It is only considered that a baby has diarrhea if he poops 3 or more very soft or liquid stools within 12 hours. If this is the case, the treatment mainly involves avoiding dehydration and the baby's malnutrition.
Therefore, it is necessary to give the baby breast milk or the bottle as you would normally and a rehydration serum bought at a pharmacy or a saline solution done at home. To avoid dehydration, the serum should be given in a minimum amount of 100 times the baby's weight in kg. So if the baby has 4 kg he should drink 400 ml of serum throughout the day, in addition to milk.
It is not recommended you give the baby drugs such as antispasmodic drops against the cramps because they prevent active intestinal transit, which in turn makes it difficult to eliminate the viruses or bacteria that may be causing the diarrhea.
How to give the rehydration serum
The amount of saline that should be given to the baby throughout the day varies according to their age:
- 0 to 3 months: 50 to 100 mL should be given for each episode of diarrhea;
- 3 to 6 months: administer 100 to 150 mL for each episode of diarrhea;
- More than 6 months: give 150 to 200 mL for each episode of diarrhea.
Once opened, the rehydration serum should be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and therefore, if it is not completely used after this period of time it should be thrown in the trash.
In cases of diarrhea, parents should watch for signs of dehydration, such as deep eyes or crying without tears, decreased amount of urine, dry skin, irritability or dry lips, going immediately to the pediatrician or hospital if this happens.
Diet for baby's with diarrhea
If the baby has diarrhea, besides giving them the bottle or breast milk, if they already eats other foods, you can be give them:
- Corn or rice porridge;
- Mashed cooked vegetables such as, potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin;
- Baked or cooked apple and pear and banana;
- Cooked chicken;
- Cooked rice.
However, it is normal for the baby to have a lack of appetite, especially in the first 2 days.
Causes for diarrhea in babies
The main cause of diarrhea in baby's are intestinal infections caused by viruses or bacteria, also called gastroenteritis. They can easily catch these infections due to the habit they have of bringing everything to their mouth, such as toys or dummies lying on the floor, for example.
In addition, other causes of diarrhea in the baby may be infestations by worms, collateral reaction to another illness such as influenza or tonsillitis, ingestion of spoiled foods, food intolerance or use of antibiotics, for example.
When to go to the doctor
It is necessary to go to the doctor when the diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, fever above 38.5 ° C or if blood or pus appears in their poop.
In addition, it is also necessary to see the doctor when the bouts of diarrhea do not disappear spontaneously in approximately 5 days.