Updated: Apr 27, 2019
Diarrhoea is common amongst young infants. Most commonly, it is due to viral infection of
the gut. Good news is that most diarrhoea will resolve spontaneously. And, it is safe to
look after the young baby at home.
#1. Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate
Make sure you hydrate your baby well. If you are breastfeeding, continue frequent feeds.
For formula feeds, consider switching to lactose-free or soy-based formula if diarrhoea
persists for weeks. Try barley, rice-water or oral hydration fluids (eg Pedialyte). Avoid fruit
juices as sugar may cause more watery stools.
#2. Believe in probiotics
Probiotics have shown to improve diarrhoea. Try protexin, biogaia or LactoGG. Anti-
diarrhoeal medications are not safe in babies and should not be given. I would not suggest
to self-medicate young babies.
#3 Look out for warning signs
If there is bloody stool, persistent high fever, lethargy or irritability in your baby, consult
your doctor to exclude serious gut infection. Other signs include poor urine output, poor
feeding, dry eyes or lips.
Prevention is best
Keep good hygiene habits. Wash or sanitize your hands before meals and after toilets.
Disinfect your baby's toys and potties regularly. Sterilise milk bottles well. Consider
rotavirus vaccination, which is the commonest viral gut infection.