Diarrhea or loose motion is a disease where your baby passes stool that is runny and mucus filled. This can happen if your baby is sensitive to certain foods or due to bacterial infection.
Loose motion in babies can get serious if they are dehydrated. Your baby can even be hospitalized in such cases. Let’s talk about some of the causes and symptoms of diarrhea, signs on how to find them, precautions and treatments that you can take to avoid them.
Baby Loose Motion Causes
Diarrhea in babies can be caused mostly due to infections. Some of the causes for loose motion in babies are:
1. Bacterial Infection
Bacteria such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Shigella, Campylobacter and E. coli are responsible for diarrhea in babies. Some of the symptoms caused due to bacterial infections are stomach cramps, fever, blood in stool and severe diarrhea.
2. Viral Infections
Diarrhea can also be caused due to viral infection which can result in vomiting, fever, abdominal pain etc. Some of the viruses that causes diarrhea in babies are rotavirus, calicivirus, adenovirus, astrovirus and influenza.
Parasites can also cause diarrhea in babies and some of the parasite related symptoms bloating, gas, diarrhea and stools that are greasy.
4. Food Related Allergies
If your baby is allergic to certain foods then it can also lead to loose motion. Some of the other symptoms of food allergy are gas, abdominal pain and blood in stool. One of the most common allergic foods for baby is dairy products.
5. Intolerance To Food
Intolerance to food is different from food allergies. While food allergies affect the immune system, reactions due to intolerance of food does not involve immune system. One of the most common is lactose intolerance.
If your baby gets loose motion after giving it antibiotics, it is because the good bacteria will be killed by the medicine along with the bad ones.
7. Drinks With Artificial Sweeteners
Sugary drinks or drinks with artificial sweeteners can also cause diarrhea in babies.
Signs And Symptoms Of Baby Loose Motion
Babies poop a lot. If the baby is breast fed, then the stool will be softer and if they are formula fed, then it will more firm. Some of the baby diarrhea symptoms are:
– Your baby is pooping more than usual
– Your baby stool is runny and filled with mucus
– Your baby had fever and losing weight abnormally
– Your baby is losing appetite
– Your baby shows signs of dehydration such as yellow urine, dry mouth, sunken eyes, etc
Treatment For Baby Loose Motion
While it can take a few days for your baby’s stomach to stabilize due to diarrhea, you can speed up the recovery by proper nutrition and hydration. Here are some home remedies that can help you in your baby’s loose motion.
1. Plenty Of water
Dehydration is a dangerous risk for your baby due to diarrhea and if it is not treated on time, it can even hospitalize your baby. The first step in treating your baby’s diarrhea is to always keep it hydrated. If your baby can drink milk without vomiting then you can continue feeding it. For older babies you can give ORS or electrolyte water. Tender coconut is also rich in electrolytes which you can give to your baby.
2. Avoid Sugary Drinks
Do not give your baby drink that has processed sugars or artificial sweeteners. The sugar from these drinks draws a lot of from your baby’s intestine and could make the diarrhea even worse.
3. Give Nutrition Rich Meals
If you baby is old enough to give solid food then make sure to have a healthy diet for your baby that can help in retaining essential nutrients that will help in fighting off the infection. Foods like cereals, fruits and vegetables can be given to your baby throughout the day.
Lactobacillus is a bacterium which is essential for stabilizing the intestine. Yogurt is rich in lactobacillus that will help in restoring all the good bacteria that was lost during diarrhea.
5. Avoid Giving Untested Medicine
Do not try to become a doctor yourself and give any untested or unknown medicine to your baby. Always consult your doctor before you give any medicine to your baby.
Are Breastfed Babies Less Likely To Get Diarrhea?
Yes, babies who are breastfed are less likely to be affected by loose motion than babies who are bottle fed. Even if they get diarrhea they last shorter since breast milk contain some elements that help in boosting baby’s immunity.
Is It Safe To Give Adult Anti-Diarrhea Medicine To My Baby?
Do not even think of giving adult diarrhea medicine to your baby since it is not safe and they can cause serious health effects.
Can I Give Solid Food To My Baby?
If your baby is old enough to give solid food, you can continue feeding them unless he is vomiting.
When Should I Contact My Doctor?
If your baby is less than 3 months and is affected by diarrhea then contact your doctor immediately. If you baby is over 3 month old and his diarrhea has not improved even after 24 hrs, then you should seek for medical help.
Do you have any tips and medicines for babies who are affected by diarrhea? Share with us in the comment section below.