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As stressful as parents can see, diarrhea is a very common problem in babies and, in general, is mild and brief. A baby has diarrhea if it has more bowel movements than normal, and if the stools are less formed and are more watery. Sometimes, babies with diarrhea have other symptoms, such as fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, cramps and blood and / or mucus in the bowel movement. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, celiac disease or other food allergies, inflammation of the digestive tract or irritable bowel syndrome.
When the diarrhea is not severe enough to take the baby to the doctor, there are home remedies that parents can use to decrease diarrhea and make the child feel better. If the diarrhea persists or becomes more severe, or if it is accompanied by fever, inform your pediatrician immediately: babies can become dehydrated very quickly. Diarrhea can take 2 days to 2 weeks to be treated, but if it is not given immediate attention, it can cause dehydration that is harmful to babies.
Effective home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies
Let your baby drink breast milk.
One of the best home remedies for infant diarrhea is breast milk. Mothers who are already breastfeeding their babies should not stop when the baby has diarrhea, as breast milk combats diarrhea and speeds recovery. Breast milk is rich in antibodies that help keep the baby's immune system robust, thus minimizing the risk of infections that can cause diarrhea. If you are feeding formula and your baby's diarrhea continues for more than two weeks, you may need to make a formula change. You should discuss this with your baby's doctor.
Try the food with starch.
Foods that contain a lot of starch are easier to digest than other foods during diarrhea. If your baby is more than 6 months old, continue with solid foods. Potatoes are a great source of starch and are safe for babies. Boil them (plains) and then crush them. Bananas help restore potassium levels and help the body absorb essential nutrients and energy that is lost mainly during diarrhea. Apple sauce and rice cereal are also good options.
Foods and liquids with higher sugar content, such as juices, cookies, cakes and sodas, can contribute to diarrhea by extracting more fluid in the intestines, which causes excess fluid and sugar to come out the other end quickly.
Prepare an oral rehydration solution for babies over 2 months of age.
An oral rehydration solution (ORS) is a mixture of water, salts and sugar in specific amounts. These solutions can be absorbed even when your child has a large amount of diarrhea or is vomiting. Oral rehydration solutions can be used to keep children well hydrated when they have a significant amount of diarrhea. Oral rehydration solutions are also available in pharmacies in ready-to-serve preparations. The best thing is to buy an SRO that has already been mixed.
Frequent hand washing is your best defense, since the microorganisms that cause diarrhea are easily transmitted from hand to mouth. Handling a dirty diaper, for example, can transfer these microorganisms to your hands before cleaning your baby's mouth. Be sure to boil bottles and equipment for breast milk or formula, and discard breast milk or formula left in the bottle after each feeding. Your baby may also get an infection caused by diarrhea if he puts his fingers in his mouth after touching toys or other objects contaminated with the feces of an infected child. Also, be sure to follow safe food preparation and cooking practices.