We struggled with iron with my son. I learned a lot. Did they do a lead test too? That can deplete iron so needs checked if it wasn't done.
What finally helped my son (no other supplements helped him...we tried for nearly two years with various ones) was ferrochel/ferrous bis-glycinate. It raised it (finally) and fast. I did use vitamin C with the iron. I used a kirkman labs form
so I could get smaller doses in frequently to aid absorption but Gentle Iron by Solgar might be available easier for you and could be opened and sprinkled. I put pear sauce, iron from capsule, pear sauce on top for my son until he could swallow the capsules. I do think there is some liquid ferrous bisglycinate though I can't remember the name--maybe it's Natrol.
I learned a lot about what foods weren't helping us and were actually hurting. I'll share it with you because I was shocked. I knew about dairy and soy but problem foods also include eggs (yolk and whites), leafy greens, nuts/seeds, and fruits like prunes, grapes and raisins.
Information/links on the various foods you might run into that can inhibit iron absorption copied from a post I recently made:
Soy (and other beans) it is phytic acid. They (beans) are poor sources for that reason. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...t=AbstractPlus
Not sure if perhaps you can reduce the impact on other iron in the same meal if you give vitamin C. Perhaps; it works for grain phytates reduction on iron. More about that in next link. Oxalates is another issues with beans. More about that in third link. You will run into similar issues with most nuts and seeds I believe. I've not researched this a lot because my son couldn't have the nuts/seeds anyway. You maybe could soak them and perhaps reduce the phytic acid.
Oxalic acid is the issue with spinach. Not all green leafy things contain oxalic acid but spinach does. There is conflicting stuff out there with oxalic acid. Vitamin C helps it. (obviously vitamin C is key in increasing iron absorption!) My take on all this is that when you’re trying to increase iron you avoid foods where the iron is bound by stuff like oxalic acid even if you might be able to help with vitamin C. http://dataguru.org/misc/aquarium/FoodOxalicAcid.html
Link with oxalic acid levels of various things and affect on absorption.
the raisin issue is the anti-oxidant factors in dark fruits (red grape, cranberry would likely be the same) block iron. Dark grape juice with iron reduces availability by 67% in one study. Prune juice by 31% (which is why I say prune maybe; any reduction in absorption is bad when you’re trying to raise levels). Light colored fruit juices in the study increased absorption –the vitamin C I’m sure. http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pub..._no_115=136858
Here’s an article on phytates and dairy effect on absorption http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/41/3/433
This study uses oat phytates. Grains reduce iron too but you can help that with the addition of vitamin C so I don’t worry too much about it. So with grain based sources use vitamin C in either food or supplement form.
Eggs both yolk and white are an issue if you serve those. One it is physovitin or something; I can't remember the other substance. Here’s a study that mentions soy too I think. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...b982c5875c081c
and ranks the absorption inhibition in the various foods used.
Basically, I would do vitamin C and an iron supplement and avoid really strong iron inhibiting things (like eggs) as much as possible. Keep other things that block it in general a few hours away from iron if you can. I gave iron either first in the morning or last before bed. Actually, for a while I did it when I got up to use the restroom in the night to keep it away from inhibitors but that was probably over-doing it on my part. The right form will help you more than anything else.
Do make sure there isn't a lead issue.