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Newborn Care Topics..

You are here : home > Newborn Care > Bowel and Bladder Movements > Diarrhoea



Bottle fed babies usually have diarrhoea. This could be due to various reasons. Diarrhoea may lead to dehydration so care should be taken. Get all the information you need, only here.

Does my baby have diarrhoea

Frequent stools that are liquidy, smelly, and may contain mucus, often accompanied by fever and/or weight loss mark the onset of diarrhoea. Note that diarrhoea seldom occurs in breastfed babies. 

What are the causes of diarrhoea

Diarrhoea could be caused by illness, teething, sensitivity to a food in the diet, too much fruit juice or other laxative-type food, gastrointestinal infection, or antibiotic medication.

How should diarrhoea be treated

No medication should be given to the baby without first consulting the doctor. In order to replace salts and fluids lost through diarrhoea, ensure that the baby's fluid intake level is high.  Home-made salt and sugar solutions are effective in combating loss of fluids and essential salts. The sooner the baby is fed the better. The old theory of giving the bowels a rest is not accepted any more. Starchy foods such as mashed bananas, white rice, potatoes, pasta or dry white toast are advisable. Small amounts of protein foods like chicken and cottage cheese are also appropriate.

Do not give sweetened drinks like colas because they are diuretic and can in fact make the baby lose more fluids. To prevent irritation of the baby's bottom, soiled nappies should be changed as soon as possible. 

Note that if the diarrhoea is accompanied by vomiting, solid feeding is usually not resumed until vomiting has stopped. Even if the stool returns to normal after two or three days, the doctor may recommend that you resume the baby's regular diet, but limit milk and dairy products for a day or two.  If the diarrhoea lasts for more than two weeks and the baby is having formula milk, the doctor may recommend a change in formula. 

Can diarrhoea be prevented

Yes, to a certain extent.  All people who are in contact with the baby should wash their hands carefully after handling nappies and going to the lavatory. Care should be taken that baby food is prepared in a sanitary manner. Fruit juices should be diluted and their intake should be limited.

What are the possible complications of diarrhoea

The baby could develop nappy rash. A more serious complication is dehydration which, if severe, could lead to coma and even death.

When should I call the doctor

If your baby has had runny, watery stools for 24 hours, it is advisable to consult the doctor. If your baby is vomiting repeatedly; if you suspect that she has eaten spoiled food or formula; if there is blood in her stools or if she is running a fever, seek medical help.

How can I tell if my child is dehydrated

There is cause for concern if the baby shows signs of dehydration, i.e. decreased urine output, nappies not as wet as usual, yellow urine; tearless and sunken eyes, a sunken fontanel dry skin and scant saliva. Even if the baby does not exhibit all these symptoms of dehydration, you should summon the doctor immediately.

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Rajeshwari.3 years ago
Diarrhea is best cured with home-made remedies, like salt and sugar resolution at home and one thing you must continue is the intakes of fluids. You must continue the fluids and before starting any medicine you must consult a doctor.
Meena.7 years ago
my baby had diarrhea all of last week but he is now better with home remedies. We tried a remedy that my mother in law gave us and it worked. Lots of yogurt ready worked well.
Jagruti.9 years ago
my baby had suffered from diarrhoea when he began teething. i was really worried, but it usually happens when the baby begins teething. its important to consult the doctor immediately.
hema.9 years ago
my baby passes stool after every feed and cries during nappy change
nora shaw
nora shaw.9 years ago
just about every bowel movement whether its soft or hard the babies cry .
Seema.9 years ago
it's quite common for children especially younger babies to lift their legs high up in the air, or pull their legs up tight to their chests while soiling their diapers. my children have all done this and even though they aren't at all straining to pass a bowel movement, it's simply a natural comfortable way for baby to go to the bathroom.
Suma.9 years ago
my son has a standard system of bowel movement. after every feed, i burp him & let him sleep. after he wakes up he relieves himself compeltly. and yes, there is the sound accompanied most of the time. i think it is when i have been hungry for a long time & then fed him. the gas is from my breastfeed, i think. but, he doesnot cry everytime. but he growns and makes small noises. this alerts me and i change him immediatley. but, he is so impatient for his next feed, that he starts crying usually half way through his nappy change !
Mary.9 years ago
in regards to this article, my daughter does this, too! what i have found helpful is holding her face out with my arm around her belly...or having her sit hunched over on my lap...these are great ways for babies to relieve themselves.
Mary.9 years ago
my daughter does exactly what this article is about! i was so worried that she had something abnormally wrong with regards to the gravity thing, i hold her face out with my arm around her tummy and that is how she relieves herself. another way i have found helpful is making her sit hunched over on my lap.
al.9 years ago
my baby screams shakes turns bright red clenches his fist and crosses his ankles this happens every time he empties his bowels my doctor doesn't see this has a problem i on the other hand do!
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