Iron Supplementation

Iron Rich Foods for Infants and Toddlers

Iron Rich Foods for Infants and Toddlers

At your baby’s 4 or 6 month checkup, your doctor may discuss starting your baby on solid foods.  It is an exciting time – up until this point your baby has been taking in all of his nutrition from breast milk or formula, and you get to shape his palate with new flavors and textures over the next 6 months and beyond.  Your doctor may have talked to you about introducing iron rich foods early on.  This is because iron stores in your baby typically start to become depleted around 6 months of age.  I typically recommend families wait until 6 months of age to start solids (although I have heard pediatricians recommend between 4-6 months). 

Do All Exclusively Breastfed Babies REALLY Need Iron Supplements?

When I read a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics stating that exclusively breastfed babies need to be supplemented with iron starting at 4 months, I have to wonder…

Are they saying that my perfect nutrition for my baby is no longer PERFECT? 

Are they saying that what my body produces is suddenly SUB PAR? 

This caused me to do a little research.  What IS the deal with iron in breast milk?