My 7-week-old son has had loose stools and frequent bowel movements (approx. 5 in a 12 hour period) for 2 days now. He is on both breast milk and formula.
He usually has toothpaste-like stool once a day or once every other day for a couple of weeks.
Did I eat something bad? Or does he have some sort of bacteria in his stomach that is causing this? Is a fluctuation of stool consistency normal in babies?
Symptoms Of Infant Diarrhea
It sure can be tricky to know if a breastfed baby has diarrhea or not, since the stools really can vary between days. They can be anything between runny to toothpaste-like and bright yellow to green and still be normal!
Here are a few symptoms of diarrhea to look for:
- Has pooping frequency increased significantly?
- Is the consistency at the same time a lot looser than usual?
- Does the baby show other signs of illness, such as not wanting to eat, tired, fussy, runny nose, or running a fever?
- Is the baby on medication that might cause diarrhea?
- Has breastfeeding mom changed her diet in a way that can upset the baby’s tummy? (Find advice on what to eat while breastfeeding here.)
- Has the baby’s diet been changed at all, such as the introduction of a new formula or solid foods?
- Mild diarrhea may also be a sign of teething, although that is, of course, not likely for a 7-week old baby.
Answering these questions should give you a clue as to whether your baby has diarrhea or simply a normal variation in his stools.
If you have changed your own or his diet in any major way, try reverting that and see if it helps. If he appears to have a stomach bug, make sure he doesn’t get dehydrated and since he is so young, call his doctor for advice.
Hope this helps,
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Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing are based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians who assist in reviewing and writing articles.