iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2010
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 10:25pm
My 6 mo old is exclusively breastfed. Today her pediatrician told me that if I don't start giving her iron fortified rice cereal that she will probably become anemic. I thought infants didn't need anything but breast milk for the first year. He was opposed to iron drops. I'm not sure what to do now. Any guidance would be much appreciated.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
In reply to: kellybarnes2010
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 11:21pm

Well I have not fed infant cereal to any of my boys ( kids and I have never even purchased a jar of baby food!) and only 1 tested low for iron. When he did we just added some iron rich foods and retested a couple months later and he was fine.

This discusses why anemia is uncommon in BF babies, which babies are at risk and foods that are high in iron.

When you do introduce solids, you can choose foods that are nutrient dense unlike infant cereals. Some recommendations on first foods:

As to WHEN to start, most babies are ready sometime between 6 and 9 months of age to get small tastes of solids. However some babies may not get started on solids until after the first birthday. My first started solids around 7 months, my second at 9 months and my 3rd between 7 and 8 months. Baby should meet all these before starting solids---
"Signs that indicate baby is developmentally ready for solids include:

* Baby can sit up well without support.
* Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.
* Baby is ready and willing to chew.
* Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.
* Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth."

Take a look at the info and follow up with questions.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
In reply to: kellybarnes2010
Wed, 02-17-2010 - 11:48am

Kelly, a baby's iron level is really easy to check with a simple heel stick if the doctor is concerned.

Also, the human race survived for thousands of years before iron fortified cereal was ever invented...........;-)

I usually recommend offering some tiny amounts of solids around 6+ months of age. Certainly you can focus on iron rich foods.


Warmly, Kathy Kuhn

ivillage lactation consultant

and Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, and Makenna

Mandesa, "I'm made in God's image and that makes me a beauty queen"

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte