

"While formula is fortified with nutrients, including iron, you should also ensure that you wean them using iron-rich foods such as meat, dark poultry meat, beans, pulses and dark green leafy vegetables"

It’s worth remembering that calcium can prevent the absorption of iron so giving them milk at the same time as a plate of baked beans could potentially limit the iron content of the beans. To counter this, ensure you serve up foods containing vitamin C alongside them as they can aid the absorption of iron.

Vitamin C

This nutrient is needed to help absorb iron from food. Jo says: "while calcium is a very important nutrient for ensuring your baby builds up strong bones and teeth, it can also inhibit the absorption of non-haem iron,"

"This comes from vegetable sources such as spinach or kale. However, you can boost absorption by eating foods containing vitamin C, such as oranges, peppers, kiwis and broccoli."

Vitamin C also helps to strengthen your baby’s immune system, which can be quite weak in the early years of life.

Vitamin D

This is probably one of the most crucial vitamins needed. "It’s made when sunlight hits the skin, but because the levels of sunlight in the UK can be quite low, it’s vital that children aged between six months and five years take a supplement drop containing vitamin D," says Julie Clark.

"However, babies who are fed infant formula will not need vitamin drops until they are receiving less than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, as these products are fortified with vitamin D." There are a few dietary sources of vitamin D – fortified breakfast cereals and margarine, but NHS advice states that you should boost your baby’s sources with a supplement.

Vitamin A

Essential for eye health, normal growth, development and the immune system, vitamin A (the beta carotene variety) can be found in orange and yellow coloured foods such as carrot, butternut squash and mango.

Omega-3 and 6

Helping to support brain growth and development, omega-3 and 6 are an important part of a child's diet.

Parenting expert Lorraine Thomas, founder of the Parent Coaching Academy, says: “Science has found that a blend of omega-3 and 6 in the diet help with behaviour, memory and, as a result, learning. They also help with sleep patterns according to researchers from Oxford University. They found children who had a diet rich in omega-3 and omega-6 slept for longer and woke up less in the night compared to those children who did not have a diet rich in omega-3 and omega-6.”

How can I help increase my child's intake of vitamins?

Clinical Nutritionist at VIVIO Junior, Eva Hill Hamilton said 80% of parents worry that their child doesn't get all the nutrients from their diet alone. She shares her top tips for boosting their intake of key vitamins to keep them at their best:

Keep it real: The foods we feed our children should resemble 'real foods' as much as possible. Encourage your child to help you prepare fruits and vegetables to spark their interest and build their confidence when it comes to new foods or foods they tend to refuse. Blend up chickpeas to make your own hummus for dipping veggie sticks or mashing-up your child's favourite fruits.

Don't forget protein: We tend to focus a lot on fruits and vegetables when it comes to our children’s wellbeing, and forget healthy proteins like cubes of chicken, beans and lentils, and seeds and nuts which are packed with immune-boosting nutrients like omega 3s, iron, vitamin D and selenium. Ensuring your child has a serving of protein with every meal and snack is key to supporting healthy growth and development.

Enjoy variety: Family life can be hectic at times, so it’s understandable to want to make the same meals that you know your little one will eat, however with over 70% of our immune cells living in our gut, ensuring your little one eats a rainbow of fruit and vegetables is a great way to ‘feed’ the good bacteria living in your child’s gut and fend off those bugs and germs. Pasta is a popular choice for lots of little ones, so offering different types such as pasta made from beans and lentils, or spelt pasta which contains more nutrients, are both great ways to include more diverse foods in our children’s diet.

Is it okay to not give my baby vitamin drops?

Emma said: "what your baby might need will depend on their feeding routine. All breastfed babies will need a Vitamin D supplement from birth and all families can talk to their healthcare providers to access the right options for their little ones."

About the experts

Eva Hill Hamilton is a Clinical Nutritionist who works with VIVIO Junior and advises on the best way for babies and children to get the right nutrients.

Jo Travers is a registered dietitian and author, and provides nutrition advice. She is a professional evidence-based London nutritionist.

Julie Clark is a registered Nutritional Therapist and aims to help families enjoy a healthy life. She uses her knowledge as a nutritionist and as a parent to give practical and easy advice.

Emma Thompson is an expert who works with Kendamil, and is also a registered midwife.

Samantha Ball is a Commercial Content Writer and freelanced for the Mother&Baby website for two years before joining the team full-time. She's a mum of two and loves browsing for the best products and cute outfits.

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