It is a matter of joy to see your baby’s first tooth. But teething is a difficult and uncomfortable phase for kids as well as for parents. Kids become super fussy and refuse to eat or drink milk because of gum irritation. There are many teething symptoms in babies such as gum swelling and pain, drooling, biting, crying, gagging, pulling ears, facial rashes and refusing to eat. Lots of parents connect teething with diarrhea. However, there is no such evidence that can justify that teething and diarrhea are correlated. According to American academy of pediatrics, teething does not directly cause diarrhea. Babies can experience it due to many different factors other than teething. It is just a surrounding myth that teething and diarrhea are related or teething causes diarrhea.
teething symptoms in babies
Biting and sucking: This is one of the most common teething symptoms in babies. You can notice that your baby is biting and sucking everything in hand. For them, it is a way to soothe gum irritation.
Gum pain: Eruption of teeth is a painful process. Sensitive and swollen gums can make your baby fussy.
Increased saliva: Babies chew, bite and drool more during teething phase. You may see a baby’s shirt wet all the time. This is one of the teething symptoms in babies
Facial rash: Constant moisture of drool may irritate baby’s skin and cause rash around the mouth.
Body temperature: Teething can raise body temperature slightly. But above 100.4 F is not one of the teething symptoms in babies, and you should consult a doctor.
Reasons for diarrhea during teething
Introduction of solid foods: Usually teething starts around 4-7 months of age. It is the time when babies get introduced to solid foods. This can cause a change in their bowel movement and leads to diarrhea. Infant’s digestive system is immature and it takes time for kids to adjust with new foods, which may cause a change in their stool and parents generally connect it with one of the baby teething symptoms. (What to feed when baby begins solids?)
Tend to put everything in mouth: The chances of bacteria entering the body are extremely high as during this phase kids tend to put everything in the mouth, which may also lead to diarrhea. Due to constant gum irritation, babies generally reach out for different objects, to put in the mouth. These objects could have germs or are not necessarily clean and this can be a cause of diarrhea during teething. It’s not one of the baby teething symptoms actually.
Immunity Fact: Babies immune system is much stronger immediately after birth than at the age of six months. Around this time the baby starts losing the antibodies he/she got at the time of birth and may experience unrelated ailments or infections which can cause diarrhea. This is the time when a baby’s underdeveloped immune system needs a boost up to fight against disease causing bacteria. (Immunity foods for babies during 6 months)
Tips to be followed during Diarrhea
Maintain hygiene: The most important thing is to maintain a hygienic surrounding when you notice some of the teething symptoms in babies. The process of teething causes gum irritation and in an attempt to soothe sore gums babies put things or a teething toy in their mouth. If these objects are not cleaned regularly, it can be an invitation for germs and microbes to enter their body which leads to many infections including diarrhea.
Rehydration: Rehydration is the process of restoring lost water or fluid to the body. The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommended Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) as essential for clinical treatment of acute diarrhea. ORS treats dehydration caused by severe diarrhea through the replacement of lost fluid, salt, sugar, potassium and other nutrients. Ask your doctor about what type and quantity of ORS to be used.
Diet: Your kid’s diet is the main concern you should take care of during teething and diarrhea. If your baby is on breastfeeding or formula, increase its frequency is necessary. At least half of the dietary energy comes from foods other than milk. If your baby is above 6 months, you can give mashed banana, yogurt, potato, carrots, moong dal/mung bean soup and rice water. All these foods can help to aid diarrhea. (How to make mung bean soup?)
Developing immunity: To boost up your baby’s immunity to fight infections just stick to breastfeeding, nutrient rich foods, probiotics and follow their vaccination schedule.
When to consult a doctor?
Mild symptoms of diarrhea can be treated at home with these precautions. However, if your child develops any of the below mentioned symptoms, consult your paediatrician.
- If diarrhea persists for more than a week.
- Vomiting along with diarrhea.
- Severe stomach pain.
- Increase in baby’s body temperature more than 101 degree Fahrenheit.
- Blood in stool.
- If the baby is losing weight.
- If there are symptoms of dehydration in a baby.
Foods to overcome Diarrhea
Besides keeping your baby hydrated, it is also important to take care of their diet. Offer small meals to your baby at regular intervals. Foods rich in carbohydrates help to maintain the energy level of the body during diarrhea. Potassium rich foods are also important, which may be lost in large quantities through diarrhea. Here is the list of foods that you can offer to your baby during diarrhea:
Breast milk (0+ month):
Breast milk passes antibodies from mother to the baby to fight against infections such as diarrhea. It is also a great source of probiotics (gut friendly bacteria) for babies, which contributes to the establishment of the infant’s gut microbiota. (How to heal the gut of the child?)
Banana (6 months+):
It is best to give during diarrhea as it helps to harden the stool. Banana is the rich source of potassium, which helps to balance electrolytes lost due to frequent loose motions. It is a rich source of iron and fiber which contributes to a healthy digestive tract. It is a superfood which can be used as a complete plant to treat digestion. (How to use banana stem in food everyday?)
Carrots (6 months+):
Carrots are rich in iron, calcium, vitamin A and fiber. It helps in adding bulk and binds the stool which helps in diarrhea. Go for steamed mashed or pureed carrots for your little one. (Prebiotics for kids to help with digestion?)
Nutmeg (6 months+):
Nutmeg or Jaiphal has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to reduce microbial infection and reduces the intestinal inflammation. It also has anti-secretory components which helps to reduce the loss of fluid from the body during diarrhea. You can make the powder by rubbing nutmeg on the stone grinder. Give your baby a pinch of this powder with some water. This is also great to treat cold and cough. (Foods and remedies to help with cold and flu)
Rice water (6 months+):
Rice water is starchy water left after rice is cooked. It is a great source of energy, as it contains carbohydrates. It also maintains the fluid level of the body and decreases the frequency of stool.
Moong dal (mung bean) (6 months+):
Mung bean (Moong dal) is an outstanding prebiotic,which helps to maintain gut health. Rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, It helps in digestion and adds more bulk to stool. It is extremely high in Protein, which digests slowly and keeps the kids energetic.(Why to sprout beans for kids?)
Sabudana (sago) (7 months+):
Sabudana is a rich source of carbohydrates, protein, vitamin K, calcium and potassium. It helps to retain fluid in the intestine and to thicken loose motions, hence control the frequency of bowel movements.
Buttermilk (7 months+):
Buttermilk is rich in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, protein, carbohydrates and low in fat. It has great probiotics properties that help to increase the production of good bacteria in the digestive tract, which improves kids gut health, boosts immunity and prevents acidity. It helps to ease the discomfort in the digestive tract. (Nutritious summer drinks for kids keep hydrated)
Boiled potato (8 months+):
Potatoes are easy to digest and best to give your baby during diarrhea as it is high in carbohydrate and provides adequate energy that is lost during loose motion.
Coconut water (8 months+):
It is a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, potassium, fiber and natural enzymes, which promotes proper digestion. It is rich in nutrients and electrolytes, which makes it an excellent choice to control dehydration. (Coconut remedy for cough for kids)
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