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Does My Son Really Need the Routine 9-12 Month Blood Draw?

The little guy is 9 months now... perfectly healthy thus far. He still takes formula of course, but is also now eating table foods with us at dinnertime. So far so good, he's loving his chicken, yogurt, salmon, beans, fruits & veggies, etc.... (We all eat a pretty clean diet). At the 9 month check up the ped advised us to have his blood drawn to check for anemia. I'll do it by all means, if necessary. Just wondering if anyone's opted to skip this or has never been asked to do this? No biggie, just curious.

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I just took my 9 mo. old twins to the doctor's yesterday for shots and he never even mentioned a need to draw blood.


It was just a finger poke for my daughter & at the age they did it the nerve endings aren't even developed yet so she didn't even feel anything.

I have 3 little boys and have never been asked to have blood drawn for anything. Does the Dr. suspect he may be anemic?? If not then why do it?

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Hi A.:

I just went through this twice at 9 months and 12 months. At our doctor's office, it is just a finger prick and you get the results within minutes. I was told the reason that they are concerned about iron deficiency is because it can cause developmental problems. My son had slight iron deficinecy because he was exclusivley breastfed, but being that you are giving your son formula, which contains iron, I don't imagine this is a problem. (Apparently, babies are born with iron reserves which deplete over time.)

I would have it done. It's just a prick. It's EASY and will give you peace of mind.

All the best,

I've never even heard of this, but we also go to a doctor's office that is anti-vax, so they probably wouldn't do this unless they felt it was necessary. Talk to your doctor about why it should be done. If he/she is legitimately concerned, then you can take that into account. If he/she wants to do it just because it's a routine thing, then I'd skip it. If you do go ahead with it, get a prescription of EMLA cream - it numbs the area so the needle prick doesn't hurt so bad. You've gotta put it on the area an hour ahead of time though - so must know where they plan to take blood.

With my first, our doctor never even brought it up.

With the second, our ped. is pretty by-the-book, and yes, we did do it. It's just a heel prick, as I recall, no big deal. But if you don't want to do it, just refuse it.

Formula actually isn't that great a source of iron, it would be different if he were nursing. But since he's eating chicken and beans and stuff... it should be okay.

But honestly, it's not that traumatic, just a prick on the heel.

It's not just for iron levels, it's to check lead levels too. So yes, it's necessary.

My daughter is a year old and I have never heard of this, our doctor never even mentioned it. Are they concerned for a reason I'd ask the doctor for more info as to why he wants to do this blood draw.

Hi A.!

I read some of the responses, but not all. My son is 2 and had the blood draw done at his 1 and 2 year visits. I'm SO glad we did! He was fine at his 1 year, but just last month at his 2 year we found out that he was anemic. He had no other symptoms.

I know as Moms we do everything we can to avoid putting our kids through unnecessary pain, but in this case, I would say that it's worth it. I know your little one is on formula so anemia may not be a concern, but in our case, the doctor does a Complete Blood Count (CBC- and yes, it's a full vein blood draw. Not fun.)so they are checking for other things as well (lead, leukemia, etc.). Ask your Dr. before hand what type of tests they will be running. If it's a CBC I'd say it's worth it!

Have fun with that little one, they grow up on you SO fast! :)

I did it for all three of my kids, one child did need a boost is iron in their diet even though all had the same diet. The hemogloblin which is the primary thing that they are looking for carries the oxygen on the red blood cells. The abiliy to carry oxygen at this point helps your childs brain and nerves develop so they can accomplish all the learning they do between 0-5 which is more than they will accomplish the rest of their life. You can skip it and look for milestones, get educational assessments later, but once they are having problems the deficiency is already there and hard to recover from. Lead is also tested for, even if you yourself live in a new home. The public announcements happen all the time and this toy or that set of cups got through with too much lead from another country. I'd do it again.

well my little one is now 17 months old she never had blood drawn to check for anemia but she did get her finger poked one time to check for led. i wouldnt think its a big deal if u dont think its something u want done just tell them no you dont have to have it done. good luck hope all goes well

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