Diarrhea in children

How often should my child have a bowel movement?

  • In the first month of life, most babies have 4 or more (till to ten) bowel movements each day, soft or liquid. After the first month of life they can continue to have frequent bowel movements but usually the number lessens and can be perfectly normal to have just one bowel movement a week
  • By age 2 most babies have at least 1 bowel movement a day. They are soft but solid, but every baby can be different, some have bowel movement after each meal, others have bowel movements every other day

How do I know if my child has diarrhea?

  • For babies diarrhea means that he or she has more bowel movements than normal, for example twice as usually normal.
  • Older children with diarrhea will have 3 or more runny bowel movements each day

What are the most common causes of diarrhea in children?

  • Viruses
  • Side effects from antibiotics
  • Too much fluids and sweeties


  • You should continue to eat a normal diet with lean meats, rice, potatoes, bread, yogurt, fruit and vegetables, and milk. It is better to avoid foods that are rich in fat, drinks with a lot of sugar, sport drinks.
  • Make sure he or she drink enough water and liquids (very good is ½ diluted apple juice)
  • Avoid diarrhea medicines

When should I call a doctor?

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Younger than 12 mo without eating or drinking for some hours
  • Is not acting like him or herself
  • Low in energy, sleepy
  • With signs of dehydration: dry mouth, thirst, no urine for 4 to 6 hours in babies and 6 t 8 hours in children
  • No tears when crying