Diarrhoea in Babies: Symptoms, Causes, and Fast Solutions
Worried about diarrhoea in babies? Diarrhoea means watery, loose stools that are sometimes pasty and have a different colour than usual. Diarrhoea in babies is a terrifying experience for both the baby and the parents. Loose stools are nature’s way of throwing viruses and bacteria out of a person’s body. Though it sounds simple, it should not be taken very lightly.
Symptoms of Diarrhoea in Babies:
The symptoms of diarrhoea in babies can vary from child to child. As mentioned above, the baby suffers from watery, loose stools that can be pasty and have a different colour than usual. The body loses a lot of water and the baby may suffer from dehydration. Watch out for this particular symptom as babies get dehydrated very quickly after passing watery stools. Below mentioned are some other symptoms other than dehydration:
- Reduced urine output: As the body is already losing water, the urine output may be affected. Keeping a count of wet diapers or checking on the number of times the child goes to empty the bladder is important.
- Baby is irritable or fussy: Loose stools can make your child irritable and fussy. The changes in the digestive system may cause pain in the stomach and the constant loose motions make the child uncomfortable.
- Dry mouth: The salivary glands produce less saliva as there is less amount of water in the body making the mouth dry.
- Unusual drowsiness: Loose motions cause a lot of electrolytes to flush out of the body. This leads to loss of energy and the child feels drowsy or sluggish. The child may sleep more than usual or may complain of tiredness and fatigue.
Some babies may suffer from belly pain, fever, or vomiting. Many times the stools may have a distinct, foul smell.
Causes of Diarrhoea in Babies:
Numerous things may cause watery, loose stools. Sometimes, a change in diet or drinking untreated water may lead to this condition. A change in place or even a change of season can affect digestion. Other causes of diarrhoea in babies may include,
- A viral or bacterial infection: Babies can get affected by viral or bacterial infection through breast milk. Older children’s hands come in contact with new surfaces while they are exploring the world around them. Putting these dirty hands in the mouth can cause germs to enter the stomach. Sometimes, children also eat unclean food and get infected.
- Some food allergies: As these babies are growing, they are introduced to various foods. It may happen that your child has an intolerance for certain food or food groups. Eliminating newly-introduced foods and observing the changes in the stools can lead you to understand if your baby is allergic to certain food items. Letting your doctor know about these dietary changes is also important.
- Sensitivity to certain medicines: If your child has been put on certain medicines recently then you may need to consult your doctor to know if the medicine had anything to do with the loose motions your child is experiencing.
- Having too much fruit juice: Fruit juices have fructose either naturally present or sometimes added artificially. Excess intake of fructose causes loose motions. Check if your child has been taking a lot of fruit juice and whether that has led to watery stools.
Now, the question is how to stop diarrhoea in babies fast. A child’s gut is still developing and an infection can disturb the harmony of the baby’s digestive system. To prevent dehydration, give your baby adequate fluids and control the number of certain types of solids. Restrict physical exertion as this may lead to loss of energy and water through perspiration.
How to Stop Diarrhoea in Babies Fast:
We need to understand what is the exact cause of diarrhoea and taking your child to the doctor is the best thing to do. Here are some of the remedies that can be done until you seek medical advice:
- Give ample fluids and electrolytes: Loss of water leads to sluggishness and dehydration. Replenish these by giving water or ORS, but avoid giving your child fruit juice.
- If your child eats solid foods, give him bland, starchy food: Bananas, apple sauce, buttermilk, or diluted moong daal with soft rice will give some relief to your child’s stomach.
- If the child is breastfeeding, mothers need to adjust their own diet accordingly: Carefully observe and eliminate the foods that cause loose motions in your baby. Do not include such food items while breastfeeding the child.
- Let the child have adequate rest: Loss of energy and water will make your child tired. Give him enough rest to bring down the fatigue. This will also help to reduce his fussiness.
No matter how mild or severe the attack is, make sure that you and your child wash your hands regularly. Do not give your child over-the-counter medicines, unless prescribed by the doctor. Consult a doctor immediately and follow proper medical advice apart from the suggestions above. You can get more information on EuroKids about healthy foods for your baby and other important tips to understand your baby’s digestive system.