When it comes to diarrhea, doctors tend to worry more about the frequency of the stools than their consistency. Early baby poop is naturally watery. However, as babies get older and they start eating solid foods, the poop becomes more solid and well-formed. 

To determine whether a child has diarrhea, the doctor will ask the parens how often he/she is pooping. If the baby is pooping every hour OR there’s a major increase in the frequency of his/her poops, then he/she may have diarrhea. If the stools are looser, as well, then a diagnosis of diarrhea is even more likely.

Tips for Managing Your Child’s Diarrhea, Include:

  • Follow Your Child’s Lead When it Comes to Eating Solid Foods. Babies with diarrhea (who are over 4-6 months of age) may naturally decrease their intake of solid food (especially if they’re nauseous). If they’re hungry, though, it’s ok for them to eat. Fasting is not a recommended treatment for diarrhea.
  • Offer Your Baby More “Constipating” Foods to Help Curb the Diarrhea (Assuming That He/She is Eating Solid Foods). Such foods include bananas, baby cereal, and potatoes. 

    Insider Info: The once popular BRAT diet (which consists only of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) is no longer recommended because it’s too restrictive and doesn’t provide enough of the nutrients that kids need.
  • Do NOT Give Your Baby Juice or Other Sugary Drinks During His/Her Bout of Diarrhea.

    Why Not? Because juice isn’t recommended for babies under 1 anyway (or really at all) and the sugar in it will just make the diarrhea worse. 
  • Do NOT Give Your Baby an Anti-Diarrheal Medication (Like Imodium) to Stop the Diarrhea.

    Why? Because you want your baby to poop out the “bad stuff” that’s causing the diarrhea. Plus, these medications aren’t recommended for babies (under 2 years). 
  • Consider Giving Your Child a Probiotic to Restore the “Good” Bacteria in His/Her Gut.
  • “Push Fluids” (Meaning, Give Fluids Often).

    Why? Because babies with diarrhea can get easily dehydrated.
  • Call the Doctor if You Become Worried at Any Point.

The Bottom Line

Diarrhea is a fairly common complaint in babies and toddlers. Fortunately, most cases of diarrhea are mild and self-limiting. If your child develops diarrhea, watch out for signs of dehydration (such as dry lips, fewer than 3 wet diapers per day, and no tears when he/she cries) and call the doctor if the diarrhea seems to be getting worse or isn’t resolving on its own.