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Thread: Do I HAVE to start solids for more iron intake?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Post Do I HAVE to start solids for more iron intake?

    The ped. says women have to start solids at 6 mo. because the breastmilk isn't enough. The babies need iron, she says. The La Leche info. seems to support this under the q: When should I start solids a: Human milk is the only food that healthy, full-term babies need for about the first six months of life.
    Do I HAVE to start solids? My baby is 95% in weight so I don't want to overfeed him also I love breastfeeding and the convience. Yet I want to do what is best for him. Help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Do I HAVE to start solids for more iron intake?

    I can't really answer your original question with medical certainty, but personally, I do think there that babes do need something additional after 6 mos., be that mostly for practice, or for a little additional iron due to a reduction of iron stores in breastfeeding women. That's based on my own personal experience though, with my own children, who showed that they personally needed some solids in addition to breastmilk at about 6 mos. of age...actually a week or 2 before 6 mos, and also based on the LLL info and AAP info you talked about.

    I don't think you need to be concerned about your exclusively breastfed baby's weight though. Solids before 12 mos. are generally more for practice, and you still need to be breastfeeding baby before feeding solids until a year anyway. Their main source of nutrition needs to be breastmilk for that first year. In fact, if you fed more solids than breastmilk, there's a risk of malnutrition because most babyfoods don't have the right amount of good fats and nutrition that babies need for proper brain development.

    After babies start to get mobile, they generally thin out a little, and even later in the toddler period, they start to grow up more and it all evens out. Don't worry about overfeeding a breatsfed baby though, unless you have a confirmed medical issue with your child.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Not around here as much :(

    Default Re: Do I HAVE to start solids for more iron intake?

    Before I'd add anything to babies 'diet' before I felt was necesary, I'd have the doc check babies iron levels. Easy, in office test

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Do I HAVE to start solids for more iron intake?

    It's not that breastmilk doesn't have "enough" iron, but that baby's own iron stores are running out by then. Premature babies and babies who have health problems, may need supplemental iron before the 6 month mark.

    To answer your question, you do not have to start solids at 6 months, especially if your baby isn't showing all signs of readiness. However, in this case it's a good idea to talk to your baby's doctor about a simple test to check your baby's iron levels.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Do I HAVE to start solids for more iron intake?

    We started a liquid vitamin at 9 months for iron (he had low iron). Personally at 6 months it's too young to expect solid foods to count for iron intake. Just because you're offering doesn't mean they're actually eating it yet.

    Is your LO showing the readiness signs for solids? Here's a good link to help you.

    We started offering at 6 months but my LO didn't actually eat much until recently at 11 months. Just nurse before you give solids, it won't hurt your BF'ing relationship. Have fun!

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Do I HAVE to start solids for more iron intake?

    Our 1 year old still refuses solids, so, she exclusively gets breast milk. At her one year appt, her iron levels were fine -- no supplement needed.

    She is on the smaller side for weight, but, perfectly healthy (and in the 99th percentile for height). Every baby is different, so, you may want to get your LOs iron checked if you're concerned.

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