Iron is the most important component for the development of 0-3-year-old babies. It helps to transport oxygen to the tissues. The iron deficiency is also caused insufficient oxygen transportation to the tissues. This may affect the brain development.
What Are the Causes of Iron Deficiency?
The first cause is malnutrition. In fact, the first iron source for the babies is their mothers. Your baby receives iron which will be enough for 6 months, during the last 3 months of the pregnancy. The iron supplement will continue for the first sixth months after the birth with the help of the breastfeeding.
The iron deficiency in babies who are being breastfeeding is due to the additional foods. The additional food is the food that is apart from the baby food. Offering additional foods instead of the baby food after the sixth month, where you reduce the breastfeeding, may cause iron deficiency.
What Is the Daily Iron Need?
The amount of the iron to be intaken for 7-12 months old babies is one milligram per kilo. Half of this need may be met with the half liter of follow-on milk and follow-on formula. The other half will be taken from the additional foods but not foods such as biscuit, rice flour.
What Problems Does Iron Deficiency Cause?
Iron helps to transport oxygen to the tissues. If less oxygen will be carried to the tissues, this will prevent the development. This disturbance may cause severe problems if it occurs in babies who are 0-3 years old. There will be perceptual disorder and mental deficiency in babies and children with iron deficiency.
What Are the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency?
Inappetency and fatigue will be observed in babies. Anemia will occur in the following period. Iron deficiency is due to the anemia.
How to Diagnose?
Information should be exchanged about the diet of the baby in routine check-ups. If there is inappetency, fatigue, laziness and if the baby is getting sick too often then you may check the iron levels by asking for a blood count from your doctor.
When Should the Iron Supplement Be Given?
Iron should be provided after the 2nd month in early-born babies and 4th month in regular babies. If the deficiency is due to the diet of the baby then drug treatment should be initiated and it should continue for 3.5 or 6 months at most depending on the weight of the baby.
The iron need of the baby increases after the first 6 months. However, in case, the breastfeeding cannot meet this need then follow-on milk should be provided.