Normal baby stools are soft and loose. Newborns have frequent stools, sometimes with every feeding. For these reasons, you may have trouble knowing when your baby has diarrhea.
Your baby may have diarrhea if you see changes in his stool, such as:
Diarrhea in babies usually does not last long. Most often, it is caused by a virus and goes away on its own. Your baby could also have diarrhea with:
Infants and young children under age 3 can become dehydrated quickly and get really sick. Dehydration means that your baby does not have enough water or liquids. Watch your baby closely for signs of dehydration, which include:
Make sure your baby gets plenty of liquids so she does not get dehydrated.
If your baby still seems thirsty after or between feedings, talk to doctor about giving your baby Pedialyte or Infalyte. Your doctor may recommend these extra liquids that contain electrolytes.
If your child throws up, give her only a little bit of liquid at a time. Start with as little as 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid every 10 to 15 minutes. Do not give your child solid foods when she is vomiting.
If your baby started taking food before the diarrhea began, start with foods that are easy on the stomach, such as:
Do not give your baby food that makes diarrhea worse, such as:
Your baby might get diaper rash because of the diarrhea. To prevent diaper rash:
Wash your hands well to keep other people in your household from getting sick. Diarrhea can spread easily.
Call your pediatrician if your baby is a newborn (under 3 months old) and has diarrhea.
Also call if your child has signs of being dehydrated, including:
Know the signs that your baby is not getting better, including:
Diarrhea - babies; BRAT diet - infants
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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