Iron Update

Baby Iron Deficiency - One Month Later | reflectivemama.comThis post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after following an affiliate link, Reflective Mama will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

At Baby’s nine month check up, we learned that he was iron deficient. Resisting the urge to freak out, I followed our pediatrician’s orders and gave Baby Fer-in-Sol infant iron supplement drops three times a day.

I fed Baby the drops either right when he woke up or when he was going down to sleep. These were routine diaper changing times, when he was guaranteed to already be on the changing table for easy dropper administration. Some days were a little crazier than others in my attempts to get a very active flipping and kicking crawler to hold still. On the bright side, with this new routine in place Baby took his Vitamin D drops much more regularly, too.

At first Baby turned his head away and would immediately spit the drops back out. Alternatively, I could have mixed the iron drops in with his food, but I decided to go with the dropper so I’d know that the iron actually made it in. Within a few short weeks, Baby learned to open his mouth wide when he saw the dropper and gulp the liquid down.

In addition to the supplements, our pediatrician gave me a list of iron rich foods and lists of foods high in vitamin C to assist with iron absorption and foods that block iron absorption (dairy, grapes, and berries). Sadly, these lists were how I learned that yogurt is an iron blocker. Baby had just started to like his iron fortified cereal after I mixed it with yogurt. I started adding cinnamon instead.

Luckily, Baby made the adjustment easily. He’s been scarfing down Earth’s Best Whole Grain Cereals for breakfast and dinner ever since, enjoying his yogurt, grapes, berries, and cheese only at lunch. Iron rich Multigrain Cheerios have also become a key part of his snack repertoire.

Baby has also been enjoying more and more finger foods. So far he’s liked steamed carrots, sweet potatoes, and russet potatoes, spiral pasta, toast, cheese, and scrambled egg yolks. He’s still resisting softer finger foods, like ripe fruit (I’ve tried avocado, banana, and melon), but if he has even a fraction of this mama’s sweet tooth, he’ll be eating lots of fruit very soon.

The downside? Really icky poop. The first thing my mom (a registered nurse) told me after she heard the iron deficiency news was that iron supplements are constipating. Joy.

I hoped my mom was exaggerating, but I quickly learned that she spoke the truth. Iron does some nasty things to poop. First he was constipated, and when he finally did go it was a massive, stinky mess. Reinforcements were needed.

This led to encouraging Baby to eat some extra fruit purees, praying that they would help. It got better after a couple weeks, probably from Baby’s digestive system adjusting to the new food regimen.

Between the Fer-in-Sol drops, more cereal, and a wider variety of food in general, I was hoping for positive results at his 10-month-old iron checkup. We were rewarded with good news: his numbers were way up, putting him just into the safety zone. The doctor is keeping him on the drops to continue building up his iron stores, but he’s getting them two times a day now instead of three (before his morning nap and before bedtime), until they check his numbers again at his 12-month check up.

I am so grateful that Baby responded well to the iron drops and the changes in his diet, and that I was able to resist the urge to Google. Listening to and following the pediatrician’s orders seems to be all that Baby needed. Maybe I should have considered her tough love approach to baby sleep after all…

When have you embraced your doctor’s recommendations? Have you ever decided to go a different route?


4 thoughts on “Iron Update

  1. [email protected]

    You are dead right on the drops causing really, really icky poop. Thank heavens for the fruit you can add to his diet to help counteract that little drop side effect. Glad he is taking the drops like a champ, mine never did and it was always a struggle to get them to take them :)

    P.S. Happy Birthday to your baby!!
    [email protected] recently posted…Mommy Reality Challenge #12: When Photos FailMy Profile

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