Oh Oh! It’s Baby Diarrhea!
You’ll know if your baby has diarrhea! Loose and frequent stools that come on suddenly are a good indication. If the situation persists for more than a day, your baby probably has a case of diarrhea. Don’t panic, it’s usually not too serious!
What causes baby diarrhea?
Your baby’s diarrhea could be caused by either a bacterial or viral infection.
It may also be a result of some food or medicine that baby ingested that his system didn’t like very much. If you are breastfeeding, it may even be caused by something you ate that passed onto baby in the breast milk.
Some common causes of diarrhea in babies are …
1) Too much fruit juice
It’s not a good idea to give fruit juice to babies under 6 months. It’s a concentrated source of fructose and hard to digest.
2) An allergy, or intolerance to certain foods
The usual suspects are cow’s milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, wheat and fish. Bear in mind if you’re breastfeeding, that these substances can be passed on to baby though your milk.
If you or your baby have been prescribed any medications, this could well be the cause. Antibiotics are a common cause so be careful not to breastfeed if you’re taking these.
4) Ear infections
These are unfortunately quite common in babies and diarrhea is one of the side effects.
You will know if your baby has an ear infection because he will pull and tug on his ear and be more upset than usual. Ear infections in babies can be very painful so seek immediate medical attention.
Many cases of baby diarrhea will go away by themselves. If this doesn’t happen, an infection may be present and baby may need some antibiotic medication from the doctor.
Diarrhea is only dangerous in babies if it goes on for too long and causes dehydration. Dehydration can be deadly for a baby, so make sure he is drinking enough clean water or other fluids.
Preventing baby diarrhea is as simple as sticking to normal rules of hygiene such as washing hands (yours and baby’s) and proper cooking and storing of foods. This will prevent nearly all cases of bacterial diarrhea.
What should I give my baby at this time?
It’s fine to keep feeding him his normal diet. If he refuses food don’t panic unless it goes on for more than a couple of days.
If baby is vomiting up everything, even water, then take him to see a doctor straight away as there is a real danger of dehydration.
Don’t offer fruit juice, sweet fizzy drinks or sports drinks such as Gatorade, or in fact any food or drink high in sugar. If your baby enjoys yogurt, this is a good food to give as it contains lactobacillus, a live culture that helps to heal baby diarrhea.
Make sure you change his diaper frequently too as the acid can burn his skin and lead to a nasty case of diaper rash. Using plenty of barrier cream on his skin will help too. Aim for one that contains no chemicals.
Baby diarrhea isn’t pleasant but it’s usually not dangerous either. However if your baby isn’t getting enough fluids or has other symptoms as well as diarrhea, take him to see a doctor without delay.