Thrush in Infants

thrush in infantsThrush in infants is a fairly common problem. In this article, we discuss infant thrush symptoms and curing baby thrush. We will also explore treatments for infant thrush and see what medications are available to help your child.

Yeast infections can happen to anybody, even babies, and are caused by an overgrowth of Candida Albicans, a yeast that lives in or on many parts of the body. This Candida yeast is usually quite harmless but can cause irritation, soreness and health problems if it multiplies out of control.

(For a detailed explanation of yeast infections in general, see our page that explains yeast infection.)

To Learn How to Safely Get Rid of Your Baby's Thrush, Click Here

Baby yeast infections tend to affect either the mouth or the diaper area, which are both perfect breeding grounds for Candida Albicans because they are warm and moist environments.

A baby yeast infection in the mouth is commonly known as oral thrush and is more common in very young babies (up to 10 weeks), although it can occur in babies of any age. A diaper area baby yeast infection can affect any baby or toddler who wears diapers and can easily be mistaken for diaper rash.

We will be addressing yeast infections in the mouth of babies, or thrush in infants, in this article. For information about baby yeast infections in the diaper area click here for our article on that topic.

Baby Thrush or Baby Oral Yeast Infections

It is estimated that oral yeast infections affect around 1 in 7 babies at some point. Mothers should be assured, however, that it is usually not a serious condition and that it also has nothing to do with personal hygiene or lack of care.

Causes of thrush in infants can include:

  • a weakened immune system
  • taking a course of antibiotics
  • being infected during birth from a mother that has a vaginal yeast infection
  • yeast infection on the nipples of a breast feeding mother
  • dirty pacifiers or bottles

Symptoms of an oral yeast infection in a baby include:

  • white spots on the tongue and insides of the mouth
  • a cottage-cheese like covering on the tongue and mouth membranes
  • poor feeding
  • spitting out pacifier
  • excessive drooling

For clarification, the white patches mentioned above cannot be easily wiped away like milk or formula can. In fact, if you do try to wipe the white patch off, you may see bleeding and a sore area.

Treatment for Infant Thrush

Sometimes a mild oral yeast infection can clear up of its own accord in just a few days. That's the best kind of treatment isn't it? Thus a medical visit may not be necessary.

If thrush in infants does not cure itself, however, it may be necessary to use a prescribed treatment. In any case, if your babies thrush is causing malnutrition, you should seek medical advice.

Infant oral thrush medication includes mouth gel or drops containing antifungal drugs like miconazole or nystatin. Nystatin is one of the most common prescriptions and is usually squirted into the mouth or rubbed gently onto the affected areas. This treatment for infant thrush is continued until all signs of the oral yeast infection have disappeared.

One home remedy for thrush in infants is the use of acidophilus and bifidus powder. Acidophilus and bifidus are "good" bacteria and can help restore the body's natural balance of good vs. bad bacteria (you'll recall that a yeast infection is an overgrowth of "bad" bacteria in the body).

You can buy it in powder or capsule form. A small amount can be added to milk, yogurt, water, etc. or a small amount can be applied to a wet finger for the baby to suck on.

A dietary change is also suggested to help remedy thrush in infants. Less sugary foods are recommended since they will not feed the yeast.

Steps to Prevent Baby Thrush

It is important to sterilize teats, pacifiers and any toys that the baby puts into the mouth so that the baby does not get reinfected. Let the objects dry thoroughly before storing.

A breastfeeding mother may also be prescribed an antifungal cream to apply to her nipples. It is also suggested that the nipples be rinsed and allowed to airdry thoroughly before covering.

Another recommended method of preventing thrush is to feed the infant sterilized water after feeding in order to rinse away any residue.

Hopefully this article on thrush in infants has helped you restore your baby's good health.

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