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Diarrhea in Babies

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Baby Diarrhea Treatments

Doctors usually don't recommend over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medicines for children. However, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for a bacterial infection or an anti-parasitic drug for a parasite infection.

Babies with severe diarrhea who become dehydrated will need to receive intravenous fluids (IV) in a hospital.

Your child's health care provider might recommend that you give your baby an oral rehydration solution (ORS). These solutions, which you can buy at your local supermarket or drug store, contain fluid and electrolytes and can prevent or treat dehydration.

If your child is on solid foods, your child's health care provider might recommend switching to bland, starchy foods like strained bananas, applesauce, and rice cereal until the diarrhea stops. Mothers who are breastfeeding might need to adjust their own diet, removing any foods that could trigger diarrhea in their baby.

Babies with diarrhea who are on solid foods should avoid eating anything that can worsen the diarrhea, including:

  • Greasy foods
  • Foods that are high in fiber
  • Milk products such as milk and cheese
  • Sweets such as cake, cookies, and soda

Diarrhea that's caused by a viral or bacterial infection is very contagious. Wash your hands with warm water and soap every time you change your baby's diaper to prevent the infection from spreading. Keep the diaper-changing area clean and disinfected. Keep your child home from day care until he or she is completely recovered.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on September 29, 2014
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