Diarrhea in children and babies, including bloating and flatulence often occur during the first few weeks of a child’s life. As they begin teething, they often experience diarrhea and other digestive distress.
Bloating and Diarrhea in Children and Infants
Bloating and flatulence arise as a combination of the baby swallowing too much air while drinking and an under-developed gastro-intestinal tract. In some cases, babies may experience some intolerance to certain foods, such as lactose, causing gases to form in the lower intestines.
Diarrhea also commonly arises out of some sort of bacterial or viral infection, allergies, or even nutritional deficiency. When it develops the infant my signal by crying and loss of interest in surroundings, and in the case of infections, rising body temperature. You may observe a depressed abdomen, and sunken eyes. These symptoms often accompany dehydration.
When nursing babies experience excessive bloating or diarrhea, mom can evaluate her diet, and eliminate the foods not easily tolerated by infants. At the most basic level, consider a diet including the same food you would expect to see packaged for babies.
Babies’ stomachs can handle virtually any vegetable, including carrots, potatoes, spinach, and broccoli. Not surprisingly, nursing infants do not effectively process stimulants present their mother’s milk, so avoiding nicotine, alcohol, and coffee serves as a great first step. In addition, avoid overwhelming spices and vegetables such as onions, leeks, and beans.
Formula-fed babies often experience digestive symptoms related to the type of formula. At the onset of symptoms, immediately consider experimenting with alternative products. Intolerance often arises with heavily sweetened products. Be cautious with introducing cow’s milk to babies and consider alternatives to cow’s milk, even after the first year.
Herbal teas for baby diarrhea
While nursing, mothers may consider herbal teas with anti-bloating and stomach strengthening properties to gently pass along the benefits through breast milk. For formulas-fed babies, mothers may consider adding herbal tea to their baby’s formula to support digestion. See below for recipes, or see our post on herbs for infant diarrhea.
Some improvement should be noted within 6 hours; however if symptoms persist for more than 6 to 12 hours, consult with a physician. Due to excessive water loss, infant diarrhea can be serious if not properly treated. Always increase hydration when diarrhea presents.
7 Medicinal Herbs for Digestion
Fennel is an ideal herbal treatment for bloating and flatulence. The essential oils in fennel prevent cramping and promote intestinal activity.
Chamomile has relaxing qualities that can soothe cramping and bloating. Its essential oils contain flavonoids that can prevent muscle spasms and gastrointestinal disorders.
Peppermint is an age-old remedy to enhance digestion. In addition to flavonoids and tannins, it contains mucus dissolving essential oils to help prevent cramping.
4. Bitter orange
Essential oils contained in bitter orange increase the secretion of gastric juices and work to regulate appetite. Caution with bitter orange, as it is known to increase heart rate.
A milder version of oregano, marjoram contains essential oils, bitter flavor, and tannins. Marjoram is particularly effective for intestinal disorders, bloating, and loss of appetite.
Blueberries are among the best remedies for diarrhea in children. The tannins in blueberries have an astringent effect. Ideally, use the dried blueberry fruits for treating diarrhea; fresh blueberry fruits can have the opposite effect.
Caraway is a Hildegard favorite. It has a long tradition in Germany, and is known as the best herbal remedy for stomach bloating and stomach intestinal cramps.