I'm cooking ahead for 6 months for dd (still got just over a month).
So I've been reading up on weaning ... a few posters here and on other forums talk about how a proportion of bf babies are iron deficient by 6 months and this can cause cognitive issues later in life! I know after 6 months it's a good idea to use a multi vitamin drop for dd alongside food and bf.
But how would I tell if she was iron deficient before then?
I'm naughty and sometimes forget my
overpriced bf support vitamin pill on busy days. My diet is varied and iron rich though.
You have a good diet so your dd is unlikely to be iron deficient. When you begin the weaning journey you will still bf or formula feed her so iron still shouldn't be an issue. As she eats more just ensure a good healthy balance, I'd be wary of giving iron supplements as too much iron is a bad thing.
I know of no evidence that babies are deficient in iron by six months - unless they have been born very preterm and thus have not built up their own iron stores (which happens later in pregnancy). This issue is normally checked for and monitored.
What we know is this: that from about six months, babies' own iron stores start to run down, and they start to need more iron, so they utilise the iron in breastmilk, and good practice would be to start to introduce iron in the solids diet....but all this happens gradually and naturally, as iron is in cereals, some fruits, some veg as well as the obvious places like meat and eggs.
Please don't worry about iron deficiency - the only cases of iron deficiency I ever hear of in otherwise healthy babies are babies/toddlers who are much older than six months and who have hardly any solid foods. You wouldn't give a six month old baby a pill for iron - the vitamin drops are for Vitamin D (though they also have other vits in them, it's D which is the concern).
Squizita, is it just possible that now you are over worries you had before about breastfeeding and weight and all that sort of stuff, you are finding something else to be anxious about? So this is not really an issue about iron deficiency, but an issue about focussing your anxiety on something? It's time to r....e....l....a.....x......
Yeah I thought that. It's just I've seen this opinion several times - at first I ignored it as the poster seemed to think baby rice was the only cure But have seen it several times since.
I'm just going to go with nhs advice. Seems sensible. Vitamins from 6 months and fresh/proper food to wean alongside breast and maybe some formula
as I can't be arsed to pump for cereal milk.
Tiktok X post.
Thanks as ever for the reassuring expertise!
... and yes I think I'm being a nervous Nellie!
Squizita- I know you have anxiety issues and Tiktok has given a very full response. But would it help to bear in mind that a lot of hysteria over iron was deliberately created by formula manufacturers to flog their product? I mean, Tiktok has (as ever) given the expert and scientific answer. But does it help to think that someone flogging a commercial product wants you to worry about this so you buy their stuff.
It wasn't really to do with formula so much as some people saying that weaning at 6 months is "outdated" and it should be 4 again.
I find it quite reassuring that this is evidently a case of "Web MD-itis" where people have half read Wikipedia and decided they're going to keel over - albeit applied to other people's babies they've never met!
Sorry. I wasn't clear. I meant iron panic generally came from the formula companies. Even though it then bled into other areas like weaning. Definitely a case of half arsed doctor Google too.
Yeah I tend to think "well everyone round the world seems to do ok without baby rice etc"
You can use whole cow's milk on cereal and in cooking from 6 months, so no need to buy formula/express if you don't want to.
I can't bear baby rice. Though that is probably a whole other thread.
My DD was iron deficient at 16mo, easily corrected by iron supplements but she had no symptoms at the time and was a very large baby. From what I read there are suspicions that preterm, low birth weight and bf babies (who may prefer bf to solids) are at risk of iron deficiency from about 12 months onwards.
Until 6 months old your DD should have iron stores from birth and breast milk contains small amounts of iron which are however better absorbed. If around 12 months you find that she is not eating solids or avoiding iron rich foods like meat and lentils there is no harm in asking your doctor about having a blood test done.
US paediatric associations are calling for universal screening of all 12mo for iron deficiencies but the problem is that blood tests at that age can be fairly traumatic. In everything I read I didn't find any evidence of a formula conspiracy and it doesn't make much sense anyway as the advice for bf babies with suspected iron deficiencies is blood test to confirm and iron supplements, neither of which benefit formula manufacturers to any extent.
I don't think she'll refuse solids (touch wood). She tried to get a sausage off DHs plate tonight.
Thanks - i'll ask the gp if she does get fussy after 1 year.
Give her lots of spinach, she'll be iron rich and super strong like a baby Popeye
I'm hoping DS likes lentils, red meat and spinach (lamb curries?!) so he'll get his iron. The benefit of waiting until 6 months is that you should be able to introduce all foods rather than just veg purée etc. Also food is for fun before they're one etc etc! I'm probably going to start in a week or so as DS is very nearly 26 weeks. I was waiting religiously until the 19th Feb but in reality I think he will be fine a few days before that if I choose to. Bit of soft, possibly mashed up veg and chicken on his tray, sit back and try not to look terrified is the plan
Exactly my thinking Redling ... wait till she can try most things! I'm sure that will also be good for making babies interested in food, if they are able to eat all the food groups from the start of their weaning.
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