It’s standard operating procedure for babies who are born
prematurely to go home from the NICU taking an iron supplement. But, what about
those babies who are born just a few weeks early and weigh between 4.5-5.5
pounds? New research suggests that they benefit from an iron supplement from
six weeks of age until six months of age. With the increase in late preterm
births (babies born between 34-36 6/7 weeks), there are more of these little
newborns around. In fact, about 3-5% of babies fall into this category.
Don’t babies get iron from breast milk or formula? Yes...
And, babies who start solid food from 4-6 months might get a little iron from
their baby cereal. For full-term babies, that’s probably all they need to get
their iron needs met. But smaller babies need a supplement because they are at
greater risk of iron-deficiency anemia than their larger friends.
line: Babies need iron for brain and nervous system development, so it’s wise
for little babies to get a daily dose of iron to help out!