Diarrhea is the passing of loose, water poo/stools. It can be acute (sudden) or chronic (long-lasting). Acute diarrhea is a common digestive disorder in babies and it can come on quite suddenly. Acute diarrhea is defined as three or more watery or loose stools per day lasting for around seven to 10 days, 14 days at most. Chronic diarrhoea lasts longer than 2 weeks. It is usually caused by an illness and will not go away until the illness or condition has been treated.

But be aware that during the first few months of life (0-3 months or newborn stage), babies can pass up to 8 stools/day, often yellowish in colour and thick like peanut butter. This is perfectly normal.

However, if your baby has acute or chronic diarrhea, make sure you contact your baby’s healthcare provider. And make sure he/she gets plenty of fluids, as it is a major cause of dehydration. Also, look out for a change in your baby’s poo/stool consistency rather than just the number of poo’s they produce in a day.

Changing baby's diaper

Diarrhea & CMPA

Why does my baby have diarrhea?

Most baby diarrhea is short-lived. It can be caused by a virus and goes away without treatment. Other possible causes of your baby’s diarrhea include:

  • A food allergy such as Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA)
  • A change in your baby's diet or a change in your diet (if you are breast-feeding)
  • Taking antibiotics, either you (if breastfeeding) or your baby

More than 1 in 2 or 50% of infants with a cow’s milk allergy will have diarrhea as a symptom.

Diarrhea is a common symptom in some types of CMPA.

Could my baby have Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy?

Diarrhea is a common symptom in certain types of CMPA. However, babies with CMPA usually experience more than just one symptom and these symptoms can be very different from one baby to the next. Therefore it is always best to discuss it with your baby’s healthcare provider. They will look at the symptoms in detail and often use a symptom scoring system to decide if it is related to CMPA.

What to Do Next?

If you are worried that your baby has symptoms related to cow's milk, you should seek advice from your healthcare provider. Whilst you are preparing to visit your healthcare provider, it can be a good idea to record your baby's symptoms over a few days before the visit.

CMPA's diagnostic path.


Understand more about the steps towards 
a possible diagnosis of CMPA

CMPA Diagnosis Arrow

Overview of Symptoms

Respiratory icon


Up to 30% of infants with CMPA have respiratory symptoms

Anaphylaxis icon


Anaphylactic shock is a severe, immediate, allergic reaction, which can affect many parts of the body

Skin icon


Up to 75% of infants with CMPA can have skin-related symptoms