When our children are babies we worry a lot about poop. Are they going often enough? Is it the right color and consistency? Do they have diarrhea? Your child’s pediatrician will ask a lot of questions about poop that first year or so. A lot about a child’s health and eating habits can be gleaned from observing what is coming out in their diapers. Once your baby becomes a toddler there is much less focus on poopy diapers. Most toddlers settle into a nice easy, once a day cycle that we don’t give much thought to. We change the diapers, give them some prunes or prune juice if things seem to be getting a bit backed up and that is about it.
However, toddlers can have their own challenges in the poop department. One of those being toddler diarrhea. Toddler diarrhea is pretty much an otherwise unexplainable bout of diarrhea. There is no real cause or underlying medical condition for toddler diarrhea, but many things can trigger it. In most cases parents and doctors won’t know exactly what caused the diarrhea and things will eventually return to normal on their own.
There are a few things that are thought to set off toddler diarrhea including a change in diet or eating happens, an unrelated illness like a cold (especially if it caused changes in appetite and eating habits), or too much fruit or fruit juice. Most toddlers will seem unfazed by the diarrhea and will continue to eat normally and gain weight normally. For the most part there is no real treatment for toddler diarrhea other than a few diet changes. Most doctors recommend keep their diet fairly bland, eliminating dairy (except for yogurt, which can help with digestive issues) and using a probiotic to help get things back on track.
My daughter is just getting over a case of toddler diarrhea. She had a cold last week and by the end of the week had pretty bad diarrhea. We took her to the doctor because she wanted to make sure she didn’t have an ear infection or anything. Other than a little bit of nasal irritation from her cold the doctor found nothing. She was diagnosed with unexplained diarrhea (or toddler diarrhea) and off we went with a recommendation to stick with a bland diet for a while and a week’s worth of probiotic samples. 4 days later and (knock on wood) she seems to be over her diarrhea.
If your toddler has diarrhea and no other symptoms to indicate they are ill you may find that they just have a bout of toddler diarrhea. Call your child’s doctor to determine if he or she wants to see your child and to find out what they recommend for treating toddler diarrhea. If the diarrhea continues or your child appears to be dehydrated call your doctor right away. Dehydration is common with diarrhea and can be dangerous if it goes untreated.