Does your baby have a bad tummy? Your first aim should be to prevent her from getting dehydrated, as this can be dangerous.
When caring for your baby, keep looking out for these symptoms that will let you know if she is getting dehydrated.
Is your baby tearing? Take a look at her when she cries. Are tears rolling down her eyes, or are her eyes dry? If there are no tears, you need to take care about ensuring she is holding down enough liquids.
How often has your baby wet her diaper? If she hasn't urinated at least around four times a day, you should give her doctor a call.
Take a look inside her mouth. Are her tongue and gums moist, or are they dry? As long as her mouth is still wet, you don't have to worry too much about rushing her to the hospital. But once your baby shows all three symptoms of dehydration, you should take her for a checkup as soon as possible.
What should I do if my baby has watery stools?
Your first step should be to get your baby's stool tested, to rule out any infection. Once this is ruled out, you need to be careful about keeping her hydrated. If your baby has fever, ensure you keep her fever down by giving her medication like Crocin drops or whatever your doctor has prescribed.
If your baby has been vomiting, you may need to give her Domstal. Check with your doctor before giving her any medication, especially if you are already giving her something for her fever. Your doctor may prescribe Domstal if the vomiting is not under control. Thus you should first try and see if the vomiting doesn't go down by itself after the first 3-4 times she throws up. Try and stem the vomiting yourself by the following means:
- Feed your baby with her head raised. Do not keep her in a horizontal position. If breastfeeding her, keep a pillow under your lap to prop it up, and place her head on this lap, so the front portion of her body is slightly raised.
- Keep her gently propped up for at least ten minutes after a feed. She should be seated in a slanting position, and not completely upright, as seating her upright immediately after her meal will place too much pressure on her already sensitive tummy. A good position would be to place a couple of pillows under her back and head and let her lie on the bed.
How can I prevent dehydration?
Keep giving your baby liquids through the day. For gastroenteritis, doctors advise that you may carry on giving her weaning foods and breastmilk. Stick to your regular schedule, and when your baby passes stools after a meal, replenish her fluids by giving an electrolyte solution for babies like Ricetral. This is easier to digest than breastmilk. Encourage her to sip water or another liquid at regular intervals, and keep breastfeeding her. Some doctors advise juice, but citric acid may irritate your child's stomach. Instead, give her daal water or rice water so she gains strength. Curd is another good option, and will help your baby recover.
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- The Indiaparenting Team