Diarrhea Home > Infant Diarrhea

Are There Foods That Cause Diarrhea in Infants?

There are several foods that can cause diarrhea in infants and children:
 
  • Milk and dairy products -- milk protein allergy is one of the more common food allergies seen in young children. These products can also cause diarrhea in children suffering from lactose intolerance. Keep in mind though that healthcare providers do not recommend unmodified cow's milk (whole, 2 percent, or skim) until children are at least a year old. 
     
  • Apple juice, pear juice, and cherry juice -- these juices contain sorbitol, which is a complex sugar that can be hard for infants to digest. White grape juice is a good alternative.
     

When to Call the Doctor for Infant Diarrhea

You should call your healthcare provider immediately if your infant has:
 
  • Watery diarrhea and is vomiting repeatedly
  • Stool containing blood, mucus, or pus
  • A temperature at or above 100.4°F (38°C)
  • Diarrhea that is severe (more than eight bowel movements in eight hours).
     
You should also call the doctor if your baby shows signs of dehydration, including:
 
  • No wet diapers for more than three hours
  • Lack of tears when crying
  • Lack of energy
  • Signs of dehydration:
 
    • Frequent crying or irritability
    • Sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks
    • Listlessness or irritability
    • Dry mouth and tongue
    • Skin that does not flatten when pinched and released.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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