Bottle Feeding your baby right is a very important. Diarrhoea on the other hand is a disease that plagues infants, children as well as adults especially when proper hygiene in the environment is not maintained. Diarrhoea is the condition of passing at least three loose or liquid stools each day. It often lasts a few days and can result in dehydration due to extreme fluid and nutrient loss.
Diarrhoea in infants can be difficult to identify because for many babies, lose, frequent and even watery stools may be normal. Diarrhoea in infants and children who are bottle fed can pose a serious health risk if not treated promptly. Below are ways to prevent diarrhoea in infants and bottle fed children:
1) Wash your hands
Wash your hands with soap and warm water before handling your baby. Wash after shopping excursions, work, or meeting friends and family. Washing of hands though can be easily overlooked, is a simple and vital action when one has a babe. Washing hands with soap and water after returning home, before handling or preparing baby’s food and after using the convenience will go a long way to reduce or even prevent the occurrence of diarrhoea.
2) Sanitize bottles and associated equipment: always check the manufacturer’s instruction manual to see what method to be used to sanitize your baby’s feeding bottles, teats and other utensils your babe feeds with. Maintaining a clean environment and sanitizing the equipment and toys your baby feeds or plays with is essential. Wash new bottles, nipples, and rings. Sterilize them by submerging them in a pot of boiling water for at least five minutes. Then let them air dry with a clean towel. After that, a good cleaning in hot, soapy water is sufficient. Avoid leaving unfinished milk in the bottle to spoil. Pour out leftover milk as soon as possible.
3) Use clean water: While feeding your infant or child, it is advisable to breastfeed when you can; and to prepare baby formula with boiled cooled water or sterile bottle water and not tap water. Adding prebiotics and probiotics to your infant’s formula or breastmilk has been shown to prevent diarrhoea or to reduce its severity.
4) Store Formula Properly; Also, you should pay attention to how you store the baby’s formula as well as the bottles you use. Do not leave them hanging open in the house, office or in your bags. You should also have bowls and bags set aside for your baby’s feeding items alone. Ensure you cover the formula tightly so it does not gather pathogens from the environment. Also, keep the bowls and towels clean at all times.
In conclusion, although it is best to prevent diarrhoea, should in case it occurs, do not panic: maintain hydration by giving salt and water solution, while you continue feeding. Consult your doctor if it persists or if you notice your baby is becoming weak.