Thrush in Babies: Causes and Treatments


My baby has white spots on the insides of her cheeks. What could this be? What are the other signs and symptoms of thrush? How long does thrush last in baby? Any natural treatment exists? Read more to find out the answer.

It could be a common and harmless yeast infection called thrush. Thrush looks like cottage cheese or milk curds on the sides, roof, and sometimes the tongue of a baby’s mouth. It’s most common in infants 2 months and more youthful, however it can appear in older infants, too.

What causes thrush?

Yeast is a typical part of everybody’s digestive system, however when there’s an imbalance, an infection sets in. Many babies first come in contact with yeast as they take a trip down the birth canal. Thrush can develop when hormonal changes right after birth trigger an overgrowth of yeast in your baby’s mouth.

After your baby is born, antibiotics taken by you (if you’re breastfeeding) or your baby can set off a case of thrush. That’s due to the fact that antibiotics exterminate “excellent” bacteria that keep yeast in check.

Some mamas and children pass the infection backward and forward: Your baby can pass thrush on to you if you’re breastfeeding, leading to a painful yeast infection on your nipples that will need a doctor’s treatment. And you can trigger a case of thrush in your baby if you’re breastfeeding and you develop a yeast infection on your nipples from taking antibiotics. On the other hand, some mamas stay uninfected even while breastfeeding infants who have thrush– and some breastfed children are not impacted by their mother’s yeast infection.

image of thrush in babies
Thrush in babies

Some individuals believe thrush can likewise be caused by extended sucking on a bottle or pacifier. Others think poor health of bottle nipples is to blame. However infants who breastfeed solely and do not use pacifiers can also get it, so it’s hard to determine any one cause. Some infants (and some mamas) are merely more susceptible than others to yeast.

How can I understand for sure that it’s thrush?

If you believe your baby has thrush, look for the particular white spots. Then carefully touch a spot with a gauze-covered finger. If it is thrush, it probably won’t come off extremely quickly, but if it does, you’ll find a raw, red area below that may bleed.

If you notice a white coating on your baby’s tongue however nowhere else, it’s probably just milk residue (especially if you can wipe it off). Thrush patches can appear on your baby’s tongue, however are frequently discovered on the sides of the mouth. These spots can be painful– you might first think thrush if your baby begins crying when nursing or sucking on a pacifier or bottle.

How can I treat thrush in my baby?

In most cases, no treatment is required. Thrush normally cleans up on its own in a few weeks. Some babies discover thrush painful and annoying, while others don’t seem to discover. If your baby appears uncomfortable, by all indicates call your pediatrician, who may have the ability to give you a prescription over the phone for an oral fungal medication called Nystatin.

How long does thrush last?

You’ll “paint” the medication on the white spots with the enclosed applicator (or your finger) several times a day for ten days. It might take a week to clear up the infection. If the infection doesn’t seem to be cleaning up, call your doctor. Some babies with thrush likewise develop a yeast diaper infection. If that occurs, your doctor can recommend a fungal medication to use in the diaper area.

If you’re breastfeeding a baby with thrush, numerous doctors also suggest that you use Nystatin or Lotramin to your nipples so that you and your baby won’t pass the infection back and forth.

Can I do anything to avoid my baby from getting thrush?

Absolutely nothing can be done to keep children from picking up yeast as they travel through the birth canal. To ward off future infections, prevent giving your baby antibiotics unnecessarily (antibiotics can induce a case of thrush by exterminating bacteria that keep yeast under control). Cleaning up and decontaminating pacifiers might likewise help, according to And some pediatricians encourage breastfeeding mothers to let their nipples air dry in between feedings to avoid thrush.

Is thrush harmful?

No. However if your baby is really picky and uncomfortable, thrush could disrupt breast- or bottle-feeding. Your doctor might recommend that you give your baby acetaminophen for the pain.

A starving baby who discovers it painful to eat is an extremely unfortunate sight, and a bout of thrush can be extremely trying– however it’s normally temporary. Give your baby all the convenience he requires and follow your pediatrician’s instructions for pain relief and medication, and this infection, too, will pass!


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