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What causes iron deficiency in an infant?

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Posted on Fri, 27 Nov 2015
Question: my baby is 10 month old but he weighs only 7.8kg. Today doc said that he has iron deficiency. what tests should be done to confirm this deficiency. n From where I can get these tests done. How can iron deficiency and poor weight gain can be corrected. HE IS EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFED.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Iron deficiency may occur in breast fed babies

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

It is really good to hear that you baby has been exclusively breastfed. However, after 6 month of age weaning is to be done and semi solids are to be introduced. Thus, although still breast feeding may continue, your child no longer remains exclusively breastfed.
Breast milk is low on iron and many children might develop iron deficiency anemia unless iron supplementation is done. There are a number of iron drops available and any one of them including Tonoferon can be given to correct the deficiency. Giving A to Z Drops is also helpful.
The baby's blood may be tested for hemoglobin levels and serum iron levels to confirm the deficiency.
A baby's birth weight is supposed to triple by 10-12 months of age. So, I would not really think your baby to be very underweight. However, increase in the amount of semi solids in feed might be a solution. I would not worry much if the milestones are proper. The baby is expected to be able to sit on its own by 8 months of age and stand by 12 months of age.

Hope that helps.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das (10 hours later)
Thank you so much for the reply . Me n my husband are both tall. neither of us is very slim. Whosoever see our baby says he looks very tiny. These kind of statements annoy me so much. His birth weight was 2.6kg. Now he is 7.8kg. Can we start him on Liv52 to increase his appetite.

Otherwise baby is active, crawls here n there. stand up with help n sits without support.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (15 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Do not worry. Plot the weight on a growth chart

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing back.

To evaluate whether your child is growing adequately, you need to measure his weight periodically and plot it on the WHO Growth chart appropriate for his age and sex. If the increase follows the lines on the chart, there is nothing to worry. It is only if the plotting cuts the lines that there is cause for concern.

Please do not start Liv52. Contrary to popular belief, it is not of any benefit. There is no medicine that increases appetite. It is based on this irrational demand of the parents that such companies thrive.

Since the baby is active and following the milestones, rest assure that there is nothing to worry about.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das (7 hours later)
thank you so much for replying. Just one more query I have..

when is the right time to begin night weaning. MY baby wakes up every two hours for feeds.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (18 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Weaning is to be done at 6 months of age.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks again for writing back. I am shocked to hear this question. Has your child not been weaned yet? Typically weaning is to be done at 6 months of age. Initially the food should be something like a thick liquid. Gradually, the granularity is to be increased by hand-mashing the ingredients. By the end of the first year you can practically shift to more of solid simple food.

If your child has not been weaned yet, that explains the problem you mention. The calorie supply no longer matches the child's requirement and hence the fuss.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Diptanshu Das (2 hours later)
I meant NIGHT weaning, stopping night feeds..day time he eats semi-solids 2-3 times.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
9 month onward

Detailed Answer:
There is no definite time frame for that. However, it can be done from 9 months onwards. So, you can easily do that for your child.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Dr. Diptanshu Das

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Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3868 Questions

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What causes iron deficiency in an infant?

Brief Answer: Iron deficiency may occur in breast fed babies Detailed Answer: Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic. It is really good to hear that you baby has been exclusively breastfed. However, after 6 month of age weaning is to be done and semi solids are to be introduced. Thus, although still breast feeding may continue, your child no longer remains exclusively breastfed. Breast milk is low on iron and many children might develop iron deficiency anemia unless iron supplementation is done. There are a number of iron drops available and any one of them including Tonoferon can be given to correct the deficiency. Giving A to Z Drops is also helpful. The baby's blood may be tested for hemoglobin levels and serum iron levels to confirm the deficiency. A baby's birth weight is supposed to triple by 10-12 months of age. So, I would not really think your baby to be very underweight. However, increase in the amount of semi solids in feed might be a solution. I would not worry much if the milestones are proper. The baby is expected to be able to sit on its own by 8 months of age and stand by 12 months of age. Hope that helps. Regards