New parents never seem to run out of things to fret about their baby, from diet to sleep patterns to bowel movements. Babies are not able to explain why they cry and this requires us to become investigators. The bowel movements of babies normally come in various colors, textures, and odors depending on what we feed our baby. Infant stool is usually loose compared to that of an adult, and it is not unusual for babies to have looser stool every now and then. However, if all of a sudden infant bowel movements become more frequent, watery, and profuse than usual; we might be looking at diarrhea. And it helps to know what to do if my 8 month old has diarrhea.
Infant diarrhea can be quite a worrisome incident because many of us are afraid of dehydration. Many of us also worry about potentially worsening the already painful diaper rash. Due to these, most parents end up not doing anything.
My 8 Month Old has Diarrhea: How to tell if Your Baby has Diarrhea
How can I tell if my 8 month old has diarrhea? First, you will need to establish what is normal for your baby. Babies tend to defecate frequently, usually as often as they are fed. Infant poop is characteristically very soft, especially if your baby is breastfed. Infant stool can change based on what their mothers have eaten while they are nursing. At 8 months, when we already give solid foods to our baby, we will find that infant stool is firmer, but it can still vary every now and then, depending on the diet.
We need not worry if our baby occasionally eliminates looser than normal stool. However, if the bowel movements of your baby suddenly change, it can be diarrhea. An acute diarrhea case can cause alarm even to the most composed parents. However, most diarrhea cases are fairly mild and they do not pose any major threat to the well-being of babies as long as they do not get dehydrated. Severe dehydration can be fatal, therefore it is important to make your baby have plenty of liquids.
My 8 Month Old has Diarrhea: Causes
To know what to do if my 8 month old has diarrhea, it helps to know what causes this condition. Several factors cause baby diarrhea, including diet changes, intestinal infections, and presence of intestinal parasites. Babies can easily pick up viruses and bacteria from contaminated food, water, and surfaces. Other factors that can lead to infant diarrhea also include food allergies, sensitivity to medicines, having too much fruit juices and poisoning.
Regular hand washing can help much in preventing diarrhea. It is important for parents to wash their hands before and after changing diapers, and after using the bathroom. It is of the same importance to wash hands thoroughly before and after feeding a baby. The surfaces of the kitchen and bathroom also need to be kept clean. And safe food handling must be maintained all the time.
My 8 Month Old has Diarrhea: Treatment
There are different treatment options to turn to if my 8 month old has diarrhea. Foremost among them is making sure that the baby drinks an ample amount of liquids to help ease the symptoms and avert dehydration. If babies do not seem to have problems with taking breast milk or formula milk, stick to these. Ask your doctor for advice on having your baby take sips of ORS or oral rehydration solutions. Do not give fruit juices, drinks high in glucose, and fizzy drinks to your baby. Unabsorbed sugar takes water from the intestine and this can worsen diarrhea. Do not give babies anti-diarrheal medicines because they are not meant for children below 12 years of age due to its serious potential side-effects.
My 8 Month Old has Diarrhea: Easing the Discomfort
If my 8 month old has diarrhea, it helps to cuddle my baby and give him comfort. It is also important to keep the baby dry. Care and tenderness must e exercised in changing nappies because it can be quite easy for infant skin to become sore due to diarrhea. Barrier creams can help in preventing irritation, especially if diarrhea persists for more than one day.