Baby health

How to treat baby diarrhea

Your baby's poop is wildly unpredictable—so how do you know when it's diarrhea? Here are the signs to watch out for, plus how to treat it.

By Today's Parent
How to treat baby diarrhea

Photo: iStockphoto

What’s “typical” in the world of baby poo varies widely—it’s common for it to be soft, for babies to go eight times a day and for stool to shoot out of the diaper and up the back. So with all these wildly unpredictable variables, how could you possibly know if your baby has diarrhea? Read on.

Signs *More poos than typical *More watery than usual

Causes *Change in diet *Antibiotics *Possible food allergy *Stomach virus

Treatment 1. Give plenty of liquids Keep up breast- or bottle-feeding and supplement with paediatric electrolyte solution if recommended by your doctor.

2. Feed normally If your baby is on solids, carry on with her normal diet, but cut back on fruit and juice, which could worsen diarrhea. Yogurt with live cultures may speed recovery.

3. Watch for dehydration Little ones can lose a lot of fluid quickly. If she’s crying without tears, has fewer wet diapers, her skin seems different or the soft spot on her head is sunken, see your doctor.

A version of this article appeared in our January 2016 issue, titled "You Vs. Poo”, pp. 51-56.

This article was originally published on Feb 19, 2016

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