Because of their diet a baby’s stool can vary in colour and texture and is, much softer than an adult’s. But if it suddenly becomes much looser or liquid, or comes more frequently and in larger amounts it could be diarrhoea. Loose or liquid stools are defined as diarrhoea at three or more loose or liquid stools per day or more frequent passage than normal (Reference: WHO).

There is no family where no diarrhoea or vomiting occurs. This causes major discomfort! Such symptoms can be caused by many things, including stomach upset or viral and bacterial infections. In an otherwise healthy infant, diarrhoea is usually triggered by an infection causing in- flammation of the stomach and intestines, which is called acute gastroenteritis. The baby could also show other symptoms such as vomiting, stomach pain or fever. Most cases don’t last longer than a week. But it is important to recognize the signs as early as possible, as babies are at increased risk of dehydration during a bout of diarrhoea.


Parents should seek medical advice if a baby under six months develops diarrhoea.

Dehyrdation – the main risk!

Since babies and toddlers can become dehydrated very quickly, it is essential to recognize the signs of dehydration – paying particular attention to how a baby or toddler with diarrhoea is behaving.

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. Since diarrhoea prevents the intestine from absorbing water and salts effectively, dehydration can follow. Signs of dehydration include passivity, drowsiness, and fewer wet nappies. Parents should consult a doctor immediately if a baby or toddler shows signs of dehydration. They should also do so if the child has a temperature over 39°C, an underlying medical condition, blood in their stool or vomit, severe stomach pain, or if symptoms continue for more than 3-4 days.

What can help?

First and foremost, it is crucial to prevent dehydration by feeding a baby or toddler suffering from diarrhoea with extra fluids, preferably in small and frequens sips.

Fruit juices or fizzy drinks, however, can worsen symptoms and should be avoided. 

As soon as the child's appetite has returned, parents can feed them small portions of their ordinary diet (milk or solids) regularly. What may also be needed during diarrhoea is gastrointestinal microbiota supplementation. BioGaia products containing the patented lactic acid bacterium Limosilactobacillus reuteri Protectis have been specially designed to supplement the intestinal flora.

When to seek medical advice?

In many cases, there is no need to seek medical advice. However, medical advice is immediately necessary, if a child:

  • is under the age of 6 months – seek immediately!

  • has an underlying medical condition i.e. heart or kidney problems, diabetes, history of premature birth

  • has a temperature above 39°C / 102°F

  • seems to be dehydrated

  • has blood in the diarrhoea or in the vomit

  • has severe stomach pain

  • has symptoms that are not settling i.e. vomiting more than 1 – 2 days or diarrhoea more than 3 – 4 days

Treating diarrhoea and vomitting

If a child is suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting, they should only take medication if prescribed by a doctor. However, parents can take steps to restore the balance in the little one’s intestinal flora by supplementing with BioGaia drops or tablets.

These contain live active microbes from the bacterial strain Limosilactobacillus reuteri Protectis, which have been proven to restore the natural bacterial balance in the gut and reduce the severity of diarrhoea and vomiting. 


If a baby has a bacterial infection, they might need antibiotics to get them back to health. In such cases, it’s crucial to give their little bodies the support they need.



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