Diarrhea in a baby is fairly common. So it is not something to worry about immediately. Your baby has diarrhea if he or she has thin to water-thin stools several times a day. Usually within a day or 2 again, but it is still good to keep an eye on. Diarrhea in a baby can cause dehydration. Read more about diarrhea in babies and what you can do to help your baby.
Thin stools baby
Your baby has diarrhea if he or she has more stool in a day than normal and the stools are thinner or watery. In diarrhea your baby can have 10 diapers with loose stools in a day. The color of the stool can be brown, but it is also possible that your baby has diarrhea that looks yellow. This is a bit dependent on the food your child has had.
Sometimes your baby may have loose stools. If you notice loose stools in your baby, it does not always mean that your baby suffers from diarrhea. If it stays loose a few times and your baby drinks well and is alert, then there is probably nothing to worry about.
What is the cause of diarrhea in a baby?
In most cases, diarrhea in babies is caused by food. For example, the nutrition you give to your baby is too much or too little or the composition is not good. Diarrhea in a baby is most common in babies who are bottle-fed. But it is also possible that the mother has eaten a lot of laxative foods such as leeks, pulses, cabbage varieties, sharp herbs or a lot of coffee and the baby has diarrhea. Other causes are:
- Tainted food or bad hygiene
- Infection with your baby from the gastrointestinal tract
- Infection of the airways or urinary tract
- Diarrhea can also be a result of a middle ear infection
- Common cold
- Food allergy (think of lactose intolerance, discuss with your doctor if this is possible)
- Diarrhea is a side effect of medication
Baby diarrhea teething
It is often thought that diarrhea in a baby is caused by passing teeth, but according to the British professor Ronald Illingworth this is not true. The teething itself can not be the cause of diarrhea.
Why this is often thought can be explained. At the moment that babies get teeth, a lot changes in their young lives. They often eat solid food (which in itself can be a cause of diarrhea), the sleep pattern changes and they may already have noticed that by crying they get more attention.
And besides: at the moment the teething comes through, the antibodies that babies get from their mothers are worked out after birth. Their own immune system is not yet sufficiently developed and because of this the babies are prone to infections that can cause diarrhea.
In short: diarrhea can indeed occur more often when the teeth come through, but that is due to a combination of circumstances. The teeth are not the cause. Read more about passing teeth and diarrhea in this article.
Consequences of diarrhea in babies
If the diarrhea lasts for a day it can not be that bad. Always make sure that your baby drinks enough. If the diarrhea lasts longer than 1 day, there is a chance that your baby may dry out. Because of the diarrhea your baby will lose a lot of fluid. If you notice dehydration symptoms, it is best to go to the doctor or the clinic directly.
Also go to the doctor if your baby has a fever, the diarrhea lasts longer than a day, there is blood in the stool, your baby is not drinking properly or if you are very worried.
You recognize dehydration symptoms:
- Little plaster veils
- Little face seems thin and sunken
- Deep-set eyes
- Dry and sticky mouth
If your baby has diarrhea, it is important that he or she continues to drink enough. Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding: keep feeding your baby. Perhaps smaller bits spread throughout the day is better. You then place your baby more often, but shorter, or you give a smaller amount of bottle-feeding with pauses of 2 to 3 hours.
You do not need to dilute the bottle formula extra. For bottle-feeding, make sure that you pay attention to hygiene and that the ratio of food and water is completely correct.
Breastfeeding ladies pay attention to the following points: drink enough water (at least 1.5 liters per day) and avoid food that can be laxative. When the baby gets supplementary food you can just continue with this.
Use rice water for diarrhea in a baby
Some claim that rice water is very good against diarrhea in babies. I have not been able to find this clearly, at least: not when diarrhea occurs in babies.
In toddlers it might help, although I wonder if it really is a panacea.
What I have found is that you can prevent dehydration in your baby by giving ORS. This is a bag with a mixture of salts and grape sugar. You can dissolve the bag in water and are available at the pharmacy and chemist.
But. Before you do this, it is important that you first consult with the doctor of the clinic. Please do not go ahead yourself, because at ORS it is very important that the proportion of powder and water is exactly right. In addition, this drug is only used if the chance of dehydration is very high. So check with a doctor first!
Diarrhea bucket baby
It is strongly advised not to treat diarrhea in a baby with a diarrhea inhibitor. These agents are far too strong for those vulnerable intestines and can have unpleasant side effects.
Do not start here, even if you come across a drug at the drugstore.
Before you give anything of a medicine, herbal remedy and the like to your little one, it is wise to consult this first with a doctor. Especially when your baby is still very young. Even herbal remedies can be bad.