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    Diarrhea in Babies

    You can find a lot of different textures, colors, and odors in a baby’s poopy diaper based on what he’s eating (breast milk, formula, or solid foods). The poop is normally much softer than an adult's, and it’s not uncommon for it to be even softer than usual sometimes. But if it suddenly gets much looser or more watery, and happens more often and in large amounts, it may be diarrhea.

    Baby Diarrhea Causes

    A lot of things can cause the problem, including:

    • An infection with a virus, bacteria, or parasite. Babies can pick up these germs through contact with unclean food or water or when they touch germy surfaces and then put their hands into their mouths.
    • A food allergy or sensitivity to medicines
    • Drinking too much fruit juice
    • Poisoning

    Effects of Baby Diarrhea

    Diarrhea makes the body lose too much water and minerals called electrolytes. That leads to dehydration. Babies can get dehydrated very quickly -- within a day or two after diarrhea starts -- and it can be very dangerous, especially in newborns.

    Call your baby's doctor if you notice these signs of dehydration in your infant:

    • Peeing less often (fewer wet diapers)
    • Acting fussy or irritable
    • Dry mouth
    • No tears when he cries
    • Unusual drowsiness or sluggishness
    • Sunken soft spot on the top of the baby's head
    • Skin that isn't as elastic as usual (doesn't spring back when you gently pinch and release it)

    Also, call the doctor if your baby has diarrhea and is less than 6 months old or has these symptoms:

    • Fever of 102 degrees or higher
    • Belly pain
    • Blood or pus in his poop, or poop that’s black, white, or red
    • Sluggishness
    • Vomiting

    Baby Diarrhea Treatments

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on April 05, 2016

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