Feeding and changing – these are perhaps the two primary concerns of most new parents. After all, babies are always hungry and soiling themselves. Thankfully, these are also signs of a healthily growing bub. What is not a sign of good health though, is yellow watery diarrhea in babies.
A common concern for most parents, yellow watery diarrhea can be a sign of infection and allergies. The baby may also need to be taken to the doctor, in case of it doesn’t stop. But worry not, there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening.
Here’s a helpful guide to take you through signs and treatment of diarrhea in babies.
Yellow Watery Diarrhea In Babies: What Is It And Why Does It Happen?
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A baby’s stool is usually a lot softer than a child or an adult. In fact, breastfed babies tend to have softer and more runny stools than formula-fed babies.
But sometimes, the stool may seem watery or much looser than usual, along with an increased frequency of motions and quantity of stool. This is a sign of yellow watery diarrhea in babies.
Some of the other common signs of yellow watery diarrhea in babies include:
Sluggishness, fussiness, irritability, or frequent crying bouts
Less urine output, no tears when crying
Dry skin that feels less elastic
Sunken impression on top of the head
You may also notice vomiting, high fever, blood and/or discolouration in the stool, and tummy pain in children under six months. The treatments to any of these issues depend on the extend to which your baby experiences diarrhea.
While the yellow watery diarrhea in babies is common, diarrhea can occur in various forms:
Mild diarrhea. When your baby poops between 3 and 5 times a day
Moderate diarrhea. When there are about 6 to 9 motions passed throughout the day
Severe diarrhea. When your baby passes more than 10 stools in a day
But why does this happen? Let’s find out.
Causes of Yellow Watery Diarrhea In Babies
Several conditions may trigger diarrhea in babies. The most common among them include:
Infections: Bacteria, viruses, or parasites can cause loose motions in babies. These may be picked up when your baby touches unclean objects or comes in contact with germs and puts his/her hands in his/her mouth.
Allergy: Babies can also have an allergic reaction to certain foods or medicines. Your baby may even be lactose intolerant.
Poisoning: Babies may sometimes be poisoned by chemicals, artificial colours, or strong treatments.
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Duration of Yellow Watery Diarrhea In Babies
Babies react and recover at different paces. Most children experience severe diarrhea for about one or two days and then start to settle. Loose motions may continue for about a week after that.
If your baby has a bout of viral diarrhea, it may take between four days and a fortnight to recover.
Treatment of Diarrhea in Babies
In most cases, children begin to poop normally without any treatment. Doctors generally avoid medicating unless it is absolutely necessary. However, in some cases, your doctor may advise:
Antibiotics for viral and bacterial infections
An IV drip for babies who have severe diarrhea and are very dehydrated
Oral rehydration for most children with diarrhea
Feeding bland, semi-soft food to children who eat solids
Dietary changes for mothers who are nursing to prevent any further triggers
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Your Handy Guide to Diarrhea in Babies
The causes, symptoms, and treatments should help give you a clear picture of how to care for a baby with diarrhea. However, here are some additional tips to help you manage it better at home:
Use fluids instead of water. While water is great to help your child rehydrate, fluids will help replenish lost electrolytes. Increase frequency of breastfeeds if possible, even if it means dealing with more soiled diapers.
Avoid juices. While fluids are really beneficial for the baby, juices are loaded with sugar that may aggravate the condition.
Change diapers. Your baby is at greater risk of diaper rash at this time. Change diapers frequently and use a barrier cream or petroleum jelly between each diaper change. Pat your baby’s bottom dry before changing her each time.
Soothe the baby. Wiping the baby often can result in irritated skin. Yellow watery diarrhea in babies tends to be acidic, irritating the skin further. Therefore, allow circulation of air and leave your baby diaper-free between changes.
Sterilise. It is always ideal to breastfeed your baby at this time. For bottle-fed children, ensure all bottles are sterilised for at least 10 minutes before use.
Maintain hygiene. Everything is a risk for your baby at this time. Ensure that you wipe your baby’s hands frequently. Wash your own hands each time you come to hold, feed, or change your baby.
This type of ailment is not dangerous and can be managed well at home, with just a fee precautions. So don’t worry too much about it, and ensure you maintain a hygienic and clean environment at home. Consult your doctor nevertheless and keep a close watch on your little one.