Once your doctor has discovered and dealt with the cause of your baby's diarrhea, there are certain foods you can offer that may help "bind" your baby as his delicate intestines recover -- and some other foods that you should definitely avoid!
Remember - You should always discuss any episodes of diarrhea with your child's doctor, as diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration in young babies.
FOODS THAT CAN HELP STOP BABY'S DIARRHEA
* Infant rice cereal
* breast milk/formula
* cooked carrots
* dry toast
* cooked, white potato
* white grape juice
* yogurt (bio yogurt in particular, which contains the "gut-friendly" bacteria Lactobacillus. Research has shown that Lactobacillus can be effective in stopping diarrhea. Some paediatricians may also recommend acidophilus supplements, which are available from most vitamin stores)
FOODS TO AVOID WHEN BABY HAS DIARRHEA
* Cow's milk-based formula -- some doctors will suggest switching to soy formula for a couple of weeks, because your baby's intestines may have trouble digesting cow's milk following a nasty bout of diarrhea
* dairy products, with the exception of yogurt (for the reasons given above)
* cherry juice
* apple juice (it may seem confusing, but applesauce firms your baby's stools whereas apple juice loosens them. This is because applesauce is made from the whole fruit and therefore contains the pectin and fibre that firm stools. Apple juice, on the other hand, contains a natural sugar -- sorbitol -- which is known to cause or aggravate diarrhea)
* pear juice
Don't stop breastfeeding if your baby has diarrhea -- it actually helps hasten your baby's recovery. But consider avoiding things like coffee and cola, which may pass through your milk and make your baby's diarrhea worse!
A good rule to follow is to feed your baby little and often as he recovers from diarrhea. Babies' intestines heal relatively slowly, so it may take a while for his stools to firm up completely. If you are at all concerned about persistent diarrhea in your baby, then you should discuss your concerns with your child's doctor.
Christine Albury is the owner/editor of Homemade Baby Food Recipes, your complete guide to solid feeding during baby's first year.