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Diarrhoea

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Diarrhoea

Your Baby’s Stools

It is quite normal to see some variation in your baby’s stools. For example, there are differences in the colour of stools between breast fed and formula fed babies. How regular your baby is can also vary between several times a day to once a week depending on your baby.

For more, see Baby Stool Guide.

What Is Diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea refers to the frequent (1 – 3 per day) passing of loose, watery and unformed stools. It can also be associated with stomach cramps or pain.

What Causes Diarrhoea?

Acute Diarrhoea

  • Acute diarrhoea usually resolves after 1 or 2 days
  • It can be life threatening to infants and young children, as they have a greater risk of becoming dehydrated
  • It can be caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites. Contaminated food and water, emotional stress as well as the use of some medications can also result in your child having diarrhoea.

Chronic Diarrhoea

  • Can last four weeks or more
  • Can be caused by conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease, irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.

What To Do If Your Child Has Diarrhoea

If your child has diarrhoea, seek medical attention immediately. As infants are more at risk of dehydration, they should be closely monitored and will need to have extra drinks.

It is important that your child is seen by a healthcare provider again if you notice they are not improving and are drowsy, have decreased urine, are refusing to eat or drink, or start vomiting.

Prevent The Spread Of Diarrhoea

If your child has diarrhoea, you should take steps to protect others from also getting sick:

  • Keep your child away from other children until they are better
  • Do not allow them to share food and drinks
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after changing nappies and before handling any food.

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