Diarrhea, especially in babies and infants can seem like a big problem and one more thing to worry about beside countless other demands of parenthood. However, it is usually not a reason for panic since it is a perfectly normal thing to happen once in a while. The fact that babies’ stool is generally soft and it varies in consistency or even color is what makes it hard to decide whether it is a normal part of the bowel movement or cause for concern. Luckily, diarrhea often comes along with other symptoms which can significantly facilitate the process.
How to Tell if Your Child is Experiencing Diarrhea
Depending on how you feed your baby, it’s stool will have a different consistency. Breastfed babies typically have looser and more watery poop which can usually be mistaken for diarrhea. It is normal to see the bowel movement every time you change the diaper, especially in newborn children. If you occasionally notice a more watery bowel movement, you shouldn’t be worried. On the other hand, if it happens more than once it might be something more serious such as diarrhea. Since it’s quite hard to differentiate between diarrhea and regular stool, pay attention to some common symptoms of diarrhea.
Firstly, if your baby’s poop is extremely watery and appears more often than usual, that’s a solid sign that your child is experiencing diarrhea. Moreover, look for any changes in behavior. Diarrhea usually makes small children irritated and agitated, while they also experience trouble when it comes to feeding. Your child may be reluctant to eat food or it may avoid eating at all.
Formula-fed babies tend to have different bowel movements from breastfed babies, which can help you notice any changes easier. Their poop is thicker or more solid and it is brownish. This is the reason why you can immediately notice if their stool becomes more watery than usual. Also, you shouldn’t be worried about a single watery poop, but two or more may be a good sign that your baby has diarrhea.
Problems With Diarrhea
One pediatric journal published a scientific study that concluded that giving daily probiotics for toddlers diarrhea decreases the risk of diarrhea. The study was done in a day-care center where children were given a kind of probiotics – lactobacillus reuteri for three months every day. The results showed that those children who were getting daily probiotics were less likely to experience:
- Diarrhea – duration and frequency were minimalized
- Visits to doctors due to various problems
- Respiratory infections
- Using antibiotics
- Absence from the day-care center and school
- Parents leaving their jobs to care for their children
The study monitored 168 children that were given daily probiotics for toddlers diarrhea in three months. Their results were later compared to the other 168 children who were taking a daily placebo for the same period. What was found in the study is that this kind of probiotics significantly increases children’s well being, and overall health, while decreasing diarrhea problems infants and toddlers face.
The results of this study combined with other pieces of evidence gathered in another scientific research point to the benefits of giving probiotics for babies with diarrhea. Also, the study proved that probiotics play a big role in treating symptoms of colic (some symptoms of it are thought to be due to discomfort in the baby’s belly) and rotavirus diarrhea.
What Probiotics are Safe for Treating Diarrhea in Children?
You can find Lactobacillus reuteri in many organic food items, but the most obvious source of this probiotic is found in breast milk. The amount of this natural probiotic is even more increased if the mom takes lactobacillus reuteri supplements. L. Reuteri is present in the human digestive system, and it is considered a healthy bacteria.
These are the most typically used L. Reuteri supplements:
- One of the best-selling and best-reviewed probiotics for toddlers diarrhea and adults as well is BioGaia Chewable Tablets. The tablets have a good flavor and are quite easy to swallow which will significantly facilitate the process of giving them to your toddler. However, they are not recommended for infants, so use drops instead.
Different positive reviews of this probiotic show that the ones who have taken it noticed an improvement in their overall quality of life, health, and well-being. This type of probiotic also showed great results in treating cramps, colic, irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea.
- As mentioned above, infants should be given BioGaia Probiotic Drops instead of tablets. If you think your baby is not ready to chew, drops are a safer option because there is no risk of suffocating. There are different ways to consume these drops. You can put the drops directly in your baby’s mouth, its bottle, or just mix it in their food. These drops are one of the best probiotics for babies with diarrhea out there and will certainly help you with treating diarrhea in your baby.
- Culturelle Baby Calm + Comfort Probiotic is another great solution for infants with diarrhea or other digestive problems. Belly troubles are an often source of discomfort in babies, though they are very easily solvable. Just a few drops a day can spare you many sleepless nights, and help your baby feel healthy again. This type of probiotic has been studied in various research and has shown great results regarding treating diarrhea. With its natural and gentle ingredients that are safe for your baby’s body, Culturelle probiotic is a good solution for achieving optimal health.
Baby Planet Overview
Treating diarrhea in toddlers and infants may be problematic since you can’t be 100% sure if your little one even has diarrhea or it is just a normal part of their bowel movement. However, there are specific symptoms you should look for. If you realize that it is diarrhea, you can use some probiotics for babies with diarrhea listed above. Nevertheless, make sure you always consult with your doctor before giving any medication to your child, even though probiotics are generally safe for use.