Why DHA is Important for Milestone Development

The ABCs of DHA — and why it's important for milestone development.

Chances are, you've heard something about DHA for babies. Perhaps you know quite a bit about this important fatty acid. Or maybe you've simply noticed it on a label or a can of formula.

What exactly is DHA?

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that's a building block for your baby's brain and eyes. The name DHA is the scientific shorthand for docosahexaenoic acid. While many people take supplements, DHA occurs naturally in some foods such as salmon, sardines and eggs.

Why is DHA so important for your baby?

DHA for babies is important because it supports brain, eye and nervous system development as they develop—in the womb and during the all-important first few years of life.

Once your baby is born—and through the first two years of life—his brain develops more rapidly than it ever will again. In fact, the brain grows 175% in the first year of life. That's why many experts believe it's important for babies to receive DHA during this critical time of brain development.

What else does DHA support?

In addition to helping them develop, research suggests that DHA for babies also helps to support the immune system. Emerging data also shows a link between omega-3 fatty acids and respiratory health.

In summary, if you're breastfeeding, be sure your diet includes a source of DHA—and if you're in doubt, a supplement can help to provide sufficient DHA for babies. If you're formula feeding, choose a formula like Enfamil that has the nutrients such as DHA that your baby needs.