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Healthy, active but underweight baby. Prescribed with Iron, Vitamin supplements. Is there any alternative to these supplements?

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Practicing since : 1997
Answered : 379 Questions
Hi Doctor,

My son XXXXXXX is 10 months old and he is underweight.
He was 2.8 Kg when born. Now he weighs 6.5 Kg.
We consulted a doctor and he prescribed Iron and Vitamin supplements.

I see that he is really healthy and active. And I personally do not want to feed him supplements. We feed him Dal meat fish egg etc. And I feel that it's enough for him to get the required vitamins and minerals. Do you think he is abnormal and needs the iron and vitamin supplements?

2) The doctor also said that we should test his blood to check the level of vitamin-D, and if it's low, we should give him vitamin-D supplements. I again feel that he is healthy and this need not be done. Please advise ?
Posted Wed, 18 Jul 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 1 hour later
Its good to know that you give near adult normal diet to baby and baby too accepts is well and appears healthy and active.

I have few concerns: his weight appears very low , i feel may be there was some mistake in checking the weight. With a birth weight of 2.8 kg, i am sure the weight 6.5 kg is lower than normal and hence the child may need a close watch on diet and growth.
I do not think he is abnormal but his weight is lagging behind for the age. (I would take his height/length as 68 cm for that matter. if length/height 62 cm he isnt malnourished, if length/height 69 cm he is severely malnourished)

SO even though child is eating healthy and good, its likely that child is active enough to utilize all the energy and thus lagging in weight gain.
There are no clear recommendations for routine use of supplements like iron, vitamins, mineral calcium, vitamin D for all the babies. Often its not required for well growing babies. Considering the fact that Advaith's weight is slight lower, i would suggest to continue the supplements in routine maintenance dose for short phase.
All these including, vitamin D can be started even without blood tests. But if blood tests are normal for say iron, calcium, D etc then these supplements are definitely not needed despite low weight.

I hope this addresses your concern. Do get back to me if any further query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Healthy, active but underweight baby. Prescribed with Iron, Vitamin supplements. Is there any alternative to these supplements? 1 hour later
Hi Doctor,

Thank you very much for the reply.
Advaith's weight is 66.5 cms. And the weight is between 6.5 and 6.7 kg (because he would not sit/sleep on the weighing machine, hence the measure is not accurate). Does this mean he is malnurished ?

Also, I do not want the blood test to be done unless it's absolutely necessary. He is so tender and don't want to harm him :)
Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 7 hours later
Sorry for delayed reply. For 66 cm length, 6.5 to 6.7 kg falls in early malnutrition. Hence I would recommend 6-8 feeds in a day of your day to day diet along with the supplements . you may understand some diet basics for infants at click here
Not doing blood test is Ok if you are starting with supplements including D.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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