Once an infant has diarrhea, there are measures that can help the child feel better. Most infants are likely to end up with diarrhea at some point in their lives. In most cases, it is not usually serious and can be readily managed at home. On the other hand, if the infant is below 6 months old with persistent diarrhea or there is blood, a doctor should be consulted for proper assessment and treatment.
Always make sure to wash the hands of the infant regularly and urge those who come into contact with the child to do the same which can cut down the risk for the infant to acquire the virus that can cause diarrhea.
Ensure proper hydration
Episodes of diarrhea can eventually lead to dehydration, thus it is vital to ensure a steady supply of breast milk, formula or even Pedialyte. This should be given slowly and eventually stop the diarrhea by calming the upset stomach. Do not provide the infant with juice, soda or sports drink due to the high sugar content that can actually make the diarrhea worse.
You have to provide foods to an infant that can help firm up the feces. In case the baby is able to eat solid foods, you can continue to offer these foods when if he/she has diarrhea. Good options to provide the child with include dry toast, mashed bananas, applesauce and rice. On the other hand, many doctors recommend continuing a normal diet to ensure that the baby is getting enough nutrition while suffering from diarrhea.
The baby can also be given yogurt. The beneficial bacterium that is present in yogurt is known to reduce the duration and severity of diarrhea. Always bear in mind that yogurt has a good consistency for infants who are just starting to eat solid foods and most babies like the taste.
Avoid using anti-diarrheal medications
These products are not designed for infants and can even worsen the condition. A doctor should be consulted so that suitable medications can be prescribed to stop the diarrhea. If this is the case, make sure that you will follow the dosage instructions to achieve the best results.
When to seek care
The infant should be taken to the doctor or nearest emergency department if there is fever of 102 degrees F with the diarrhea. Remember that this indicates an infection or other underlying conditions.
Other symptoms that are linked to diarrhea that require medical care include indications of dehydration that lasts longer than 6 hours, if he/she is currently vomiting or has intense abdominal pain. The symptoms of dehydration in babies include a dry diaper for more than 6 hours and crying without producing any tears.