The brand First Day has run many social media ads claiming their toddler vitamins can help with ADHD symptoms and behavioral problems. I feel it’s important to cover this topic on my blog as I’ve written several toddler vitamin reviews.
Here’s what you should know about these ads and claims.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, and you should not take anything you see on my blog as medical advice.
First Day and a National Advertising Division Case
In 2021, the National Advertising Division (NAD) brought a case against First Day Life Inc. about unsubstantiated claims they made in ads. You can read the press release here.
These claims include ad copy like: “Million of kids in the US are hyperactive. They’re distracted & impulsive. But there’s a secret cause that has just been discovered: Nutritional Deficiencies. […].”
Here’s another one: “Hey Mom, give yourself a tantrum free day this Mother’s Day! Our vitamins help little one’s stay focused and improves behavioral issues.” (sic)
Testimonials from other parents were also shared that included claims about helping with ADHD symptoms.
The NAD basically said these kinds of claims need to be backed up by scientific evidence. First Day’s response was they “respectfully disagree” but would comply with the recommendations to stop using these ads. That was in mid-2021.
Recent First Day Behavioral Claims
Since that whole fiasco with the NAD, the bold claims from First Day have seemed to calm down, but there are still subtle suggestions in the ads they’re running.
Here’s an ad that ran in September 2022: “Trouble sleeping…picky eating…fighting to get out the door for school and crying over breakfast…sound familiar? I can relate – that was my life….Every…Single…Day. Until I found this.”
I’m sorry, but that sounds like a normal toddler to me. My kids have been taking vitamins for over a year now, and my 4-year-old still comes into our room at 3 am saying she needs water. Or a snack. Or help using the bathroom.
All of those things sound like a very normal toddler to me. And I find it hard to believe that taking vitamins would suddenly wipe out all of those concerns.
The description on this ad says, “How I discovered a secret cause to my kid’s outbursts…”
The secret cause she’s referring to is a lack of vitamins, I presume. But from my perspective, the secret cause is they’re a kid.
Outbursts and temper tantrums are completely normal for kids, and if there is a serious concern about behavior, I’d suggest consulting with a physician.
Learning more about emotional regulation and giving your kids tools to get them through a tantrum is going to help you 100x more than relying on a daily multivitamin.
Vitamins Are Awesome, But Not a Cure
I’m a huge proponent of vitamins, not only for my toddlers but for myself! Vitamin D and B12 supplements have made a huge difference in my mood and outlook on life. My PCP orders new blood tests every quarter to check these vitamin levels for me, so I do know when I’m deficient and when I need to supplement.
The way I see it is vitamins can’t hurt, especially if they’re water-soluble. If my kids have a week of super picky eating, that vitamin ensures they’re getting what they need to grow and function to their full potential.
But I have to say these bold claims about fixing toddler tantrums and helping your child get out the door in the morning seem like red flags to me.
Toddler and kid vitamins aren’t this magic pill that will turn your kids into angels. And it feels like that’s what these ads are trying to get us to believe.
First Day Research
First Day vitamins are created as a result of investigating thousands of clinical studies about vitamins. But the actual First Day vitamins have not had any clinical studies.
So while they’re formulated based on good science, First Day cannot actually make any claims about how their vitamins impact ADHD or behavioral issue, because that hasn’t been studied.
I do think First Day vitamins are high-quality, but I wouldn’t put all your faith in these vitamins as a cure for ADHD or behavioral complaints.
Do Vitamins Help With ADHD?
According to OSHU, children who were given a micronutrient-dense formula made of all known vitamins and essential minerals were three times more likely to have better concentration and improved moods.
WebMD also shares that some studies suggest Zinc, fish oil, and evening primrose oil can help with hyperactivity, inattentiveness, ability to think clearly, and overall behavior in children with ADHD. These findings aren’t concrete, though, and the jury is still out.
The kid’s multivitamin from First Day does not include Zinc, fish oil, or primrose oil. It also does not include nearly as many vitamins as its competitor, Hiya.
So really, based on what information we do have about vitamins and ADHD, there’s little reason to believe First Day would have a substantial impact on behavior or ADHD symptoms.
I think vitamins are a wonderful thing for toddlers. But don’t get your hopes up that First Day vitamins will stop your child from having tantrums or help with an inability to focus.
As a reminder, the average attention span of a 2-year-old is 4-6 minutes. That’s normal.
If you have any serious concerns about your child, talk to your pediatrician or doctor. Vitamins certainly can’t hurt, but they’re not a cure-all.