As parents we know that not everyday in your baby's first year will be easy, but when feeding problems occur these days can be hard on the whole family.
If your little one is especially fussy during feedings, and you notice white patches in her mouth, there may be cause for concern. These spots may be an oral yeast infection known as thrush.
What exactly is thrush, and what can you do to help your baby eat without pain or frustration?
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Thrush in Babies Mouth
Oral thrush — also called oral candidiasis — is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of the mouth.
As ominous as this sounds, Candida is a normal organism in your mouth, but sometimes it can overgrow it and cause unpleasant symptoms.
Although oral thrush can affect anyone, this condition is more likely to occur in babies because of reduced immunity.
Signs of Thrush in Babies
To spot symptoms of thrush in babies, the first place to start is looking for any white patches or sores on your babies tongue, gums, and/or the inside of their mouth. Pay attention to the corner of your little one’s mouth looking for cracking and spots.
Before you call your doctor, keep in mind that your baby’s tongue could be coated in milk residue. If your baby's white tongue is just a milk tinge, the light coating should disappear within an hour after a feeding.
After that time if you are still unsure if your little one has thrush, try wrapping a piece of gauze around your finger and try to gently wipe away the marks. If the residue wipes away there is no reason to worry. If the suspicious patches are still there or your baby’s tongue is red and sore under the patch, it is time to treat for thrush.
If your baby's tongue easily bleeds at this time or any other please call your health care provider immediately.
What Does Thrush Look Like in Babies
Oral thrush in babies often causes creamy white lesions on the tongue or inner cheeks. Sometimes oral thrush may spread to the roof of your mouth, your gums or tonsils, or the back of your throat.
Pictures of Thrush in Babies
Overall the signs of thrush in a baby are easily noticeable. Classically you will white, velvety patches over your baby's tongue and inner cheeks and redness or bleeding in the mouth.
Outside of baby's mouth symptoms will include fussiness, difficulty feeding, and, sometimes, a diaper rash.
What Causes Thrush in Babies
Thrush in babies does not come from the food that your baby eats and occurs whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed.
When this fungal infection known as thrush shows up in a baby's mouth, it probably started at birth as a yeast infection, and that's where your baby picked it up as they made their way into the world.
Since thrush is usually picked up at birth, it's most common in newborns and babies under 2 months. Older babies can also develop thrush if they've been taking antibiotics or have immune composing factors which kill off the healthy bacteria that keep yeast in check.
How to Get Rid of Thrush in Babies
Unfortunately, thrush is contagious and it’s best if your infant gets treated quickly.
For thrush in a baby's mouth, your pediatrician may prescribe an antifungal medication which is applied topically to the insides of the mouth and tongue multiple times a day for 10 days.
It is not unusual for babies with thrush to also develop yeast infection in the diaper area. A yeasty diaper rash can be treated with a different prescription antifungal medication specifically for that area.
Nipple thrush and oral thrush go hand-in-hand when it comes to breastfeeding and bottle feeding alike.
For little ones that receive formula via baby bottle nipples, it is important to sterilize not only the actual nipples but also the rings, bottles, pacifiers and anything the baby puts in their mouth.
Boil each part of the baby bottles for a minimum of 20 minutes each day for as long as your infant is being treated for thrush. This diligence will make sure to kill the yeast that could be on them.
If you are breastfeeding and your baby develops thrush, you will need to be treated as long as your little one. Your doctor will likely recommend that you apply a prescription antifungal cream to your breasts each time you give your baby thrush medication.
Symptoms of breastfeeding nipple thrush include itchy, flaky, or shiny skin on the areola or nipples, you may have red or cracked nipples and at the worst have a stabbing feeling deep within your breasts during or between feedings.
Thrush in Babies Natural Treatment
After consulting with your family doctor and receiving the necessary prescriptions it may help to make changes to your day-to-day habits.
Daily natural steps for treating oral and bodily yeast infection include:
✔ Laundering clothing and linens in high heat.
✔ Wash all shared surfaces that could harbor yeast, such as diaper changing areas, bedding, and bibs.
✔ Wash these possible contaminated items separately and add distilled white vinegar to the wash.
✔ Thoroughly cleaning all pacifiers, bottles, breast pump parts, nipple shields, tethers, and toys, using hot, soapy water.
✔ Diligent hand washing is imperative. Everyone in the household and who cares for the baby should be extra careful to wash their hands regularly.
✔ Wash your hands before and after applying any ointments to your baby or your breasts.
How to Prevent Thrush in Babies
When your little one’s system is compromised, using prebiotics and probiotics are needed to balance the gut and fight unwanted invaders such as thrush that can travel on and through the body.
For bottle fed babies, European baby formulas such as Kendamil Organic Cow’s Milk Formula and Jovie Goat Milk Formula have added these immunity-boosting properties directly to your child's nutrition.
Both Kendamil organic cow milk and Jovie goat milk have naturally occurring HMOs (probiotic) as found in breast milk that play a large part in the development of a healthy gut microbiome and can reduce infections and yeast growth.
You will also find natural prebiotics like we see galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) added directly to the formula, which is a dietary fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria that can stave off yeast overgrowth.
Along with the benefits of a healthy gut with European baby formulas, your little one will receive world class nutrition that exceeds all expectations of pure, clean organic nutrition.
Oral Thrush in Babies
Very few things are harder on families than when their sweet baby is feeling out of sorts. Thrush can not only cause your little one pain but can also be contagious and hard to get rid of.
The good news is, with the help of your family doctor and pure clean organic nutrition from My Organic Company, oral thrush will be under control and your little one will be happy and healthy.