Support and Advice for Dealing with a Baby with Diarrhoea

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In Australia, most cases of diarrhoea are relatively mild and resolve on their own. The important thing is to make sure your baby doesn’t become dehydrated, as this can be very serious. Here are some tips for managing diarrhoea in your baby:

  • Give your baby plenty of fluids. If your baby is formula-fed, offer your baby extra bottles of cooled, boiled water if they will take it. Do not give your baby fruit juice or sugary drinks as this will make their diarrhoea worse.
  • Your doctor may advise an alternative formula or an oral rehydration solution to help rehydrate your baby more effectively. Don’t switch your baby’s formula or use a rehydration solution without medical advice.
  • Change your baby’s nappy frequently and use a barrier cream such as Bepanthen Nappy Rash to prevent irritation.

Depending on the cause, your baby’s diarrhoea should only last between 5–14 days. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Signs of dehydration (a sunken fontanel, sunken eyes, few wet nappies, dry eyes when crying, dry mouth, or lethargy)
  • Mucus or foul-smelling diarrhoea stools
  • Blood in the stool
  • Severe diarrhoea while taking antibiotics
  • Fever