Diarrhea is loose or watery stools that occur more often than usual for your child. Most children will have diarrhea from time to time. It can be caused by many things.

Suggestions for children less than 12 months of age:

Breast fed babies: Breastfeed your baby more frequently. You may also give your child oral electrolyte solution (Pedialyte®, Infalyte® or Kao Lectrolyte®) for extra fluids between nursings.

Formula fed babies: Continue to feed your baby formula as usual. You may also give your child oral electrolyte solution (Pedialyte®, Infalyte® or Kao Lectrolyte®).

Infants on solid foods and Children 12 months or older: You may feed your child his regular diet. If the diarrhea continues offer electrolyte replacement solutions. Electrolyte replacement solution suggestions are Pedialyte®, Infalyte®, or Pedialyte popsicles®.  Your child should eat his usual diet even with the diarrhea.

Avoid fluids that have a lot of sugar (i.e. sodas, Jell-O, sports drinks, etc.)  As they can cause diarrhea.  You need to give your child extra fluids to drink every time he has a diarrhea stool.

Do not force your child to eat foods.  However, he must drink fluids.  Encourage him to drink and eat until satisfied.  Small amounts are better than large amounts.  Try to avoid spicy and greasy foods for a few days.

Your child may continue to have diarrhea stools with eating and drinking. It is very important for you to encourage him to drink to replace the fluid he is losing in the bowel movements.

Call your child’s doctor if:
  • Diarrhea gets worse.
  • You see blood in your child’s stool.
  • Your child has severe stomach pain or cramping.
  • Your child has a fever more than 101°F (38.3°C).
  • The inside of your child’s mouth is dry and there are no tears when     he cries.
  • Your child has not had a wet diaper or has not urinated in 12 hours.
  • Your child acts confused or is hard to wake up.

If your child has a chronic or serious health problem or is under 6 weeks old, call the doctor.