Home Remedies for Diarrhea in Infants

At times babies, children and adults all suffer from diarrhea, an immune response to something wrong in the body. Diarrhea can occur from food poisoning, from a food sensitivity or from an illness like the flu. When an infant has diarrhea, parents need to take extra precautions, as their immune systems are weak and delicate. When the diarrhea is not severe enough to take the infant to the doctor, there are home remedies that parents can use to decrease diarrhea and make the child feel better. If diarrhea persists or becomes more severe, or is accompanied by a fever, notify your pediatrician immediately: babies can become dehydrated very quickly.

Infants with diarrhea need special treatment. (Image: altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Breast Milk

According to Dr. Alan Greene, a Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, breastfeeding is one of the best home remedies for diarrhea in infants. Mothers who are already breastfeeding their infants shouldn't stop when a baby has diarrhea, because breast milk combats diarrhea and speeds up the recovery. Dr. Greene also states that breastfeeding a baby can help to prevent the need for hospitalization in the case of diarrhea. Babies who are combination fed with both breast milk and formula should receive increased breast milk and less formula during this time, if possible, since formula is harder to digest and likely to worsen diarrhea.

White Grape Juice

While certain types of juice like apple juice, prune juice and pear juice can worsen diarrhea, white grape juice is a home remedy sometimes found to be effective in reducing diarrhea. Dr. Bill Sears, Pediatrician and Professor at UC Irvine, states that white grape juice is similar to store-bought oral electrolyte solutions, replacing lost fluids, vitamins and minerals without worsening diarrhea.

Probiotics

According to Dr. Sears, probiotics are one of the most soothing home remedies for infants with diarrhea. Probiotics have been found to shorten the duration of diarrhea and make the diarrhea less severe. Many adults have probiotic supplements already in their medicine cabinet; they are a type of natural, healthy bacteria that can improve digestion. Dr. Sears recommends using a probiotic that contains lactobacillus acidophilus. Probiotics supplements can be broken, the powder then emptied into the infant's solid foods, or mixed into baby formula, if the baby is bottle-fed.

Bland Foods

The bland food diet is another home remedy for mild diarrhea. Dr. Alan Greene states that babies who are old enough to be eating solid foods should receive bland foods like baby rice cereal, applesauce, bananas and boiled potatoes when they have diarrhea. These foods can decrease the severity of diarrhea. Yet foods with too much sugar or fiber, like peas, can worsen diarrhea, states Dr. Greene. Avoid foods with cows milk and lactose.

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