What you need to remember about diarrhoea in babies
Stomach ailments are common among babies as their digestive system is still developing, and any nutritional imbalance or infection can cause issues. Diarrhoea is one such condition wherein the baby’s stool is abnormal and more frequent. The condition might require medical help, if home remedies cannot manage it, because if not treated properly, it can result in a significant loss of mineral salts and water. And your baby can get dehydrated quickly, as a result.
The most common symptoms of baby diarrhoeaare frequent, loose motions (watery), and this illness is often accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting cramps, and dehydration. In extreme cases, if your baby gets dehydrated, he or she might require hospitalisation as well.
What causes diarrhoea in babies?
There are various factors that can trigger diarrhoea in babies. In most cases, the condition can be the result of an illness or infection, due to a virus, bacteria, or parasite. Some of the most common causes are:
- Parasitic infection like Giardia or a viral or bacterial infection
- Celiac disease, which affects the small intestine
Sometimes, it can be because of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which affects the large intestine.
Home remedies for diarrhoea in babies
Before you consult a doctor, here are a few simple home remedies for loose motion in infants, which you can easily follow:
- Rehydration. Since your baby is losing a lot of water, your first line of treatment should be to rehydrate his or her baby. Some of the options for rehydrating are breastfeeding, feeding the baby with boiled and cooled water, and giving oral hydration solution or ORS, depending on the age. You can consult your paediatrician to choose the best option among these.
- Your baby might face a temporary lactose intolerance situation after a diarrhoea attack. So, if you are breastfeeding, continue doing so and also offer other fluids for oral rehydration in between feeds. Similarly, if you feed your baby with infant formula, then you might want to give him a special formula for lactose intolerance. However, once again, consulting a doctor is mandatory.
- If you have already introduced solids into your baby’s diet, then you can feed your baby solid foods along with ORS. Plain foods like bread, plain biscuits, potato, and rice are among the best options. Afterwards, you can slowly add other solid foods back to your baby’s diet.
- Some forms of diarrhoea can be contagious too. So, remember to regularly wash your hands, especially when you change your baby’s nappy.
However, even after trying the aforementioned home remedies for loose motion in infants, if the diarrhoea persists, you should seek medical advice.
Keep an eye out for these symptoms, especially:
- Vomiting after every feeding session, whether you feed food or drink
- Vomit is green in colour
- Dry mouth (sign of dehydration)
- Baby’s poop is like water and he passes stools every hour or two
- Baby’s stool contains blood
- Baby is feeling drowsy or is becoming unresponsive
- Pale grey skin with sunken eyes
- Baby appears dehydrated (not being able to pass urine can be a sign)
- Loss in weight
- Baby is suffering from severe stomach pain
Diarrhoea treatment, when administered at the right time, can save your baby’s life and manage his health. So, while initially, you can try out the home remedies mentioned here, if they don’t seem to work, consult a doctor without delay.