What causes diarrhea in newborns might be something mothers are concerned about, our bodies are a mystery many times when it comes to our digestive system. We are going to explore this digestive issue in babies, and what you can do for them.
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What Causes Diarrhea in Newborns
The first thing mothers need to be aware of is this is normal, so at least this hopefully will ease your anxiety if you are worrying. There are many possible reasons for this to be happening, we are going to cover what I have found for you here.
- The most common reason in newborns and even many adults is simply dehydration.
- Mild: 3-5 watery stools per day
- Moderate: 6-9 watery stools per day
- Severe: 10 or more watery stools per day
Is Your Newborn Dehydrated
- Dehydration means that the body has lost too much fluid. Mild diarrhea or mild vomiting does not cause this. Neither does a small decrease in fluid intake.
- Dehydration is the most important complication of diarrhea. Dehydration is a reason to contact your doctor right away.
Signs of dehydration:
- If the urine is light straw-colored, your child is not dehydrated.
- Dry tongue and mouth.
- Dry eyes
- Slow blood refill test: Longer than 2 seconds. First, press on the thumbnail and make it pale. Then let go. Count the seconds it takes for the nail to turn pink again. Ask your doctor to teach you how to do this test.
- If your child is alert, happy, and playful, he or she is not dehydrated.
Breast Fed Newborns
- Normal breastfed stools are loose and often runny.
- Stools are yellow, but sometimes can be green.
- The green color is from bile. Runny stools can even be bordered by a water ring. These are all normal stools.
- Breastfed babies often pass more than 6 stools per day. Until 2 months of age, they may pass a stool after each feeding.
- But, if stools suddenly increase in number and looseness, suspect diarrhea. If it lasts for 3 or more stools, the baby has diarrhea.
- If the stools contain mucus, blood or smell bad, this points to diarrhea.
- Other clues to diarrhea are poor eating, acting sick, or a fever.
Baby Formula Newborns
- Formula-fed babies pass 1 to 8 stools per day during the first week. Then it starts to slow down to 1 to 4 per day. This lasts until 2 months of age.
- The stools are yellow in color and thick.
- Suspect diarrhea if the stools suddenly increase in number or looseness. If it lasts for 3 or more stools, the baby has diarrhea.
- If the stools contain mucus, blood, or smell bad, this points to diarrhea.
- Other clues to diarrhea are poor eating, acting sick, or a fever.
- After 2 months of age, most babies pass 1 or 2 stools per day. They can also pass 1 every other day. They no longer appear to have mild diarrhea.
Seattle Children’s Hospital provided the information that you have just read, for more health-related guidance visit their website. This guide is for mothers with newborns and babies up to 12 months of age, I have included a link to their site for your convenience.
What Causes Newborn Constipation
Newborn Diarrhea Problem Solving
Let us do a little more problem-solving for diarrhea in newborns, we already received the medical aspect from the paragraph above. Now let us see what else mothers could consider, this is just some extra information that might be helpful.
- Even though rare, there have been cases where your diet has been contributing to this problem. What did you eat the day before your baby got diarrhea, common foods contain dairy, soy, wheat, and peanuts.
- The introduction to a change in their diet, maybe you went from breastfeeding to formula. What you want to do is gradually go from breast milk to baby formula if this happens, sometimes their digestive system can’t handle sudden changes in their diets.
- A fever and a runny nose or vomiting usually indicate that the diarrhea is the result of some type of underlying bacterial or viral illness.
- In a young newborn aged two months or younger, you should call the pediatrician immediately about any fever.
- You should never give an infant under six months water or juice, babies receive more than enough fluids from breast milk or formula.
- Newborns can experience early teething resulting in diarrhea, even though this is very rare.
With these additional considerations, you have even more to consult your physician about. The more you know the more you can help your baby, This information above was provided by one of my favorite resources, and that is the WikiHow website.
Newborn Diarrhea Treatment
As mothers, you will become anxious to solve this digestive issue your baby is experiencing. We are going to look at some things that you can do, and thank you very much for visiting my website today.
- Breastfeed or offer the bottle more frequently while your child has loose stools to provide extra fluids.
- You should not stop feedings to try to rest your child’s stomach. A baby can become dehydrated very quickly without feedings, especially if the baby is losing fluids through diarrhea.
- Consult your physician
- Do not dilute infant formula or breast milk to give your child extra water.
- You should only give your child additional fluids such as Pedialyte if your doctor recommends it.
- The doctor may order an antibiotic for your child if the diarrhea is due to an illness or infection.
Your best treatment for newborns is to continue feeding them normally as much as they want, you will find most of the time this problem solves itself. If not, you should contact your physician immediately if you expect your newborn might be experiencing a medical problem.
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Newborn Feeding Guide
Since we are addressing digestive issues, I felt it was appropriate to provide you with a few newborn feeding tips. This is specially provided for new mothers, but even more experienced women might find this worth reading.
- Breast milk is the best nutrition for newborns, but if this is not possible formula is your next best option.
- Feeding your new bundle of joy every two to three hours is recommended, some babies might need to be fed more often if they are not able to eat enough at one time.
- The hands to the mouth, sucking on fists and fingers, and lip-smacking are early signs it is time to chow down, crying often comes later if mom doesn’t understand the early signs.
- When your baby stops suckling, closes his or her mouth, or turns away from the bottle are signs they might be satisfied.
- Try burping your baby or waiting a minute before offering your breast or the bottle again.
- Ask your baby’s doctor about vitamin D supplements, often newborns being breastfed are not receiving enough of this vitamin.
- Steady weight gain, contentment between feedings, and by the fifth day after birth, at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day indicates they are getting enough food into their tiny bodies.
- Keeping a feeding routine works best for you and your baby.
By knowing these simple tips you can understand your newborns needs much better, now if “What Causes Diarrhea in Newborns” has been helpful please let me know in my comments.
Online Support Groups
Another good resource is online support groups, so that is what we are going to gain access to next. We can learn so much from one another by sharing our own experiences, if anyone has something to share leave them in my comments section.
- National Parents Helpline
- Blossoming Mothers Online Support Group
- Working Moms Support Group
- Mommies of Miracles
- Postpartum Dads
- The Motherhood Center
Support groups on the internet are valuable resources, I have shared some of the better ones above for you. You can always check for more of them on websites such as Facebook Groups, this is a good place to start your search.
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New Mom Resources
Today we will be focusing on resources for new moms and newborns, both of you can use all the help that I can provide you. When you are new to the world as a baby and a new mother these can be very helpful. Before you go, thank you once again for reading “What Causes Diarrhea in Newborns”, with what you learned from Gizmo today you should be feeling less anxious.
How did you like this article, please let me know if this provided you with some new information that you were not aware of. That is really what motivates me to keep writing, you are what inspires me by sharing in my comments whenever you have the time. If you would be so kind to share this on your social media, I would greatly appreciate your assistance to reach more people.