Iron Deficiency in Babies

Are you considering weaning your baby from breast to bottle? Then it’s vital that your baby’s formula is iron fortified.

Studies show that babies who are deficient in iron in the first year of life continue to lag behind their school peers in later years, even when the iron deficiency is corrected. It goes without saying then, just how important iron is to the development of our infants. Iron is a vital component in fueling our bodies, carrying oxygen to the brain and helping our newborns develop to their greatest potential.

Pediatrician Dr. Lillian McClean-Beard explains that “babies who are iron deficient don’t grow as rapidly and develop as well as those who aren’t. During the first year of life so much happens. Most babies triple their birth weight and the brain doubles in size. The first year is absolutely crucial for good growth and development. At no other time in a child’s life does such rapid growth take place.”

Dr. McLean-Beard adds that prevention of iron deficiency is really quite simple. “We can prevent iron deficiency by what we feed our babies. We know that breast milk is best for infants in that first year of life. However, if a mother stops breastfeeding she should only consider iron fortified formula. She should never feed her child whole cow’s milk but only iron fortified formula.”

So while breast milk is still considered best for baby, if for any reason you have to switch to formula, ensure it’s iron fortified.


Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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