Baby poop is gross. It's sticky, it smells, it gets stuck in every crevice "down there." But even nastier than baby poop, is baby diarrhea. What's the difference? Read on!
What is Diarrhea?
All baby poop is different. Some babies poop more often and have looser stools than others. And super loose, watery poops aren't always diarrhea since some breastfed babies can have "normal" poops that fit that description. So how can you tell if your kid has diarrhea? The big sign is usually a sudden change in his poop patterns. If you have a poop-every-other-day kid and he suddenly poops 15 times in an afternoon, chances are he has the runs.
What Causes Diarrhea?
There are lots of reasons your kid could develop diarrhea, such as: a bacteria, a virus, drinking too much juice or sugary drinks, taking antibiotics, parasites (rarely!), an ear infection, food allergies, food intolerances or poisoning.
How Do I Treat Diarrhea?
It's hard to stand by and watch your little guy poop out half his body weight, but there isn't a ton you can do. Here are a few tips that should make your baby (and YOU) feel a bit better:
- Offer your kid lots of liquid like breast milk, water or a pediatric electrolyte solution. Don't give him sugary drinks, since sugar draws liquid into the intestine and will cause more diarrhea.
- If your baby is eating solids, offer him the BRAT dietâbananas, rice, applesauce and dry toast. You might also try giving your baby yogurt or acidophilus to replace the good bacteria in his belly. Studies have shown yogurt can help slow diarrhea.
- If his poor little bum is raw from all the pooping, slather on some Aquaphor or diaper cream to soothe it and create a barrier.
Is Diarrhea Dangerous?
As alarming as it is, diarrhea isn't a cause for major alarm in itself. The thing you have to be super careful about is dehydration. You need to make sure you kid gets a ton of liquids while he's pooping his brains out. If you see any of these signs, call the doc right away:
- The soft spot (fontanelle) on baby's head is depressed more than usual.
- His eyes are sunken in.
- His mouth is super dry.
- He hasn't gone pee for more than 4 hours.
- He looks unusually lethargic.
Hang in there! Your kid won't be pooping forever, even though it feels that way sometimes!
We have loads more information about your child's health so check out our child health page