Diarrhea or loose motion is bacterial infections accompanied by cramps, blood in stools and even sometimes fever. It is a stomach disorder characterized by frequent and very soft or watery bowel movements. The baby becomes very upset and weak and hence it becomes very complicated for mommies to face this difficult situation. Therefore, in this blog, we will understand the causes of diarrhea, its effect along with its symptoms and most importantly we will discuss the effective home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies or toddlers (for the babies above the age of 6 months).
What is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea or loose motion in babies is the condition when a baby passes its stools frequently being watery in nature and more than three times in a day. If a baby is passing stools like fine paste, normal in color and even frequently then it is not a sign of diarrhea.
Usually, it is cured by itself within 2-3 days without any medical help, but if it does not cure by maximum four days then it is good to consult a pediatrician (or child specialist) immediately.
Causes of Diarrhea:
The causes of diarrhea can be the following:
- Infection: An infection with a virus, bacteria or even with parasites. Babies are very much prone to the infections as they pick up the germs through their toys or either through the contact of the surface. So therefore, they get infected quickly due to the virus and bacteria.
- Food Allergy: A food allergy can also be a cause of diarrhea. A food allergy happens when a baby consumes any unhygienic food. For example, Cerelac or any formula milk is always advised to be given immediately after the formation, but if we overlook this instruction and give this supplement after the long duration of its formation time, then our baby can get ill or allergic. When new solid foods are introduced to a baby if it doesn’t suit him, then also food allergy may develop. This can further cause diarrhea to a baby.
- Drinking too much fruit juice: There is a very famous saying that an excess of anything is harmful too. So it goes with the consumption of fruit juices too. Most of the mommies prefer to give their babies much fruit juices to drink within a short interval of time. This causes discomfort in the baby’s tummy and results in diarrhea. So prefer giving whole fruit instead of fruit juice. Also, Feeding infants with a lot of unnatural sugary drinks might irritate their stomach and trigger diarrhoea.
- Teething: Teething phase is quite painful for the babies. They get fussier because of the soreness and swelling of gums. During this phase, gums produce more saliva which gets into their guts and hence loosen the stools. This causes diarrhea.
- Weather Change: A small change in weather for babies can result in loose motion too. If the baby is habitual of living in hot weather then an even a minor drop in temperature can give him a frequent bowel movement and it goes for the same for those who are living in cold regions. This happens because when the weather gets changed for the babies, it takes a bit of time to get accustomed to the new weather and new foods.
Effects of Diarrhea:
Diarrhea if overlooked, they can lead to several complications in babies and sometimes for an adult too. Diarrhea causes the body to lose an excessive amount of water and minerals, also known as electrolytes. This causes dehydration. Babies and toddlers can get dehydrated very rapidly – with the onset of diarrhoea – and this can be quite severe, especially in neonates. It can give the major issues like:
- Dehydration: Dehydration is nothing but the loss of excess water from our body. As during diarrhea, frequent bowel movement takes up the water from our body in excess quantity, which leads to dehydration.
- Diaper Rash: Babies develop diaper rash from frequent pooping and wiping. Diaper rashes can get sore and itchiness to the baby’s sensitive skin.
Symptoms of Diarrhea:
The symptoms associated with diarrhea include:
- Abdominal Cramps.
- Abdominal pains.
- The urgency to go to the toilet.
- Frequent passing of loose and watery stools.
Now we will discuss Home Remedies to stop Diarrhea in Babies.
Please remember that babies below the age of 6 months should not be given anything apart from ‘Mother’s Milk’ in case of diarrhea too. Mother’s milk is the best and most healthy nutrition for the baby. Most importantly, it is a guideline from the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
Effective home remedies for loose stools in Babies (for the babies above the age of 6 months):
- Maintain your baby’s hydration. If you are breastfeeding, continue to do so.
- Consult your paediatrician about electrolyte drinks for newborns.
- Change your baby’s soiled diaper on a regular basis.
- Feed your child portions of meals that may help calm diarrhoea if they are consuming solid meals.
1. ORS Jodi (Oral Re-hydration Salts and Zinc):
This is the most effective and successful remedy for the prevention of diarrhea and dehydration. ORS is made up of electrolytes and sugar which is very much beneficial for the treatment of diarrhea. This remedy has been suggested by the doctors and even the health department of the Government of India. Zinc can be consumed in the form of syrup and should be taken for 14 days even after diarrhea has been cured.
ORS sachets are easily available in the medical stores. One sachet of ORS has to mix up well in 1 litre of water and should be consumed within 24 hours. As well as .3+Zinc syrup has to be taken as per the dosage prescribed by the doctor.
Banana helps to restore the potassium levels and it helps the body to absorb the essential nutrients and energy which is majorly lost during diarrhea.
You can give mashed banana to your baby once in a day, preferably in the morning. This is one of the most trusted and effective home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies.
3. Pomegranate Juice:
Pomegranate is rich in antioxidants and has got fiber components too. Pomegranate is regarded as a ‘Nature’s Power Fruit’. Its medicinal properties have been used since ancient times.
- Give pomegranate juice at a regular interval of time, this will help the baby to stay hydrated and active.
- If you feel that pomegranate juice will be a bit heavy to digest for your baby then dilute it with a little amount of water and serve it to your little one.
Personally, I use this remedy for my kids and it proves to be one of the effective home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies.
Curd is a major source of probiotics. Probiotics are the live bacteria and yeasts that are good for health and especially for the digestive system. Therefore, curd helps to improve digestion, and it helps in boosting immunity.
Curd can be given to your baby in two ways:
- Either by adding some roasted cumin powder (jeera powder) and a pinch of salt to it, or
- By adding ½ teaspoon sugar to it
This remedy is often termed as ‘Dadimaa ka nuskha’- as one of the home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies.
5. Chawal ka Paani (Rice Water):
Rice water is a boon to the stomach when there is a situation existing called diarrhea. Rice water gives energy and is easy to digest when the stomach is upset.
It can be given once during the daytime as frequent consumption of rice water can lead to cough and cold as rice is cold in nature.
- Take ½ cup of uncooked rice and rinse it properly to remove impurities and dirt.
- Now soak the rice in water for 20-30 minutes.
- After soaking it, drain out the water and bring this rice to boil in 2 cups of water.
- Boil it till 20 minutes.
- Turn off the gas and let it be cool. Once it gets lukewarm then add a pinch of salt in it and give it to your baby.
6. Coconut Water:
Coconut water is very effective in treating diarrhea in babies. Diarrhea leads to the loss of several vital nutrients of our body such as sodium, potassium and many other minerals too. So, this coconut water helps in restoring these important nutrients and it is a good source of energy as it prevents dehydration too.
- Give ½ glass of coconut water to your baby to drink.
- It should be given once in a day preferably in the morning as giving this to your baby in the evening or at night might cause him cough and cold.
- You can increase the quantity of coconut water depending upon the age of your kid.
7. Applesauce/ Stewed Apple:
Applesauce or stewed apple is an effective and most commonly advised home remedy to stop diarrhea in babies. An apple is regarded as a miracle food and we all know about the famous proverb ‘All apple a day, keeps the doctor away’’. Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber which are very good for a healthy body.
For the preparation of Applesauce / stewed apple:
- We need 1 peeled apple and sliced it into fine pieces. Wash them off.
- Now in a bowl, take fresh water, put this sliced apple into it and keep it in low heat flame.
- Boil them till they become soft so that they can be completely mashed.
- Once done, let it be cool. Now, serve it to your baby.
Toast provides carbohydrates and fiber, which are good to maintain a healthy digestive system. It also maintains the blood sugar level which leads to the feeling of satiety.
Toast can be given to the baby at any time of the day but it is good to have during breakfast or as an evening snack. Generally, we do not give toast to the babies who do not have teeth but those who have molars, they can have toast as a home remedy to stop diarrhea.
9. Arrowroot Powder:
Arrowroot powder is a white and flavorless powder which is generally used as a corn flour. It is used to thicken sauces, soups, and curry. Arrowroot is nothing but the starch which comes from the tuberous roots of Tapioca plant. It contains properties which are stomach-soothing and is also allergen-free. Hence, it is regarded as one of the effective home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies.
We can give arrowroot in the form of porridge. The method of cooking is mentioned below:
- Arrowroot powder – 1 cup
- Jaggery liquid – 3/4th cup
- Milk – 2 cups.
- Mix arrowroot powder in milk and jaggery liquid.
- Mix it well and cook it on the medium flame till the mixture gets thicken and develops in a required consistency.
- Let it be cool till it gets lukewarm. Now you can serve it to your baby
Buttermilk is low in fat and rich in Vitamin B12, Calcium and Potassium. Since milk is prohibited during diarrhea; hence buttermilk is a good alternative for the same as it is lighter than milk and easy to digest. Even doctors prescribe buttermilk during diarrhea. It is again one of the effective home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies.
As buttermilk is a byproduct of extraction of cream from butter, hence it may cause throat infections or cold. So it is always advisable to drink buttermilk during the daytime. If the baby is allergic to cow’s milk, then please avoid giving buttermilk, as it contains the same constituents like milk.
11. Boiled Potato:
Boiled potato is a form of starch food which is easy to digest when the stomach is upset. It works like a wonder and it is one of the easiest home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies.
Boiled potato can be given in mashed form with an addition of salt (to taste) and a pinch of black pepper to make it tastier. It can be given once in a day, preferably at lunch.
12. Onion Juice:
This is generally not a very common one of the home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies, but it really works. One spoon of onion juice extracted from fresh onions can be very effective for treating diarrhea.
It can be given twice in a day. It may give a pungent smell out of the baby’s mouth but that too will go away if we give cardamom seeds to eat.
13. Carrot Juice:
Carrot is good for disturbed bowel movement. It is a high-fiber vegetable hence it helps in binding water in your gut. Fiber also helps in firming up loose stools by adding extra bulk and mass.
Carrot juice can be given to the baby during the breakfast time so as to make breakfast a healthier one even in diarrhea. Carrot juice is again one of the best effective home remedies to stop diarrhea in babies.
14. Breast Milk:
Mother’s milk or breast milk is the best solution to every problem of a baby. It is much more nutritious and healthy for baby’s growth and development. So, please do not stop breastfeeding your baby when he/she is suffering from diarrhea as it makes a great home remedy for loose motion for new born baby.
Ginger is great for the digestive system and can be an effective treatment for diarrhea, mix a teaspoon of ginger, cinnamon powder, some cumin powder and honey and give it to your baby three times a day.
16. Red lentil soup:
High energy levels are needed in babies, as baby refuses any food while he is having diarrhoea red lentil soup can be a great option as it is filled with energy and protein helping in repair and maintenance of tissues and for the overall growth of a child
17. Starch rich products:
Starch rich foods like potatoes are rich in starch which helps in recovering from diarrhoea quickly, roasted cumin can also be added to mashed potatoes(made by boiling potatoes and mashing them for making it easy for the baby to eat) avoid any gas problem
Lemon is commonly found in our households but did you know that they make a great source of curing loose motions or is a great source of home remedy for loose motion for 2 month old baby/ kids as they contain anti-bacterial or anti-inflammatory properties making it a great remedy. Lemon juice 3-5 times a day can relieve loose motions or any other problems related to stomach.
Mint which is also known as pudina helps in a great way in regulating digestion due to which it is recommended highly for diarrhoea in babies and for adults as well. Just a bunch of mint leaves can give you a mint juice( spoonful). Honey and lemon juice upto a teaspoon can be added in it to make it an even more effective home remedy for loose motions in infants, children or adults
So these were the best effective Home Remedies to stop Diarrhea in Babies.
Prevention to be taken in Diarrhea:
There are many important things that we need to know in diarrhea and more importantly the prevention that need to be taken care during diarrhea.
- Stop milk and milk products for the time being till diarrhea gets completely cured and treated. On the other hand, Yogurt/Curd can be given to the babies as it contains probiotics which are good for treating diarrhea in babies.
- Avoid giving spicy food to your baby in any situation. Mild spices can be introduced for the first time to the babies after the completion of 8 months of age. But when your baby is suffering from diarrhea, stop giving mild spices too.
- Maintain hygiene and cleanliness especially in the diaper area. As infections are the most common reason for diarrhea, so hygiene has to be maintained and properly followed. Daily clean the baby’s toys as they are also a source of germs and infections.
- Consult the pediatrician if you feel that diarrhea is occurring due to some medication.
Lastly, each baby differs from one another, so the causes may also vary. So, do talk to the healthcare professional before giving any medication. If you feel that despite the application of home remedies the situation is not yet solved, then consult the pediatrician immediately for expert advice and guidance.
Happy Parenting with Budding Star
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