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Infant Diarrhea

As a new mother, you try hard to interpret the meaning of your infant’s cry and other physical gestures. For example, the rubbing of little eyes may communicate a need for sleep. Whether you realize it or not, each diaper change can also provide you with valuable information about your child’s health. Although it may not sound pleasant at first consideration, the contents of your kid’s diaper will quickly let you know if your child is suffering from infant diarrhea or constipation.

Signs of Diarrhea in Your Infant

You may need to especially watch for unusually loose, watery stools or the presence of mucous in your baby’s bowel movements. Any unusually strong odor emanating from your infant’s dirty diaper is likewise a cause for concern. All three of these features can function as symptoms of diarrhea.

During the first four months of an infant’s life, before the introduction of solid foods, the sudden appearance of infant diarrhea requires immediate action. You can’t afford for your child to expend vital electrolytes through a loss of bodily fluids. For that reason alone, keep some type of oral re-hydration solution on hand in case of infant illness.

The use of rehydration solution typically leads to the disappearance of infant diarrhea. You should, however, make a point of noting the nature and frequency of your infant’s bowel movements. If your baby continues to have bowel movements more than once an hour, if they have a white bowel movement, or if they produce a BM with blood in it, you should consult your pediatrician as soon as possible.

What are Some Treatments for Infant Diarrhea?

If you have been breastfeeding, do not discontinue this important source of nourishment for your child. Human breastmilk can speed your infant’s recovery from bouts of diarrhea. However, the rehydration solution can supplement your breastmilk. By feeding your infant the rehydration solution, you can provide your baby essential liquids along with the amazing nutritional benefits already present in your milk.

However, if you’ve been feeding your infant artificial formula and you believe it may be the cause of your child’s sickness, you can consider an organic alternative to breastmilk if you must. Raw untreated goat’s milk is the closest equivalent in nature to human breastmilk and is much easier for your child to digest than dairy milk. Your infant can also be given a bottle full of the rehydration solution as a beverage between regular feedings.

Some cultures encourage use of nebat for treating an infant’s intestinal problems. Nebat is basically crystallized sugar. Some parents like to use it to make a sugary drink that pulls water into the intestines. However, nebat is much less effective than breastmilk or even goat’s milk for managing diarrhea symptoms in an infant.

Possible Causes of Diarrhea

Most parents who’ve dealt with infant diarrhea want to avoid it in the future. Look for ways your infant’s surroundings might be reconfigured. If your baby is drinking from a plastic bottle, is the entire bottle and pacifier sterilized well after each use? Infection from salmonella bacteria can easily lead to diarrhea in a bottle-fed infant.

Little hands and feet often find their ways into little mouths, so you should also bathe your child often with special attention to such wandering parts. Rotavirus is frequently a cause of infant diarrhea and can be transmitted when hands or feet come into contact with an object with the virus on it. If those hands or feet go unwashed, and your baby sucks his or her toes or fingers, the virus can enter their mouth.

Once your infant starts to turn over, diaper changing can sometimes take place on the floor for convenience’s sake. However, extra care must be taken to remove dirty diapers from the floor quickly. Failure to do so simply invites the easy transfer of bacteria from the dirty diaper to the floor and back to your infant’s mouth.

Unfortunately, you cannot see rotavirus and this fact helps explain the frequency with which children all over the world suffer from infant diarrhea.

What’s Wrong with Using Medicine for Diarrhea?

In the late 1990’s, executives at Wyeth Laboratories received approval for a rotavirus vaccine intended as a sure-fire way for parents to avoid infant diarrhea.

As the Wyeth drug began to be used for child patients, parents and doctors noted a significant problem. Some children who had been given the Wyeth vaccine developed a blockage in their intestines. Such a blockage posed much more danger than mere diarrhea because, while diarrhea leads to a loss of fluid, a physical obstruction prevent any waste from exiting the body. For this reason, use of the Wyeth vaccine stopped immediately.

The Safe Alternative – Common Sense Solutions

As always, the best solutions are often the most apparent. Breastfeed your child (if at all possible) to provide him or her with the greatest amount of nutrients and critical antibodies for resisting illness. Keep your child’s eating and play areas clean and free of potentially contaminating objects such as toys a family pet has played with or those belong to other children whom have been sick recently.

Limit your child’s contact with other children or persons for which “hygiene” seems to be an optional or infrequent pastime. Virtually all childhood sickness stems from contact with sick kids (that really shouldn’t be out) at public schools and other social environments.

Dispose of dirty diapers as soon as they’re off your kid — don’t lay them on the floor, table, or other inappropriate areas. You can keep a trashcan or other disposal unit handy and wash your hands thoroughly after changing your kid and especially before preparing meals.

Perhaps most importantly, pay just as much attention to what comes out of your child as to what you put into them. Notice any sudden changes in bowel movements and initiate proactive steps for minimizing illness as soon as symptoms appear. Don’t be troubled about monitoring the contents of dirty diapers. Achieving optimal health, whether for yourself or your infant, involves maintaining all aspects of bodily functioning … not just the non-embarrassing ones.

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