When Baby has Diarrhea – Feeding a Baby to Help Stop and Alleviate Baby Diarrhea
Diarrhea in infants can be a very worrisome occurrence as most parents fear dehydration and the worsening of painful diaper rash. When baby has diarrhea, many parents wonder what foods may help “bind” baby up and stop the diarrhea.
What are the possible cause of diarrhea in babies?
Children can have acute and chronic forms of diarrhea. Infection with the rotavirus is the most common cause of acute childhood diarrhea. Rotavirus diarrhea usually resolves itself within 3 to 10 days. Children who are 6 to 32 weeks old can be vaccinated against the rotavirus with a vaccine called Rotateq. Here are a few of the common causes of diarrhea:
- food sensitivities
- functional bowel disorders
If your child has diarrhea, do not hesitate to call the doctor for advice. Diarrhea is especially dangerous in newborns and infants, leading to dehydration in just a day or two. A child can die from dehydration within a few days. The main treatment for diarrhea in children is rehydration to replace lost fluid quickly. NDDCHI
What foods should you feed a baby when he has diarrhea? What foods should you avoid when baby has diarrhea?
Please offer your baby small meals when he has diarrhea. Offering smaller meals will allow baby’s digestive system to work slowly. The tiny intestines and still fragile digestive system will take a bit of time to get back on track and healed. Don’t worry if it takes 3 to 4 days for your baby’s stools to get back to “normal”; healing takes time.
B.R.A.T – When baby has diarrhea, remember B.R.A.T.
Bananas – Rice – Applesauce – Toast
The foods that make up the B.R.A.T diet are those foods that will help cause the bulking and hardening of the stool. These foods include grains, and certain fruits. Below are more foods that will help firm-up and bind baby’s stools when diarrhea occurs.
- Rice and/or Homemade Rice Cereal
- Breads – specifically toasted breads
- White potato
Foods to Avoid with Infant Diarrhea
Avoid any foods that are used to help alleviate constipation and certain fruits as well. Below is a list of foods to avoid when baby has diarrhea:
- dairy products (yogurt is the exception due to its helpful bacteria – consult your baby’s pediatrician about feeding yogurt with diarrhea)
- Fruits that begin with the letter “P” such as peaches, pears, prunes, and plums
- apricots and other “Stone” fruits are typically known to help loosen stools so avoid those fruits as well
- High Fiber foods
Applesauce vs. Diluted Apple Juice
As we mention on our page about Infant Constipation, please keep in mind that Applesauce is actually a binding food. Applesauce is the whole of the fruit. It contains a higher level of pectin – which firms up stools and may thus lead to constipation.
Apple juice contains more of the sugars found in the apple and it also contains more actual liquid; hence apple juice is a good remedy to help relieve constipation.
Learn More about Diarrhea at the National Institutes of Health
Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.
Bring on the BRAT!
Bananas, rice cereals, applesauce and bread are some great foods to offer your baby when he has a bout of diarrhea!
It is important to always consult your baby’s pediatrician when baby has had diarrhea for 2 days(or longer) and his or her skin does not “spring-back” when gently pushed. The inability of the skin to “spring-back” suggests baby may be suffering from dehydration.