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iron deficiency worries

(13 Posts)
otchayaniye Mon 05-Nov-12 12:10:38

DD2 is 15 months, breastfed on demand (except three days when I work and she's looked after by my husband) and eats a range of solids well (BLW from 5.5 months) I used to give those vit K drops the HV gave us but tailed off when she began solids.

she eats most things, fruit, green veg, meat, eggs, etc. Doesn't drink alot of milk, just feed from me, some fruit juice and small amounts

All fine, she seems healthy, walked at 10 months, speaks a lot of words and few phrases and seems fine in herself.

Except I've sent myself into a panic because her two large toenails (just the large toenails, all other nailes are curved normally and are fine) seemed odd, about the time she started crawling/walking. One split at the cuticle and fell off and the other seems pale and raised at the sides. It could be damage (she is very very active) from shoes, walking, banging, etc, but I'm paranoid it's iron deficiency and feel so incredibly remiss that I should have and could have given her iron supplements, or upped her red meat (we don't eat tonnes, more chicken) if it is this.

I haven't taken her to HV for ages as it clashes with nursery pick up (obviously if I need to I would find a way) and as she seemed so damn healthy and I had weight anxiety with first DD and weigh ins always increased this so I've kind of avoided the issue this time around, maybe I'm too relaxed!

I can take her to the docs of course, but that will take some days and just wanted your views. I am going to get vits this lunchtime and will up her red meat, but should I night wean to get her to eat more solids (thought it was fine going just like DD1)

otchayaniye Mon 05-Nov-12 12:39:29

I should add she's never been ill, save for sniffles. Still, I'm worried!

tiktok Mon 05-Nov-12 12:46:00


Split toe nails are not an indication of iron deficiency....are they? I have never heard of this.

Your dd's diet sounds fine.

Give your HV a ring, and get some decent reassurance on this.

otchayaniye Mon 05-Nov-12 12:49:42

oh, I googled and got reams on spoon shaped toenails or brittle toenails being sign of anemia. Liek I said, it's not all her nails, they seem fine, just the big toenails.

I admit I may be being ridiculous and am in an anxious place right now (poor sleep recently and I've been ill and it rears its head) but I feel maybe I shouldn't be feeding DD2 in the night and should have supplemented her.

My HV isn't that great I'm afraid. But I will take her.

tiktok Mon 05-Nov-12 12:56:51

That's anaemia which is fairly severe iron deficiency, is it not? Highly unlikely in a toddler who is eating normally and from a range of foods. My understanding is that nails are dry and brittle - not your description, really - and there'd be other symptoms, and it would effect other nails, surely?

Toddlers don't normally get iron supplements - they get Vit d supps (usually with other vits in a package) but not iron.

Loislane78 Mon 05-Nov-12 19:45:50

Step away from Google smile Talk to your HV or GP if really concerned.

janek Mon 05-Nov-12 19:54:54

I was told At la leche league when i raised a similar concern, that although there is not much iron in breastmilk, what there is is very easily, and mostly, absorbed by the child. I stopped worrying straight away.

I hope this is true because as i've been spouting it ever since.

Incidentally my dd2 has spoon-shaped big toe nails, but dd1 doesn't and didn't even when she had a very limited diet.

tiktok Mon 05-Nov-12 20:00:38

It is indeed true, jane smile

janek Tue 06-Nov-12 21:19:04

Brilliant! grin

EauRouge Tue 06-Nov-12 21:43:50

Both my DDs' big toenails are like that too, they have very different diets. Neither one has any health concerns. I was worried about DD1's iron levels when she was around the same age so I went to see my (very sensible and now sadly retired) HV about it. I spelled out my fears while DD1 ran around giggling and HV laughed at me grin

What do you think has made you worried? And why don't you think you should be feeding during the night?

otchayaniye Wed 07-Nov-12 12:17:02

oh, I think i had slow burn panic episode this week due to illness. Always happens - I had it last regarding low supply after norovirus and I came on here begging advice! But my mother had my baby one evening and commented on her nail falling off (I'd noticed the big toe oddness when she started crawling and all other nails are curved although flatter than adults in the way most babies have) and wondered (helpfully) if it was a deficiency. I kept thinking about it and googled and obviously had heard that bm can be low in iron and then I fretted, then I examined toes, then fretted some more, then googled some more. You get the picture. I guess that if she feeds through the night (like un-sleep trained co-sleepers often do) I wondered if this means she's eating enough solids. I guess she does, but when everyone you know has fed x amount of purees and has stopped bfeeding completely, you are in a bit of a knowledge vacuum.

I've never seen iron deficiency. But I do think with a less panicky mood today that my daughter is probably among the least iron deficient. She is a maniac and seems very pink and happy. Just with knackered toenails.

Thanks for putting me at ease (rather than raising eyebrows at night feeding beyond one....)

otchayaniye Wed 07-Nov-12 12:17:52

I remember also a dentist berating me for feeding my DD1 through the night (although her teeth were and are perfect) so that always sticks in my mind.

EauRouge Wed 07-Nov-12 14:55:31

If it makes you feel better, I've just begun yet another half-arsed attempt to night-wean my 4yo grin

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