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.

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.

Read more:
Baby poop colour guide
Baby poop: Guide to texture, smell and frequency
Teething: How to tell the difference between normal irritation and illness

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