Diarrhea, Parenting

 Is it really Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is quite common among babies who are on teething and who are being introduced to solids. Every time when Vrisha’s potty colour changed, it was a concern for me – from yellow to Green to red, mustard, black. Similarly I kept checking its consistency too and I think all new mothers must have come across the same situation.

Once my daughters’ poop was dark green and blackish, I immediately visited my daughters’ pediatric the very next day, what she advised was satisfying and logical enough to understand. She said, “so many new things will happen with your baby, PLEASE DON’T PANIC! Since she’s on breastfeed, she’ll sometimes get more of the fore-milk and less of hind-milk which will cause pasty and loose potty due to lactose overload”.

Myths of Diarrhea in infants

Change in colour and consistency of poop are not always related with diarrhea. Since exclusively breastfed baby’s potty is not well formed, thus it’ll be little loose or pasty till they are on solids/semi solids.

Warning: if potty is too watery/loose, has foul smell with blood or mucus then you should immediately contact baby’s pediatric. You should also watch incase the frequency of the motions increase. 

Possible Reasons Of Diarrhea

  • Teething

Although babies are prone to catch bacteria easily during teething period, it is not a serious concern. They may have loose potty and mild fever during teething period

  • Antibiotics and Vaccination

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Medications like Antibiotics cause mild diarrhea in babies and toddlers. Also, dose of rotavirus vaccine etc. cause Diarrhea and mild fever in babies.

  • Stomach Infection and its Reasons:
  1. Unfiltered water
  2. Allergy to dairy Milk and dairy products
  3. Large quantity of food intake
  4. Outside food esp. street food
  5. Contact with Unhygienic stuff

Symptoms and how it effects the baby

  • Watery motion
  • Blood or mucus in potty
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Rashes
  • Fussiness
  • Bloating
  • Less active baby
  • Dehydration

You can take measures to prevent Diarrhea, there are simple yet necessary things to remember specially while travelling or while away from home such as;

Hygiene 

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Make sure that you and your baby’s hands are clean before having food or breastfeeding. Babies and toddlers have a habit of putting everything in their mouth, hence their toys should also be cleaned periodically. It appears to be a very small precaution but is very important since bacteria enters the body through hands easily.

Food and Water

Yet another point which plays a big role in causing Diarrhea. Hence, filtered water and fresh food to be given to the kids. Baby’s digestive system is quite sensitive, thus taking care of what they eat or drink requires utmost attention

Do not overload 

Feed in smaller quantities after interval of two hours, feeding too much or stuffing your baby at a time can also result in Diarrhea.

Probiotics

One can prevent Diarrhea in babies after getting antibiotics and vaccination by giving probiotics to the baby or toddler. Curd can also be given, it is a natural probiotic.

Home Remedies

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  • Give lots of fluids like coconut water, buttermilk and water with little sugar and salt. It helps keep the baby hydrated.

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  • Light and easily digestible food such as banana, potato, steamed apple/carrot, boiled rice with lentil soup (daalchawal / khichdi), curd with grated cucumber (optional).
  • Keep changing diapers to avoid rashes. Also it is advised to keep the baby in cotton lower without diapers for some time.
  • Completely avoid giving bottle milk or cottage cheese (Paneer) rather breastfeed the baby frequently.

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  • ORS (oral rehydration solution) can be given to the baby or toddler to keep them hydrated and probiotics can also be given.
Parenting

Baby gas – reasons & remedies

Gas is the most common problem, specially in infants and babies who’ve completed six months. Baby being fussy, burping, bloating and crying are few symptoms of gassiness. It is a natural occurrence in kids and adults too. It is just that babies are uncomfortable while they pass gas. Few familiar reasons of gassiness are:

  • Food: Breastfeeding mother’s and child’s (six or more months old) intake of gas causing food e.g ; cauliflower , kala Chana (black chickpeas) , spicy meals etc
  • Positioning and Burping: No burping during and after the feed and not keeping baby’s head a little higher while feeding
  • Bottle & Pacifier: few milk feeding bottles that make babies gulp milk speedily and pacifiers can make them sip bubbles and generate air
  • Low Physical Activity: babies below 6 months are less active, thus passing gas is difficult and painful
  • Less water intake: not drinking enough water for proper bowel movements
  • Overindulging: filling babies with large amount of food or milk in one feed

Although the above mentioned points are relevant, it is not the case with all the babies and after experiencing this with my daughter (Vrisha), I can jot down some veracious causes of gas like,

  • Food allergy (mostly intolerance  to protein and caffeine)
  • Feeding when baby is starving & crying 
  • Lactose overloaded
  • Feeding food other than breastmilk to newborns

Fore-milk and Hind-milk

Lactose overload: it is due to abundance of breast milk. hence, baby gets lots of mother’s fore-milk i.e initial slim milk (contain less fats) and little of hind-milk i.e last portion of milk (more creamy milk). The large amount of low-fat milk goes down quickly and lactose is not digested completely, thus causes gas, discolored potty and even loose motions.

Few precautionary measures are:

  • Check milk bottle that won’t let the baby gulp milk


  • Keep baby’s head upright for feeding
  • Feeding her before she’s starving otherwise she’ll gulp speedily

 

Exclusive breastfeed is recommended for babies below 6 months, as their system is not mature enough to digest different foods. Still one should try a new food for at least 4 days for 6+ months baby, to check if she has any allergic reaction

Home remedies:

  • Baby bicycle Exercise: 

Moderately move her legs in circular motion to help release gas

  • Massage & tummy time: Put her on tummy (under the supervision) for some time to help release gas. Also, a gentle massage on tummy is advised since this puts a moderate pressure on her stomach and help her pass gas
  • Hing (asafoetida) : 

Usually my daughter (Vrisha) gets gassy during the night time, while hing is a saviour for me, I dissolve it in warm water and apply on her tummy, it does wonders for us

  • Feed the Hind milk: 

Try nursing on only one side each time and make sure that the breast is empty before switching to other breast, so that your baby get the hind milk (full of fats)

  • Gripe water:

It can also be used as an alternate however I haven’t used it yet and prefer home remedies since they have always worked

These were few remedies which always worked for me and Vrisha. Other than this breastfeeding mothers can always take ajwain (carom seeds), jeera (cumin seeds) and saunf (fennel seeds) with warm water, it will go through milk to her baby to help release gas.