Diarrhea is defined as loose and liquefied stools that occur more than three times within a day. For an average adult, having diarrhea may be an embarrassing and difficult experience since you need to have access immediate access to a toilet just in case your diarrhea acts up. If adults suffering from this condition are having a hard time with it, imagine what it would be like for babies to have baby diarrhea.
Diarrhea in babies can be difficult to determine since the baby’s feces already has a smooth and somewhat watery texture to it. New born babies may defecate or poop more than ten times a day. This is because the stomachs of babies are still getting used to tolerating breast milk. As a baby grows older, their bowel movements will get fewer. Causes of baby diarrhea vary from teething to gastrointestinal infections. Baby diarrhea is a common occurrence and is usually very mild and will go away on its own. However, a complication arising from prolonged baby diarrhea such as dehydration is a serious problem and should be noticed immediately. In developing countries, dehydration due to diarrhea is the second cause of death in infants.
Dehydration due to baby diarrhea is a serious problem and should be prevented so that your baby will remain healthy. You should be sure to watch out for these symptoms of dehydration:
- A dehydrated baby due to baby diarrhea will tend to urinate less. If you notice that your baby is not wetting his or her diapers at the normal rate, then the baby may be dehydrated.
- A dehydrated baby will have dry eyes and may cry without tears. When a child is not producing tears when crying, this means that there is not enough water left in the body to produce tears.
- If your baby has baby diarrhea accompanied by high fever, chances are that he or she is also suffering from dehydration.
- The balance of water and salt in the body helps in keeping the body active. If your baby is less active than normal, there is a chance that he or she may be dehydrated especially if he or she has just undergone baby diarrhea.
- Your baby might be dehydrated when he or she easily gets fatigue even after a little activity.
- Sunken abdomen, eyes and cheeks as well as dry skin, mouth and tongue are all indications that your baby is lacking proper hydration.
Some doctors will suggest letting baby diarrhea run its own course especially if the case is just a mild one. However, doctors will recommend that feeding be continued during the duration of the baby diarrhea. This means that there should still be continuous breastfeeding or bottle feeding so that the baby will not become dehydrated. If your baby is already showing symptoms of dehydration then this means that the amount of water being loss due to baby diarrhea is more than the amount of water being replenished by continuous feeding. If this happens, oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte are available in pharmacies and can be mixed with water which will help your baby combat dehydration.