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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Diarrhea in Infants: Symptoms & Signs
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System

Diarrhea in Infants

Alternate Names : Infantile Diarrhea, Infant Diarrhea

Diarrhea in Infants | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?

Diarrhea in infants can cause the following conditions:

  • abdominal distress and cramping, which may disrupt sleep
  • frequent, watery stools, and in more serious situations, pus or blood in the stools
  • irritability
  • less interest in feeding
  • loss of appetite
  • sluggishness and less activity than usual
  • vomiting
  • It is important to be able to tell the difference between diarrhea and the normal loose, watery stools of infants in the first 6 to 8 weeks of life. Breast-fed infants normally have stools that look like watery, yellow cottage cheese. Their stools also are frequent, often occurring during or after each feeding. Breast milk stools usually are sweet-smelling as compared to the stools of formula-fed infants.

    Most infants, even those fed formula, have frequent, watery stools until they are six to eight weeks old. After that, the stools become firmer and less frequent. In fact, infants who are only fed breast milk beyond the first two months of life may have a stool only every three to five days. As long as the stool is soft, this is normal. Babies' stools are firmer once they start on solid food.

    When severe, diarrhea can cause dehydration. Signs of dehydration include the following:

  • absence of tears when crying
  • decreased urination
  • dry mouth
  • sluggishness and lethargy

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    Diarrhea in Infants: Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors


    Diarrhea in Infants: Diagnosis & Tests

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Eric Berlin, MD
    Date Reviewed: 08/06/01

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