How to Deal with Thrush in Babies

Thrush is a type of infection due to a germ called Candida, the mouth being its common site. Thrush can be seen in the vaginal area, nappy area and nail folds etc. You can also see baby white spots on tongue. Although thrush can affect anybody, it is majorly seen in babies and toddlers.

While playing and laughing with your baby, you may see white patches inside its cheek. The first thing coming to your mind is the remains of milk. However, after exploring the mouth even further you may observe baby white spots on tongue and below the lips too. An oral thrush might fall to your little one. Therefore, to know how to deal with thrush in babies should be a must.

What Are the Symptoms of Thrush in Babies?

It is not possible for a baby to explain what is going on with him and therefore, a mother has to look for proper signs and symptoms that are making her child uneasy.

The various symptoms and signs that you must take care to identify are as follows:

  • Baby white spots on tongue or in mouth is the first observation. The whitish material covers the red tissues that may result in bleeding. The size and number of abrasion may increase.
  • Some babies may feel restless and uncomfortable while feeding due to the soreness in mouth, whereas some babies are not affected by thrush at all.
  • White patches usually occur on the upper part of mouth, tongue and inner cheeks. They don’t go away easily like the milk deposits along withpainful feelings.
  • Red patches may occur and look like ulcers. Loss of taste or difficulty in swallowing food is another symptom.

What Causes Thrush in Babies?

Thrush is the result of overgrown yeast in a baby’s mouth, requiring a moist and warm environment to survive. When the yeast is overgrown immensely, white patches begin to show up. Due to the increased level of candida fungus in the baby’s mouth, a thrush infection is formed.

There are good chances for Candida fungus to increase in the baby due to following reasons:

  • Because of your baby’s week immune system, resistance to the infection is not that high.
  • The consumption of antibiotics, which results in low level of healthy bacteria in their body, permits candida to spread.

It may also be transmitted by a mother to their babies in the following conditions:

  • Consuming antibiotics during breastfeeding.
  • She herself is suffering from thrush and breastfeeding the baby.
  • She had thrush for a short period of time while giving birth to the baby vaginally.

How to Treat Thrush in Babies

Consult a doctor if you see any symptoms of thrush in your babies. It may go away in 1-2 weeks, in some exceptional cases it may persist even after a week or two, and then it is recommended to visit a doctor and get a prescribed antifungal solution for your baby’s mouth. Apply a sponge applicator and put it on the inner portions of mouth where you can see the thrush.

After seeing a doctor, here are some treatments that may also help in treating thrush:

1.      Sterilize the Nursing Supplies

You must sterilize bottle nipples and pacifiers or anything that your baby takes in mouth. Boiling them for 20 minutes every day to keep away the yeast that may be present on it.

2.      Keep the Toys Clean

Clean all the toys your baby often plays with in hot and soapy water every day to disinfect them. These toys can be the direct reason of infection. Disinfecting will prevent all kinds of infection.

3.      Try Using Gentian Violet

If nothing works and candida still persists, you can try 0.25 - 0.5 percent of gentian violet on your nipples 2-3 times a day after consulting it with your doctor. You can also apply it on the baby’s mouth along with the usage of a little amount of Vaseline ahead, avoiding any staining. The gentian violet is suggested as the last option and should be used sparingly, because it is observed that using it can cause mouth cancer in some cases.

4.      Prevent Thrush from Breastfeeding

It is advised that the breastfeeding mothers should take care of their nipples along with baby’s treatment as this severe infection can affect mothers too.

After every nursing you’d better keep these steps in mind:

  • Breast milk – After nursing, apply some breast milk on your nipples with gentle massage, and then let it dry naturally in the air.
  • White vinegar – Dab a little ofa mixture of 1 tablespoon white vinegar with one cup of water on your nipples and let them air dry.

If you still have questions and want to know more about curing baby white spots on tongue or other symptoms of thrush, here is a video showing some home remedies:

Can Thrush in Babies Be Prevented?

It is recommended to consult a doctor during pregnancy to avoid any thrush infection being transmitted to the infant. Vaginal cheesy discharge or itching may be signs of vaginal yeast infection.

If a nursing mother suffers from nipple discharge or pain, she must immediately seek help from her doctor. The early examination of thrush infection prevents it from being transmitted to the newborn.