Baby Diarrhea: Questions to Ask Your Pediatrician

"My baby has diarrhea, what now?" These key questions can help your pediatrician help your baby.

Concerned that your baby has diarrhea? Here are some key questions to help you get the answers you and your baby need for relief.

While it’s not uncommon for babies to have occasional bouts of diarrhea, you should feel comfortable calling your baby’s doctor at any time for information, advice, and assurance. Here are some questions to consider asking if your baby is experiencing diarrhea:

  1. How can I tell if my baby has diarrhea?
  2. What are the typical causes of diarrhea in babies?
  3. What are the signs of an intestinal virus?
  4. Could diarrhea be a symptom of a feeding issue or food allergy?
  5. Should I change my baby’s formula or diet? What should I add? What should I take out?
  6. I’m breastfeeding; could something in my diet be causing my baby’s diarrhea?
  7. What can I do at home to relieve diarrhea?
  8. How do I prevent diarrhea in my baby in the future?
  9. Could infant diarrhea be a sign of a more serious problem?
  10. I’d like to do more research on diarrhea. What resources would you recommend?

Before you see your doctor:

  1. Call the office and ask if you should do anything in preparation for your visit.
  2. Write down all your baby’s symptoms and your concerns, including answers to these questions:
    • When did you first notice your baby’s diarrhea? When she first woke up? After eating?
    • How often is your baby experiencing diarrhea in a day?
    • Is it explosive diarrhea?
    • What are her other symptoms: crying, fussiness, or spitting up? Does she seem bothered by the diarrhea?
    • Has your baby had any signs of an allergic reaction—skin rashes, hives, or breathing trouble?
    • Is your baby refusing to eat?
    • Does anything seem to improve her symptoms or make them worse?
  3. Also, write down your list of questions (a good start is the list above) and bring them with you.
  4. Make a list of everything your baby is taking:
    • Vitamins or other nutritional supplements
    • Medications
    • Type of formula
    • Breast milk
    • Any solids
  5. Note any changes in your baby lately:
    • Sleep pattern
    • Eating habits
    • Illness

With time, many babies’ digestive issues improve. But right now, your doctor can help you deteremine if your baby has diarrhea and ease your mind that there is most likely nothing serious underlying your baby’s diarrhea.