How can you take care of your baby during diarrhea?
Newborn babies usually have a frequent soft stool, hence it can be very difficult to know whether your baby has diarrhea or not. If your baby passes runny or watery stool more than the normal frequency in a day, it is clear that your baby is suffering from diarrhea.
Sometimes it is associated with vomiting and can be caused due to bacterial infection. It might also be accompanied by fever and sudden aversion to eating. It usually doesn’t last long, but if it doesn’t stop within 24 hours, it is better to contact your doctor.
If your baby is being breastfed, then his stools might be soft and runny. But if your baby is being bottle-fed then his stools might have a little consistency and wouldn’t be runny. Diarrhea in babies doesn’t last long and is quite common. It can be caused due to various reasons:
• Your diet affects the milk produced. So if you are breastfeeding and there is a change in your diet then it might cause diarrhea in your baby too. It’s better to maintain a consistently balanced diet for the betterment of your baby at least till you are breastfeeding.
• If your baby has started on solid or semi-solid food and there is a change in his diet then it might result in diarrhea too. It is advisable to give your baby something that is easy to digest and doesn’t contain any spices or salt and sugar at all. Start with cereals or pureed vegetables and fruits, nothing complicated or it might affect his bowel system. Your baby needs time to grow and his digestive tract is still at a developing stage, so it is better to start with something easy.
• If you are breastfeeding and are on any medications or antibiotics, then it might affect your baby’s bowel movements too. If your baby is on any medications then the results might be the same as well.
• Viruses are the main cause of diarrhea in babies. Viruses like rotavirus or bacteria like salmonella are the common ones, which cause diarrhea. It is rare but your baby might suffer from parasite infection too.
• If the environment of your baby is not clean then it might lead to diarrhea too. Your baby has a habit to put everything including different objects or toys in his mouth and if they are not clean, then germs get transferred to your baby hence infecting him with diarrhea.
Along with diarrhea, your baby might suffer from a high fever, vomiting, and dehydration too. Due to diarrhea, your baby might get dehydrated quickly. Due to excess loss of water and nutrients, your baby might suffer from dehydration and it can be quite dangerous. He might vomit continuously too and have a high fever. It is better to contact your pediatrician in this case.
You may call your doctor if you see the following signs:
• Is continuously vomiting
• Has signs of dehydration and has a high temperature
• Blood in his stool
• Hasn’t urinated for a long period
• If he is under 3 months old and diarrhea hasn’t passed over 24 hours
• Dry mouth
Take care of your baby
• Your baby might get dehydrated very soon due to the release of her body fluids, hence it is very important to keep her hydrated. Don’t give your baby any kind of juice. Breast milk or formula is the best option.
• If your baby is being breastfed, it is better to continue nursing her with breast milk. But if your baby is being bottle-fed, then it is suggested to continue with it, your doctor might suggest some other fluids consisting of electrolytes.
• If your baby was on solid food then continue with it too but go easy and give food such as cereals for a while.
• Make sure you change your baby’s diaper frequently, as there might be high chances that your baby might get diaper rash due to diarrhea. You can use moisturizers too. And keep your baby’s bottom area dry.
• You can give them Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) after consulting your doctor. Usually, 2-3 ounces are given but continue giving breast milk or formula milk.
• Apart from maintaining your baby’s diet. You need to look after yourself as well. If you are breastfeeding then it is very necessary that you eat a balanced diet.
• Ensure that the surroundings of your baby are properly sanitized and his feeding bottles are properly sterilized. Wash your hands regularly. Keep a watch on him, so that he doesn’t put anything dirty in his mouth.
• Call your doctor and ask for advice, if you are confused.
Be patient and don’t enter a panic mode. Your baby might be facing mild diarrhea and it is important for you to stay calm. Relax and follow the instructions and just focus on taking care of your baby.