Diarrhea in babies can be a serious concern. If your baby has diarrhea it should be very obvious to you. When changing a baby’s diaper it will normally be looser then a normal persons stool. When a baby’s stool is more frequent, watery and abundant, it is diarrhea. You may also notice a change in color and smell.
Causes of Diarrhea in Babies
Infant diarrhea can have multiple causes. Some require a change in Diet while other should be brought to medical attention immediately.
- Food allergy or sensitivity to medicines can cause diarrhea, try cutting problem foodsfrom your diet or stop taking medication.
- If you have your baby drinking a lot of fruit juice, it is likely the cause of diarrhea. Give your baby more water, breast milk or formula.
- Diarrhea in infants can also be caused by infection. Babies can easily pick up as they are constantly touching things and putting them in their mouths. An infection is a more serious problem and warrants medical attention.
- Your baby may also be suffering from poisoning. Make sure that you use only baby friendly products and keep all of your dangerous chemicals under baby locks.
Symptoms and Signs of Diarrhea in Infants
Besides the obvious signs, there are a few signs and symptoms the point to your baby losing too much water in her stool. It is important to notice these signs as soon as possible as a baby can become dangerously dehydrated in a matter of days. Newborn diarrhea is troublesome, because dehydration is particularly dangerous in infants younger than 6 months. If you see any of these symptoms contact your doctor at once.
- Your baby has no tears while crying.
- Your baby is consistently sleepier.
- Your baby is unusually cranking for an extended period.
- Your baby has a dry mouth.
- Your baby is urinating less frequently.
- Your baby’s skin becomes less elastic.
- Your baby has sunken spot on its head.
These are the basic symptoms of dehydration and definitely should not be ignored. If you see these symptoms and any of these more seriously symptoms it is indicative of a serious problem with your baby: black, white or red stool; fever; vomiting; lethargy; abdominal pain. If your baby has any of these contact your doctor right away for advice, as your baby may need emergency medical attention.
Gas is a less serious problem for your baby’s health but is more of an issue for her comfort. Nobody likes a stinky and fussy baby, and it can be handle a gassy baby. Gassy newborns are particularly common. Symptoms of a gassy baby are: bloating, burping, hard belly, crying, cramps and of course farting. Babies normally pass gas as much as 20 times a day. If your baby has gas then she is going to be unhappy and she is going to make sure you know it. So why do babies get gas?
Causes of Infant Gas
Gas happens when air gets trapped inside the baby’s digestive tract. A baby will get gassy when she swallows air this can happen a few different ways. It can happen when feeding whether it is from the breast or the bottle, it can happen when your baby is sucking on a pacifier, it happen when your baby is crying or the baby could just swallow air when it is sitting around or playing.
Infant Gas Relief
Treating your baby’s gas at home is simple to do, and can only require a few adjustments to your routine. While feeding try to keep your infants head above her stomach so that air mixes with milk or formula less. If bottle feeding keep the bottle pointed up so air goes to the top. You may also want to try a slower flowing bottle nipple so that your baby has more time to swallow the formula.
Make sure that you always burp your baby after feeding. You may even want to stop mid feeding session to burp your baby. To burp your baby hold her firmly on your lap or at your shoulder and gently pat her back. Make sure that you have a bib and/or a shoulder cloth to protect yours and the baby’s clothes from spit up.
There are a few massages that can help get stuck gas out of your baby. Letting your baby lay on her stomach can help let some air out. Be sure to keep a close eye on her if she is not crawling as she may not be able to hold her head up. Laying your baby on her back and moving her legs back and forth can also help. Another method is to just give you baby a warm bath. The heat from the water can help get the gas moving out of your baby.
If you are feeding your baby solid food it might be time to switch to something else. Some foods cause more gas then others, so it is important to find something that taste good and works well.
Gas drops should be a last resort. With all these other methods that work well gas drops are just another expense, and may not work that well if your baby is just swallowing a lot of air. It is also something you may not want to put in your baby’s body if you don’t have to. If nothing else is working for your gassy newborn, they may be worth a try.
Rashes can occur for a number of reasons and be more or less serious. Use this guide to decide whether your baby needs medical attention or just a bit of lotion.
Types of Rashes and Cures
- Cradle Cap:Cradle cap is a rash that forms on a baby’s head and looks like greasy, yellow, scaly or thick patches on your baby’s scalp. To treat cradle cap use baby shampoo when bathing your baby and use a soft bristle brush to gently brush away the infected skin. If Cradle Cap is persistent ask your doctor about treatment options.
- Diaper Rash: Diaper rash forms around a baby’s bottom and looks red and sometimes bumpy or blistery in severe cases. It is can be caused by chafing of diaper, but is usually cause by being in a dirty diaper for too long. To treat and prevent diaper rash, let you baby go diaperless for short periods of times apply diaper rash ointment or lotion every time you change diapers.
- Heat Rash: Heat rash looks like small bumps on your baby’s skin. Heat rash is not much of a health concern, just remove some clothes from your baby and let her sit in a cooler area and the bumps should go away. Try to dress your baby in layers so it is easier to keep your baby at a comfortable temperature. If your baby is too hot she will probably let you know before heat rash occurs.
- Baby Acne: Baby Acne looks a lot like normal acne and will appear on your babies face. It is more common skin condition in younger babies. To treat baby acne wash your baby’s face genitally. Ask your doctor if it does not improve after a month or so, it may be triggered by hormones in your breast milk.
- Baby Eczema: Eczema is patchy, flaky or scaly skin. This baby skin condition can ooze and patch over. If Eczema is all over babies body, see you baby’s doctor at once. Eczema can be triggered by extreme temperatures or caustic chemicals coming into contact with your baby’s skin. To treat bath your baby second or third day to help reduce irritation and apply baby lotion to effected areas. Do not scratch at areas or try to scrub it away. You may even want to put scratching mitten on your baby to keep her from scratching.
- Milia: Milia are small white bumps on a child which they can be born with. If your child has Milia wash her face daily wish water and baby soap, and it should clear up in a few weeks.
- Yeast Infections and Thrush:Yeast infection happen where skin touches skin and look red and bumpy. They are easy to mistake for diaper rash as they often occur around the bottom, but can happen in armpits, fat fold and even the mouth. When a yeast infection happens in the mouth it is known as thrush. Thrush looks like creamy white sores in the baby’s mouth. Thrush is problematic as it can be passed to a breastfeeding mother, causing pain in the breasts. Yeast infections are caused by a breakout of naturally occurring microorganisms. If you suspect a yeast infection seek a medical advice from a doctor as you might need an antifungal to fight the infection.
- Hives: Hives are not actually a rash, but an allergic reaction. They are red splotches that may or may not be raised. If your baby has hives it could be a number of reason including: bug bites, food, medication or product allergies. Hives should go away in a few hours if your baby is removed from the allergen. If your baby starts to swell, or appears to be having trouble breathing contact your doctor immediately.
- Chicken Pox:Chicken pox is uncommon in babies under one year old, but since they cannot get there first vaccination until their first birthday, there is a possibility that your infant catches it. Not to worry, although chicken pox can make life difficult for you and your baby, it is not a serious health concern. Chicken Pox are small red liquid filled blisters all over the body of the baby. To help sooth, put scratching mittens on your baby to prevent scratching, bath your baby in cool water regularly, and add baking soda to the water for extra soothing. After bathing put calamine lotion on sores to help itchiness. Remember that chicken pox is highly contagious, so you should keep you child at home to prevent spreading the infection.
- Jaundice: Jaundice can happen in newborn babies. The baby’s skin appears yellow because its liver has not yet begun to perform its proper function. It can last for about a week or longer in premature babies.
If none of these symptoms describe your baby’s skin then it may be worth taking a visit to your doctor, particularly if the rash covers a large part of the baby’s body. Rash and skin conditions can be harmless but everyone wants their baby to look happy and health, so it is worth taking the time to cure them.
Constipation can be a serious issue if it last too long, as it can interfere with a baby’s ability to feed. Constipation will also cause a lot of discomfort for you baby. If your baby seems to be in pain during bowel movements, has hard or pellet like stool or is having less frequent bowel movements, then your baby is likely constipated.
Causes of Constipation in Babies
Constipation is usually associated with the weaning process and the switch to solid foods for babies. It is important not to rush these processes as it is hard on the baby’s digestive tract. If you just started using solid foods try cutting back on the amount you give your baby or try a different type of food. For older babies who have been eating solid food for a while, it is good to try to giving your baby more water or fruit juice in a sippy cup. Adding more liquids might be all it takes to soften your baby’s stool, but if constipation continues, there are other foods that help constipation. Try feeding your baby pureed peas or prunes. These foods can go a long way in loosening stool up.
If your baby’s constipation won’t go away it might be time to try a glycerin suppository. Consult your doctor to see if this is that right option for you. Glycerin suppository are not particularly invasive but should only be used occasionally if other measures have failed to work.
Many people are unsure of what colic is in babies. Whether it is just crying more than usual or a medical condition. Colic is essentially extensive crying with no apparent health, sanitary, or hunger based reason to explain it. A baby is colicky if it meets the 3 3’s criteria. If your baby cries for more than 3 hours three days a week for three weeks. Even if your baby does not meet this criteria waking up to a bawling baby of over the baby monitor at 3 am, who does not need a change and is not hungry will get on anybody’s nerves.
Causes of Colic
The symptoms and signs of colic are easy to spot (or hear). A fussy, crying or screaming baby can be considered colicky, but there can be many underlying causes which are a bit harder to notice. If you cannot find out what the problem is, it is hard to help your baby with it. Somethings that can cause a baby to become fussy or colicky are:
- Stomach aches
- Hormone imbalance
- Over stimulation (sound, light or smell)
- Smoky environment
- developing nevus system
- acid reflux
- muscle spasms related to growing
- eye irritation
It may be a good idea to consult your doctor about the cause of your baby’s fussiness if she meets the 3 3’s rule. It may be caused by one of these more severe conditions.
- Pressure or inflammation around the brain
- irregular heartbeat
- Broken bones, muscle Injury or finger injury
While all of these causes are possible, it may be that none of them are the cause of your baby’s colic. Your baby might just have a fussy mood. Luckily while each of these problem have their own specific cures, there are some general remedies you can perform to sooth your baby.
To cure colic a baby will need to be distracted or calmed. If there truly is an underlying problem then, these methods probably will not last very long, but may help to sooth your baby. Some methods can be used together for added effect.
- Swaddle your baby and rock genitally.
- Nursing can help sooth a baby if they are willing to feed.
- Holding or keeping in a frontal baby carrier or sling can help calm your baby if she wants more attention.
- Put on white noise. This could be a fan, static on a TV, a vacuum cleaner or an app on your phone.
- Give you baby a gentle massage, sometimes more contact is all your baby needs.
- Try using a pacifier
- Infant swings can help calm your baby.
- Try taking your baby for a drive.
- Give your baby a warm bath.
- put a hot water bottle or warm towel on your babies tummy
If you are interested in medications which might help with colic it is best to consult your baby’s doctor before giving anything to an infant. Colic may not be life threatening, but it definitely will make your life difficult. Try to find a remedy that takes effect as quickly as possible.