Probably a stupid question re iron for babies...

OK, so at Toby's 8 week check the GP prescribed vitamins for him to start taking from six months. I'm guessing this happens everywhere - his ones are Abidec multivitamin drops for babies and children.

I was under the impression that one of the things that babies need to be given from 6 months is iron, because they are born with 6 months worth and need to be given iron when that runs out until they start eating meat (or other iron rich food).

Toby is now just over 6 months and so I have been giving him the recommended dose of these vitamin drops. They smell and taste foul - he hates it and I feel bad giving him something I wouldn't take myself but obviously want to make sure he gets everything he needs. However I have just checked the box and as far as I can tell there is no iron supplement in these drops - just various vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, another B called nicotinamide, C and D).

Am I being really dumb?? Is the iron derived from these vitamins somehow?? Or should I be giving him something else to ensure he gets enough iron - and if so, should I keep going with these ones?

Thanks in advance!
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Edited to add this PS: we have started weaning this week so he is having some solids but as we are just starting he is only having a tiny amount once a day and he doesn't actually ingest much. So I wouldn't rely on solids as a source of iron for a while yet!

[Modified by: charlotteb on 17 July 2010 05:21:18 ]


  • Hi. No I wouldn't say it is the norm, to have vitamin drops prescribed. I don't know anyone that has. Do you BF or FF? The 6+ months formula have iron in them. It shouldn't be an issue waiting until lo is ingesting more food, otherwise all lo's would be given drops. There are fruit and veg high in iron, as well as meats. Just introduce those, and introduce meat when you're happy to. xx
  • Hey C, I wasn't ever given extra vitamins ever and no HV ever mentioned them to me. I have Hugo's 8 month check with the HV on Wednesday though, so am planning to ask and will report back x
  • vits at 6m are for vit D primarily. Iron store do depleat at 6m, so its now time to give iron rich foods - red meat, pulses, spinach and leafy green veg, dried apricots...

    Em x
  • I was advised by hv to give vitamins at 6 months for vitamin D. She didn't mention iron at all. I've got the same vits as you and I just assumed they had iron in, i'll have to check with her if I should be giving iron as well.
  • Thank you so much for your replies girls!!

    Mithical - sorry I should I have mentioned Toby is EBF (save for the weaning attempts, lol!)

    Have since been doing some research and you are all absolutely right, there is no need to give iron supplements - and in fact I read that if your baby is BF or FF with iron fortified formula (which I think all formulas are for 6 months plus) then it can actually be detrimental to give iron supplements as you saturate LO's system with iron and they end up absorbing less than they would have otherwise! Even vegetarian babies apparently don't need iron supplements.

    So am feeling much better now, thank you so much - will concentrate on weaning and introducing some red meat - yum!

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