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My baby has diarrhoea

Created by BabyCenter

If your baby has diarrhoea, she needs to replace the fluids she is losing, or she will get dehydrated. This means that her body does not have enough water to keep going. Keep offering your breast and let her feed as often as she wants.

If she is younger than 6 months, she does not need any water. Breastmilk will give her all she needs. . But offer her the breast more often. She might not have the strength to finish a feed so she will need to feed more often.

If she is older than 6 months, give her small sips of clean, safe water (boiled and cooled) between feeds. If you can, try giving her sips of oral rehydration solution (ORS), a few times an hour. ORS is a powder which is dissolved in a litre of clean, boiled and cooled water. You can store this and use it over 8-12 hours. Give your baby 15-20 teaspoons of ORS after each loose stool. Spread the teaspoons out over half an hour. If your baby does not accept ORS, you can use nimbupani (lime juice) with salt and sugar, daal or rice water, coconut water or salty lassi.

Do not give her any fruit juice, cola or sugary drinks. These drinks can make diarrhoea worse.

Take your baby to a doctor as soon as possible if:

  • she has diarrhoea for more than 1 day
  • she has dry skin or lips
  • she is passing urine that is dark yellow and she is passing urine less often
  • the soft spot in her head is sunken
  • she refuses to drink, has blood in her stools or has a swollen tummy
  • she vomits for more than a day, or has a fever which lasts more than a day
10 February 2015