Is it normal for a baby to fall asleep at the dinner table? I am worried about iron levels.

(26 Posts)
froken Tue 01-Oct-13 17:57:39

My ds is 9 months old. He is a good eater but he refuses to eat porridge with added iron. He still breastfeeds lots, my hv is worried that he doesn't eat anything with added iron in.

She has advised us to give him liver pate and black pudding (we are not in the uk, these are pretty normal things to eat where we live) we have so far given him some liver pate and he likes it.

Tonight we went out for an early dinner, ds fell asleep in his highchair at 5.45. He didn't winge or rub his eyes he just finished his dinner put his little hands infront of him, put his head down on his hands and went to sleep.

We usually give him his dinner at 5 then an extended bath (for as long as he is happy) till about 5.40, then we put him in bed and he goes straight to sleep.

He sleeps till between 6.30 and 8.30, he has recently been waking up for an hour at around 4AM he just cuddles and breastfeeds and rolls around abot (we co-sleep) I doze and don't chat or look at him, he isn't unhappy, he doesn't chat or play when he has his early wake up.

DS usually has 1 nap at 11ish. He will sleep between 1 and 3 hours depending on where we are (if he is asleep at the boob he will sleep for 3 hours, if he is in his pushchair it is more like 1-1.5 hours)

Today I accedently woke him up from his nap after 40 mins (taking his coat off as we were in a very hot cafe)

Is it normal that he fell asleep at dinner time? Could it be because he has low iron levels?

I should add that he is very "busy" all the time, he walks around with his push along trolley all the time. We usually go to at least 1 playgroup/group a day as he loves the big open spaces and likes playing with the other babies. Today I took him to playgroup in the morning and dp took him to playgroup in the afternoon (a different playgroup.)

Any advice would be appreciated smile

OP’s posts: |
Iwaswatchingthat Tue 01-Oct-13 18:00:38

He just sounds tired to me as his nap was interrupted.

My dd1 used to nap for an hour between 9am and 10am, then nap after lunch from about half twelve to half two, then in bed at half six.

She was a baby who loved her sleep, but 40 minutes is not much and so he just sounds tired from his busy day.

If he is active during the day then I would not worry.

Pancakeflipper Tue 01-Oct-13 18:01:18

He sounds tired. Been a busy day for him.
I would not be thinking iron. I would assume busy day or not feeling well.

Bicnod Tue 01-Oct-13 18:04:29

Have they actually tested his iron levels? If you're really worried I'd get them to do that.

But I honestly wouldn't worry too much - both of mine fell asleep in their dinners regularly at that age. DS2 (now age 2) still does sometimes now.

He sounds to me like a very active little boy (which presumably he wouldn't be if he had very low iron levels) who tires himself out and then falls asleep.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 01-Oct-13 18:05:31

Sorry - he is a busy boy and gets tired as the day goes on, and your HV is worried about his iron levels?

Any other health issues? Why is the HV particularly worried about iron?

He sounds completely normal to me. He's young to be getting huge amounts of his nutritional intake from food anyway. Keep him on a varied and balanced diet, as you normally would.

I think your HV may be overreacting.

gintastic Tue 01-Oct-13 18:07:15

My 10mo is still having 2 good naps a day, 1.5-2 hours each. He just sounds tired to me. And my 5yo is quite capable of falling asleep over dinner if she's had a busy day...

heidihole Tue 01-Oct-13 18:13:15

I think your HV has read that in a book and clung to it. Your DS sounds very normal especially not eating a lot at 9m. I wouldn't give it a second thought.

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WhoeverHeardOfAWormskinRug Tue 01-Oct-13 18:16:07

The iron in your milk is easier to absorb than from vitamin drops/tablets too. Also things like dried apricots chopped up small, leafy greens etc are brill grin

I always went by the mantra "food for fun, until they are 1" and kept up with milk feeds as the main food and offered plenty of solids just for exploring textures and taste. We did a little bit of baby-led-weaning plus a bit of purée and mess with spoons! I now have two strapping lads of 13 and 7 - and a foodie DD of 2.

You sound like you're doing great!

TheBuskersDog Tue 01-Oct-13 18:18:16

You have a routine where you usually put him to bed at 5.40 pm and he falls straight to sleep, why were you so surprised that he fell asleep at 5.45 pm i.e. his usual bedtime.

Even at 3 my older son would fall asleep in his lunch after nursery or in his dinner regularly, he was just tired and perfectly healthy.

Why should he be having anything with extra iron in, is there any reason your HV should be worried about his levels? You haven't said where you are but could this just be one of those things that are fussed about in one country and not an issue at all in another.

5madthings Tue 01-Oct-13 18:19:10

Aww bless him smile

And seriously this is very normal and cute, I have a picture of my ds1 sat asleep in a highchair at a restaraunt at the same age and some of ds2 asleep stood up leaning against the sofa.

I really wouldn't worry, HV right that there is not much iron in bmilk but what there is is very easily absorbed by your baby.

Pate is good as well, mine have all liked pate toast or on a bagel etc.

froken Tue 01-Oct-13 18:19:53

The hv doesn't have any specific worries, they are not used to bf after 6 months here, they are very keen to get you to swap bresfeeds for "real" food or välling (liquid porridge, ds hates it)

Ds is healthy and developing well, he has not gained much weight the last few months so he has dropped down from the 98th centile at birth for both weight and height to the 50th centile but me and dp are not tall so that seems normal to me, the hv thinks it is too big a drop.

OP’s posts: |
veryconfusedatthemoment Tue 01-Oct-13 18:26:07

Sorry very quick post but DS used to do this at exactly the same age - 9 months. If we didn't get tea into him at exactly 5pm that was it too late - he would fall asleep wherever he was. He's now 8 and absolutely fine smile

DeWe Tue 01-Oct-13 18:31:09

All of mine had times they fell asleep while eating. I have a lovely video of ds falling asleep in his highchair outside while his sisters played noisily round him

nextphase Tue 01-Oct-13 18:33:40

Another one who has photos of very little kids sleeping in the highchair. Apparently I did the same.

As a one off, with only a 40 min nap, it sounds perfectly normal.
Can you get a blood test if your really worried?

I've had a quick look, and kids vitamins/minerals reccomendation seem to be limited to A, C and D in the UK

But, you can buy multivitamin drops with iron for babies if you desire? But personally, babies and bm were developed before supplements, so is probably sufficient.

froken Tue 01-Oct-13 18:56:45

He has vitamin d drops, I will look into having his iron tested when I see the dr next week (10 month check.)

I think they just don't see enough babies who are breastfed after 6 months to know that it is ok for babies no to have iron enriched food. I have been told by the hv and my gynochologist to stop breastfeeding in the past week sad

OP’s posts: |
UC Tue 01-Oct-13 19:00:29

He sounds like he was just tired.

I never gave either of my two anything with added iron. No-one ever suggested it.

They sometimes used to fall asleep in their tea, esp if their lunch nap was shorter than normal - like your DS's today.

exexpat Tue 01-Oct-13 19:01:17

So he fell asleep in his high chair at a time close to his usual bed time? Sounds very normal to me - full tummies make them sleepy. DS regularly used to do that.

LIZS Tue 01-Oct-13 19:01:43

oh dear , must be bad mother cos ds used to do this a lot when shattered, missing tea on occasion if we'd been out and he nodded off on way home . He's 15 now smile I'd nod off at teatime given the choice if awake at 4am !

hettienne Tue 01-Oct-13 19:04:12

So, he went to sleep at his normal bedtime after a busy day?

Sounds like he doesn't get enough naps in the day, but his diet is fine. Between 6 and 12 months food just complements breastmilk - milk is still the biggest source of nutrition for him.

geologygirl Tue 01-Oct-13 19:08:30

Well not sure what the gynae is going to know about breastfeeding to be honest! They can advise you to stop but doesn't mean you have to listen. Your baby sounds perfectly normal to me. Don't let them bully you. Your baby remember!

WhispersOfWickedness Tue 01-Oct-13 19:09:12

Try not to worry to much about the centiles, my DS did something similar at that age as he was on the move and expending much more energy. He has tracked the 50th line since he was 1 and is perfectly proportioned now smile
Please don't stop breast feeding if that's not what you want, there are so many benefits to him having it still.

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 01-Oct-13 19:09:36

I would be tempted to lie and say he is loving the porridge. If they are unfamiliar with BF after 6 months it's probably formula marketing creeping in. Actually although breastmilk doesn't contain a lot of iron it is very easily absorbed meaning that they get what they need from it.

I agree that it's pretty normal for them to fall asleep at dinnertime if they're tired too - DS used to do it all the time. Try making dinner half an hour earlier if this keeps happening.

froken Tue 01-Oct-13 19:16:55

I guess I didn't realise how important his sleep times were, I have never tried to get him to follow a routine I just try to let him decide and facilitate what he wants to do (so long as he doesn't want to get up before 6am, I have a no nice mummy before 6 rule!)

I am interested to hear that lots of babies a simalar age have more naps. Until recently he would have 2 naps, a 9am ish nap and then an after lunch nap but he would really fight his morning nap and it was miserable for both of us. he sleeps much better after going out and doing something. He could probably nap at 4-5ish but we did that for a couple of weeks and he would not sleep in the evening even though he was really really tired and grumpy. I feel like his naps at the moment give him the most amount of quality hours but it does make the day very short and the midday nap is vital I must try to avoid disturbing him in future.

I don't want to stop breastfeeding. I am ignoring the profesional advice at the moment.

OP’s posts: |
YoniBottsBumgina Tue 01-Oct-13 19:32:55

I didn't keep track of DS' naps at that age either but then he didn't have a set bedtime then.

I think if you're wanting him to go to bed at a certain time (or roughly similar time) then it's worth trying to work the food times around naps, especially if they also usually occur at roughly the same times.

NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown Tue 01-Oct-13 19:48:31

I think you might do well to post in the breast and bottle feeding section as well.

I've just found this for you. I don't understand why you're being encouraged to stop breastfeeding..your baby needs milk as the main source of nutrition for the first 12 months so if you've got milk and you want to continue breastfeeding why would you change to formula? I'm guessing it's just a cultural thing like feeding toddlers is often frowned upon in the UK (in my experience at least) - in fact the WHO recommendation (which I can never find on their website so if anyone has a link I'd be grateful) is to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months and then alongside solids for at least 2 years, and the nutritional benefits continue way into toddlerhood and beyond (I have a link for that if you want some back up!)

anyway I don't know if it's normal for a baby to fall asleep at the table because neither have mine have ever 'fallen' asleep anywhere as babies, it's always been a bit of a fight grin but I have seen other people's babies do it so it obviously happens wink

I would think that even if your iron levels were low (and I think you'd know about it if they were) that still wouldn't mean your baby was at risk for having low iron because usually a baby gets what he or she needs from mums milk even if it leaves her short (I'm no expert but have read a lot after similar worries with PFB)

I think it's a good idea to get his iron levels checked simply to put your mind at rest and to have some proof if the issue is raised again smile

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