Newborn Diarrhea:
Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Newborn diarrhea sure drains out the life in you - not to mention what it does to your baby!

One moment your baby was playing or sleeping peacefully and then suddenly, his world turned upside down due to all the growling taking place inside the little tummy. As you peek at your baby’s unhappy face, no doubt that you want to provide relief and make all the discomfort go away. You want to tackle the offending substance within your baby’s body that is wreaking havoc and you want to do so as quickly as possible.

Causes of newborn diarrhea:

Newborn diarrhea may be caused by a variety of things including food poisoning, certain deficiencies in enzymes, an allergic reaction, side-effects of medication, improper sterilization and incorrect mixtures of some foods such as baby formula milk.

Click here for details on newborn baby vomiting.

If your baby is newly born, there may be a lot of bowel movements happening especially due to the fact that your baby’s digestive system is trying to adjust to its new surroundings. However, one major symptom of possible diarrhea in your newborn is frequent stools. If you feel that your newborn bowel movements are quite common all day long, diarrhea will most likely double this frequency.


The increased frequency of newborn bowel movement is one of the hallmark signs used in providing a diagnosis of diarrhea. In many cases, it is a reflex action that makes your baby continue to have bowel movements until the irritant is eliminated. When this happens, do your best to replenish foods and fluids. Also, continue to observe your baby’s activities.

Other symptoms of diarrhea include stools that are smelly and have no form. These bowel movements are quite watery and may also contain mucus. As a result of these symptoms, the stool of newborns should also be quickly observed to ensure that bouts of diarrhea do not go unnoticed or mistaken for what may be normal for newborns.

Another symptom that something is wrong which could also be diarrhea is an accompanying fever that occurs as your baby’s body tries to fight whatever is causing the discomfort. The fever may cause your baby to become lethargic and very tired. Diarrhea itself can drain your baby’s energy levels and make your baby quite miserable. Hence, it is imperative that you do all you can to treat the diarrhea quickly and get your baby back to good health.


Newborn diarrhea can result in a drastic drop in weight for your baby. This is certainly not a good thing. As you consider the size of your baby, you can imagine how a quick and continuous loss of nutrients can have such an advanced impact on your baby’s weight. If left untreated, baby diarrhea can be life-threatening. Under no circumstances should you ignore diarrhea.


At the very least, ensure that you are keeping your baby hydrated. If your baby has started solids, you can also give your baby food that can help provide nutrients and replenish his energy levels. There are also certain foods that can help your baby’s stomach readjust back to its normal state. If your baby has begun to take solids (he is 6 months or older), you can try mashing up some bananas, providing plain yogurt or giving your baby some mashed rice.

Also, there are oral hydration solution that can be acquired and used to keep your baby hydrated as long as the diarrhea continues. However, you should beware of anti-diarrhea medications that may be unsuitable for newborn babies. There are many anti-diarrhea medications that older children may take, but ensure that you only give your baby what is appropriate for his age specially if your baby is newly born.

Also, as in case of other newborn medical conditions, newborn diarrhea should not be taken lightly and you should consult a doctor immediately.

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