Feeding and changing – 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 healthy growing bub. However, yellow watery baby diarrhea in babies is not a sign of good health.
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 if 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 the signs and treatment of diarrhoa in babies.
What Is Baby Diarrhea
Baby diarrhea is a condition that causes a baby to have frequent watery stools. Some things, including illnesses and food sensitivities, can cause this diarrhea.
Diarrhea is one of the most common illnesses in babies and young children. Viruses or bacteria usually cause it in contaminated food or drink.
For example, babies who are breastfed are less likely to get diarrhea than those who aren’t breastfed because their mum’s milk protects them against some germs.
Is Baby Diarrhea Common
It’s not uncommon for babies to have loose stool, especially in the first six months of life. This is because their digestive system has yet to develop fully, and it takes them a while to get used to digesting food.
However, if your baby’s diaper is very watery, has mucus or contains blood, you should see your doctor immediately. These symptoms could be signs of a more serious condition like gastroenteritis or a blockage.
Yellow Watery Poop In Babies: Why Does It Happen?
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A baby’s stool is usually much softer than a child’s or an adult’s. 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
- Dry mouth
You may also notice vomiting, high fever, blood and discolouration in the stool, and tummy pain in children under six months. The treatments for any of these issues depend on how much your baby experiences diarrhea.
While yellow watery diarrhea in babies is common, baby diarrhea can occur in various forms:
- Mild diarrhoea. When your baby poops between 3 and 5 times a day
- Moderate diarrhoea. When there are about 6 to 9 motions passed throughout the day
- Severe diarrhoea. When your baby passes more than ten stools in a day
But why does this happen? Let’s find out.
Causes of Yellow Watery Poop 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 their hands in their 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 viral diarrhea, it may take between four days and a fortnight to recover.
Signs of Dehydration in a Baby
Dehydration is one of the most serious health conditions affecting your baby. However, it is fairly easy to recognise if you know what to look for. Here are some signs that your child is dehydrated:
- Dry mouth or lips
- Frequent crying or fussing
- Dark urine
- Sunken eyes
- Not urinating as much as usual
What It Means When Baby Has Diarrhea but Seems Fine
Have you ever been in a situation where your baby has diarrhea but seems fine?
Well, you’re not alone. As a parent, it can be tough to know what’s normal and what isn’t when it comes to your baby’s poop. But there are some important things to keep in mind that will help ensure your baby is healthy.
First: if your baby is vomiting or lethargic or has any unusual symptoms like rash, fever, or difficulty breathing—these are signs that something might be wrong. You should take them to the doctor right away.
Second: if your baby has diarrhea and seems fine, it could still be a sign of an underlying health issue. Baby diarrhea can come from some causes, including viruses or allergies.
It could also be caused by parasites such as giardia or amoeba; this diarrhea usually lasts longer than two weeks and can cause dehydration which is dangerous for babies who haven’t yet reached six months old. It’s best to talk with your doctor if you notice any changes in your child’s bowel movements—especially if they’ve gone on for more than two weeks!
What It Means When Baby Has Diarrhea and Vomiting
Diarrhea and vomiting in your baby can be scary. But there are many reasons babies vomit and have baby diarrhea, so you may be able to figure out what’s causing yours without too much worry.
If your baby has been vomiting or has diarrhea, it could be caused by any one of the following:
- an infection such as rotavirus or gastroenteritis
- a problem with the gut, such as coeliac disease, lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- food allergies or intolerances
- congenital malformation of the intestine (CMIT)
- bowel obstruction
- postoperative complications after surgery
Treatment of Diarrhea in Babies
In most cases, children begin to poop normally without any treatment. Doctors generally avoid medicating unless it is 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
Image source: iStock
What to Do When Baby Has Diarrhea
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 baby diarrhea better at home:
- Use fluids instead of water. While water is great for helping your child rehydrate, fluids will help replenish lost electrolytes. Increase the frequency of breastfeeds if possible, even if it means dealing with more soiled diapers.
- Avoid juices. While fluids benefit 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 for breastfeeding 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 hands when you come to hold, feed, or change your baby.
Baby diarrhea is rarely dangerous and can be managed well at home with just a few precautions. So don’t worry too much about it, and ensure you maintain a hygienic and clean environment at home. Consult your doctor, and keep a close watch on your little one.
Updates by Pheona Ilagan
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