Breast milk is best for your baby

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.

TODDLER

Diarrhoea: what you need to know

Find out the common causes of diarrhoea and how to soothe your toddler’s upset stomach
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As every parent knows, changing nappies is no fun at the best of times. Throw in a case of diarrhoea and you’ve got a particularly unpleasant mess on your hands.


But what causes diarrhoea in toddlers. And how can you prevent it?


There are actually a number of factors that can give your little one an upset stomach. The most common is infections by bacteria, viruses and other parasites1. Sometimes this can be tough to avoid, particularly when they are playing with friends or attending busy daycare centres. But practicing proper hand washing after visiting the toilet is a great place to start.

Why your child’s diet matters

If your toddler gets frequent diarrhoea then try making some adjustments in her diet. You might think that lots of fruit juice is nutritious, but too much of it can lead to an upset tummy. So try phasing some things out to see if that helps.

Lactose intolerance can be another cause, so try reducing the intake of cow’s milk and other dairy products to see if that helps (soy formula can be a great substitute2).

The other problem with diarrhoea is that it damages the lining of your child’s gut, making it more lactose intolerant when your child is still ill. This makes foods that are normally quite palatable can suddenly become a problem. This can last up to two weeks, so choose lactose-free formula during this time.

When to see a doctor

Some medication, particularly antibiotics, can change the makeup of the bacteria in the gut with explosive consequences3, so speak to your doctor if you think this might be the cause.

Although it’s unusual, persistent diarrhoea could be a sign of bowel or intestinal problems, so if it keeps happening, make an appointment for a checkup. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

The most important thing to care for little ones with diarrhoea is to make sure they drink plenty of fluids to combat dehydration4, ideally in small doses quite often. If they must drink fruit juice, make sure it’s diluted with water so it’s not too concentrated. And of course, make sure both you and they wash hands frequently to avoid spreading any germs.

Lastly, if diarrhoea persists beyond 48 hours, consult your doctor immediately5.

1WebMD. Retrieved on August 21, 2015 from: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/baby-diarrhea-causes-treatment

2Health Promotion Board of Singapore. Retrieved on August 21, 2015 from: http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/persona_article/Educator___2924

3Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on August 21, 2015 fom: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/antibiotic-associated-diarrhea/basics/causes/con-20023556

4KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Retrieved on August 21, 2015 from: http://www.kkh.com.sg/HealthPedia/Pages/ChildhoodIllnessesDiarrhoea.aspx

5Health Communities.com. Retrieved on August 21, 2015 from: http://www.healthcommunities.com/diarrhea/about-diarrhea.shtml