How can I tell if my baby has diarrhea?
You may say that your baby has diarrhea if your baby poops frequently and their poop is more watery. Diarrhea does not lead to serious problems if treated correctly, and diarrhea will clear of by itself in most of the cases if it is not accompanied with other symptoms. However the major risk that diarrhea poses is dehydration, in other words your baby's body may lose too much water. Dehydration can even be fatal. So you just have to make sure that your baby is getting plenty of fluids; this is important.
What causes diarrhea?
A lot of things can cause diarrhea: An infection with a virus or bacteria, ear infection, teething, parasites, food intolerance, course of antibiotics are only some of these causes. In case of breastfed babies, changes in mother’s diet may trigger diarrhea as well.
Viral infections are accompanied with vomiting, fever and tummy ache. Diarrhea is much more severe in case of infections with bacteria accompanied with fever and blood in stool. As some bacteria may cause major health treat, it is crucial that you take your baby to a doctor so that he can evaluate stool culture of the baby for signs of bacteria-parasite.
Also too much fruit juice containing sorbitol and high levels of fructose may upset your baby's tummy. If this is the reason for diarrhea, just cutting back the amount will solve the problem.
Swallowing some kind of item like medication, chemical or plants may cause poisoning and intense vomiting. Other symptoms may include convulsions, spasms, and fatigue.
Food allergy and lactose intolerances are other causes of diarrhea. If you introduced a new food recently you may consider food allergy. If you notice symptoms like gas, diarrhea within one-two hours after eating milk and dairy products, you may consider lactose intolerance.
One last point to mention: Food poisoning may cause diarrhea.
When should I consult a doctor?
No matter what the cause is, you need to monitor diarrhea. Simple as that…. You need to monitor accompanying symptoms, consider the food that your baby had before symptoms started and you need to inform your baby's doctor.
To make diagnosis and determine the methods of treatment;
- You should immediately call your doctor if your baby is 3 months old or younger.
- You should consult your doctor when no recovery is seen within 24 hours in babies that are older than 3 months old.
- If diarrhea is accompanied with symptoms like vomiting many times, dehydration (baby does not urinate for 6 hours, if mouth dryness is seen etc.), blood in stool and high fever, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
What should I feed my baby when he/she has diarrhea?
The most important word here is “liquid.” You should simply ensure that your baby gets plenty of liquid when he/she has diarrhea. Water, fruit juice, milk, breast milk.... If your baby is vomiting, you should give your baby liquid in small amounts and frequently. At least every 10 minutes, feed your baby with one tablespoon of soup. Avoid sweetened fluids when she has diarrhea as sugar will draw water to intestines and make diarrhea worse.
Even though we know that foods like boiled potatoes, banana, porridge and toasted bread are good for diarrhea, today doctors are adding various food items that play a major role in body's combat with infection. Especially yoghurt that contains active cultures will be quite helpful, so may definitely give it a shot. You may feed your baby with foods without preservatives, wholegrain, whole-wheat pasta and carrot. Just remember to avoid oil, butter, heavy sauces and spices.
Do not forget that your baby's doctor would design the best diet for your baby. If your baby refuses to eat, don't worry, do not insist, do not get depressed or lose hope… It won't matter what your baby eats as long as she is not dehydrated. Simple as that… Her appetite should turn back to normal in a couple of days.
How can I keep my baby from getting diarrhea?
An effective way to prevent your baby from catching diarrhea is to frequently disinfect your hands and your baby's hands. Because microorganisms that cause diarrhea are easily passed from hand to mouth. Especially after you change your baby's diaper, you must wash your hands thoroughly before touching yourself, your baby or someone else.
How can I tell if my baby has diarrhea?