How To Get Rid Of Thrush In Babies: Try These Home Remedies

how to get rid of thrush in babies

Motherhood is a battle, and even your little soldier can bring you challenges. As a mother, it is challenging to watch your new baby suffer from the thrush. If you observe your baby struggling, irritable, or uneasy, have a look inside their mouth. If there are any white spots in their mouth or throat, this could indicate the presence of oral thrush, a common yeast infection that can get you and your young one in trouble.

Oral thrush is a common condition for breastfed infants; we understand that you want to comfort and cure your baby as quickly as possible, but first, you have to understand why such a situation occurs in the first place. The pesky thrust is caused by the fungus called candida albicans. The ideal place where the yeast thrives is the warm and moist environment of the toothless mouth of your baby.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful bond for you and your baby, and we know that you quickly want to treat oral thrush. The days of tossing and turning are over now; prepare yourself to be amazed as we reveal the natural remedies right under your nose and you didn’t even think of them.

A common kitchen product, baking soda does wonders to treat thrush. Add baking soda with boiled and cooled water and use it as a mouthwash. It usually treats thrush in a few days, so your baby may not need any medication, but if it persists, you should go to the doctor for proper checkups and get an answer on how to get rid of thrush.

What Causes Thrush In Babies?

Thrush is a common infection that can also occur in babies and adults. The culprit behind it is a fungus called candida albicans which grows in a warm moist environment of your baby’s mouth. Although bacterias and fungi are present naturally in the human body, there are a few considerable causes of thrush in babies.

  • Antibiotics

For a healthy body, a natural equilibrium between microbes and the human body is necessary. Our body contains friendly and nonfriendly bacteria that antibiotics do not discriminate. Antibiotics mostly upset the delicate balance of the natural flora, thereby increasing the susceptibility to thrush when moms or babies take them.

  • Compromised immune system

Your baby’s immune system cannot protect him or her against any infections as it is not fully developed. There are many chances for a bacterial infection or candida infection like thrush to occur.

  • Breastfeeding

Although breastfeeding is a beautiful way to bond with your baby, it can also cause thrush. If the mother has a vaginal yeast infection, like vaginal candidiasis, it can be transmitted to a nursing mother’s baby through breastfeeding.

  • Sterilization and hygiene

If you are not breastfeeding and your baby still gets thrush, the main cause is unsterilized utensils like pacifiers and milk bottles.

Thrush in babies can be effectively prevented and treated by understanding the causes. Taking proactive steps to protect your child’s oral health is now easier with this knowledge!

How Do I Know If My Baby Has Thrush?

Thoroughly examining your baby’s tongue, lips, and cheeks can indicate if your baby has thrush.
Observe the following:

  1. Infection in the mouth mostly on the inside of the cheeks, the tongue, the gums, or the roof of the mouth. It would appear in the form of pesky white patches resembling cottage cheese.
  2. Upon touching or examining, they cause pain and also bleed. Use a soft cloth or cotton-tipped swab to examine not to cause your baby pain.
  3. Notice your baby if swallowing or sucking is difficult or painful. Your child might not consume as much milk or food as usual.
  4. Puss-filled zits.
  5. Baby’s loss of appetite
  6. A bad diaper rash
  7. The baby is not comfortable during nursing.

Logically, the baby is cranky because of lesions in their mouths, which can cause pain and taste loss. Other illnesses may have similar symptoms to thrush, so examine carefully and talk to a healthcare provider.

What Is The Fastest Way To Treat Thrush In Babies?

Oral candidiasis must be treated as soon as possible because of these minute white patches your baby is suffering. Sometimes a mother has a vaginal yeast infection that should be treated before you treat your child’s infection. Here are some fastest ways to treat oral thrush.

  • Oral thrush is a yeast infection that must be treated with medicine with antifungal properties. For this purpose, doctors mostly recommend fluconazole or nystatin, an antifungal drop, or a gel that should be applied on the baby’s thrush a few times a day for a week. You can apply the medicine with a sponge applicator.
  • A probiotic bacterium called lactobacilli may also be added to your baby’s diet by the doctor. The “friendly” bacteria lactobacilli imitate to combat the fungus and prevent yeast infections. Probiotics are available as nutritional supplements, but be sure to pick a reputed brand safe for infants.

How Can I Treat Thrush In My Baby At Home?

If you visit a pediatrician for oral thrush, they will typically recommend antifungal drugs for yeast infection for both you and the baby. These antifungals have a track record of success in treating thrush but hold on! There are some wonderful natural remedies, too. Some of them are listed below.

  1. Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is one of the remarkable natural ways to treat yeast infections. Mix 2 to 3 drops of oil in half a cup of water, boil and cool, and apply with a cotton swab.
  2. Virgin coconut oil: Coconut oil should be used to treat fungal infections. It contains caprylic acid, which helps in the treatment of newborn thrush. Use the Q tip to apply oil on the white patches in your baby’s mouth. Look closely to observe any allergic reaction toward the remedy. Stop giving coconut oil immediately if you see signs of allergy.
  3. Calendula oil: Thrush can be treated with pure calendula oil. This herbal extract can help in stopping the growth of yeast. You can apply the oil to your nipples or the bottle or apply it to your baby’s mouth.
  4. Grapefruit seed extract: A different method to stop the yeast that causes thrush is grapefruit seed extract combined with distilled water. A broad-spectrum antibacterial substance is extracted from the grapefruit. It must be taken in the same way as probiotics. 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract mixed with one ounce of water should be swabbed in the baby’s mouth before nursing.
  5. Saltwater: Salt has antimicrobial properties, and it also has the potential to relieve thrush symptoms. 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of salt can be used with a cotton swab to your child’s mouth.
  6. Baking soda: Baking soda, as known as sodium bicarbonate, also has the potential to treat infection caused by candida albicans. Make a paste of baking soda with water and apply this solution. Before nursing, you can also apply the paste on your nipples; simply wipe it off before the baby latches.
  7. Yogurt:  The spread of thrush can be stopped by the introduction of “good” bacteria from foods. Lactobacillus bulgaricus, a particularly beneficial probiotic that can aid in promoting a good balance of yeast in your baby’s mouth, is one of the many bacteria found in yogurt. Because of the fungus that causes yeast infections, Candida albicans enjoy sugar, so select an unflavoured, unsweetened yogurt. If your child is too young to consume yogurt, try dabbing a small amount into the troublesome regions using a cotton swab. You can also look for probiotics suitable for babies.
  8. Sterilize the utensils used: Ensure that you sterilize the pacifiers and nipples of the feeding bottles during the feeding. The best way to sterilize is to boil the used utensils.

These home remedies should be used with the instructions of your child’s doctor. Thus a healthcare professional must be consulted to diagnose thrush. They can provide you with advice and proper treatment based on the state of your baby.

Is Thrush Life-Threatening for Babies?

Is Thrush Life-Threatening for Babies?

Thrush is commonly not life-threatening, but a frequent oral illness in babies can be problematic. If your baby’s immune system is weak, any infection can cause major issues, and if a child is healthy, it is not a problem. Treatment option includes antifungal medication as well as natural remedies. But before using natural treatment for thrush, you should consult the doctor.

If this problem persists in a baby older than 9 months, it could become life-threatening. Thrush causes more discomfort than anything else. However, if your child refuses to eat, it could result in more serious problems, including dehydration. There is a chance that the infection can spread to the esophagus or other organs in extreme situations if it has gone untreated and is getting worse.

How Do I Know If Thrush Is Serious?

Baby thrush is a common and manageable candida infection, but it can be a serious problem. The following symptoms show if thrush is serious or not.

Severe and persistent symptoms: Medical help must be taken when thrush symptoms, such as white patches, persist for over two weeks despite using remedies or prescribed medication. Such a case signifies a serious problem that needs more medical help.

Other infected areas: If you observe thatthrush is spreading in other parts of the baby’s body, including the diaper area, it could be a sign of a serious infection. Consult the doctor immediately.

Feeding issues or considerable weight loss: Thrush can make your baby uncomfortable while swallowing, ultimately resulting in weight loss. And losing weight for babies is not a good sign. If you observe this, seek medical guidance to address the issue immediately.

Dehydration symptoms: If you observe that your baby’s urine output is decreased and his or her lips are dry, dehydration is the culprit. This situation is alarming and requires medical treatment as soon as possible.

As parents, look for unusual signs your baby presents and talk to the doctor immediately. They will assess the condition’s severity and give treatment depending on your baby’s requirements.

When Should I See A Doctor for Thrush?

Consult your doctor if your baby’s oral thrush persists, especially if he or she is older than 9 months, as this could be an indication of another health problem. 

If your infant displays signs like dehydration, feeding issues, or discomfort when eating, along with white spots on the tongue, inner cheeks, or roof of the mouth, you might want to consider seeing a doctor. It’s also important to get medical help right away if the infection lasts longer than 14 days, as it can spread to other parts of the body. A doctor will assess your baby’s condition and treat it accordingly to manage thrush.

Is There A Permanent Cure for Thrush In Babies?

Although there isn’t a permanent treatment for thrush in babies, the infection is particularly treatable. A Candida yeast overgrowth is causing thrush, and with the right treatment, the condition can be cured.

Eliminating the Candida yeast and controlling any discomfort or symptoms are the main objectives of treatment. Antifungal drugs like oral gels or suspensions, which are often recommended by a doctor, are common treatment options.

It’s crucial to adhere to the recommended treatment and finish the medication as prescribed. Along with taking medication, you can help your infant avoid getting thrush again by practicing proper oral hygiene, such as wiping their gums and tongue with a soft cloth.

It’s also critical to address any underlying causes of thrush, such as making sure pacifiers and bottles are properly sterilized. Though thrush can return, with the right care and precautions, it can be avoided.

Final Thoughts

Even though thrush isn’t dangerous, it’s unpleasant for both you and your baby. The joy of breastfeeding might be destroyed by this issue. Antifungal medications should be used to treat thrush and vaginal yeast infection in the mother if present. Sometimes your baby might not even need any treatment. With just a bit of patience, those white patches could clear up. Visit your pediatrician if the thrush symptoms continue.

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

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