12 answers

Lower Iron Count in 1 Year Old?

Hi Moms,
At my son's 12 month check up two weeks ago my Pedi conducted a hemoglobbin test and my son's iron count was at 9.8. My Pedi requested he come in for another finger prick because they typcially like the iron count to be at an 11. The second exam returned an iron count of 10.1. So it went up, which I thought was a good sign, however, the nurse I spoke with said that I was to completely stop giving my son milk altogether and substitute with iron-fortified juice, green leafy vegetables and red meat for the next week. When I explained my son has previously rejected all juices, she suggested I return to formula. My question is this: is an iron count of 10.1 really low? Something doesn't feel right to me about not giving my son milk, and I was thinking about supplementing with a "Go and Grow" type formula with iron. Does anyone have any recommendations/experience?

** More info: the reason the nurse gave for stopping milk was that it fills toddlers up so that they don't eat enough nutritious foods. In my son's case, he does not have a problem with his appetite. :)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Both of my sons had this at 1. We were not told to quit giving milk, just limit it. My sons have always been HUGE milk drinkers. We also had to give them the poly-vi-sol with iron. Very stinky and yucky, but did the trick. They still have iron issues , so they are on Flinstones complete vitamins, but they didn't start those until 2 years old. I've always had iron problems too, and it isn't diet - I eat plenty and don't drink milk. I wonder if it's hereditary?

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You always have to listen to your mother's instincts! The fact of the matter is that LOTS of kids get a little iron deficient after they get off formula cause most kids aren't huge fans of iron rich foods. I have a friend whose little girl just went thru this exact same thing. I would maybe get a second opinion. I've never heard of taking a kid totally off milk before, though, unless allergic. I'm no doctor, that's for sure, but I do believe that mom's intuition is the strongest sense we have! Don't discount it!
PS- would you please send me a flower? I'm new to mamasource and I've never gotten one and I want to know what it looks like:)

4 moms found this helpful

I don't know what my son's "count" was at 1 year, but he was low iron also and the doctor prescribed a liquid iron supplement. She also recommended putting it in his orange juice because oj helps absorb iron. - FYI

If your son doesn't like the iron foods, maybe you could get the supplement from your ped. I'm sorry, I don't know much about the transition formulas. My doctor gave me the impression they are a waste of money. (We didn't discuss them as a solution to low iron.)

1 mom found this helpful

At my son's 9 mo. check up he was low on iron. They gave me a list of foods rich in iron and prescribed an iron supplement. They didn't mention anything about not giving milk. They suggested feeding him iron rich foods in addition, not instead of. At his follow up visit, his iron was back up to normal, and they stopped the supplement. His numbers were about the same that your son's were. I would question them why they want to stop milk altogether, and try to understand the reason. I don't really know much about it, so I would just ask if it were me. If you still feel uneasy, think about seeing a different doctor.

1 mom found this helpful

Hemoglobin actually isn't a direct measure of iron. You might ask them to test "Ferritin" which is an accurate measure of your son's iron stores. Also, did they check hematocrit - that's also typically used to see if (ron deficient) anemia is a problem, as well as MCV (mean corpuscle value)?

The reason hemoglobin, hematocrit nor MCV aren't necessarily accurate is because your son could actually be far more deficient than that number shows if he's also deficient in vitamin B12 (low iron tends to lower MCV and low B12 can raise it). I had this problem and so did my kids and it took forever to figure this out. I honestly don't know why the docs don't look for this, although it may be because the blood tests for B12 are not accurate - they really need to also look at folate. If that's elevated that means the body is not using the B12 that is there. 30% of the population has a genetic defect that results in having low levels of the enzymes necessary to use the B-12 and folate in the gut. This means that either sublingual, injections or transdermal B12 are necessary for any of it to bioavailable.

This is actually not an uncommon problem as they do make a supplement that has both B12 and iron, although it tastes awful. There's an excellent food based iron supplement (Floradix) that doesn't taste too bad. You can find it at Sprouts or order online from someone like www.iherb.com
There's also lots of good sublingual B vitamins (both tablets that you just dissolve (not chew) or liquids).
I just give that to my kids and have a cup of juice ready (you could try chocolate almond or rice milk).

The real reason they want him off cow's milk (and dairy in general) is that it is a very poor source of iron - and of course, if they consume alot, they certainly won't be filling up on foods high in iron. That's why all the formula's are fortified with iron (and why they tell folks not to give cow's milk as a replacement to formula prior to one year). And, if you read other posts on kids not wanting to drink milk, you can read that neither cow's milk nor dairy are necessary at all in the diet - there are plenty of other calcium based food sources. Almonds, for example, contain both iron and calcium, which is why almond milk might be a good alternative to cow's milk.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm not sure what your Dr decided the low iron count was coming from......but I do know if you decide to try iron supplements you should try to get the little one to drink orange juice with it. Orange juice enhances the absorption of iron making it more available to the body,faster. If it keeps up I would do some research of my own.

1 mom found this helpful

E.,
I am a great grandma.

Back in the dark ages, (LOL) when mine were babies, my doctor wanted babies to stay on formula until 1 1/2 or 2 because it is hard to get all the nutrition they need with their rapid growth from food. And iron is one of the most elusive.

I believe that the introduction of formulas to infants diets post WW II probably has been the major reason behind lower infant mortality.

But---thats just what I think ---for what it's worth!

God bless!
D.

1 mom found this helpful

Just an FYI--my son had a similar issue--we were told by our doctor to lower the milk because the Vitamin D in whole milk sometimes prevents iron absorption--not because of the appetite issue. We had the yucky, smelly medicine for a while and after a few repeat blood tests he was fine. I don't know how low is too low but that doesn't seem bad.

1 mom found this helpful

Both of my sons had this at 1. We were not told to quit giving milk, just limit it. My sons have always been HUGE milk drinkers. We also had to give them the poly-vi-sol with iron. Very stinky and yucky, but did the trick. They still have iron issues , so they are on Flinstones complete vitamins, but they didn't start those until 2 years old. I've always had iron problems too, and it isn't diet - I eat plenty and don't drink milk. I wonder if it's hereditary?

1 mom found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.