Is your baby extremely fussy during feedings? Have you noticed white patches on her tongue? Your baby may be suffering from oral thrush. We all love to see our babies smiling and cheerful all the time. It is extremely difficult to see our baby’s mouth in pain. Many parents get confused with lingering milk and thrush. How do you differentiate between white patches and lingering milk? Read on to know the signs and symptoms of thrush
What is Thrush in Babies?
Thrush is nothing but an oral yeast infection that occurs on the baby’s tongue. Also called as oral candidiasis, this condition is characterized by the accumulation of the fungus candida albicans in the mouth. This yeast infection causes sores and white lesions on the tongue that resembles the milk whiteness of breast milk or formula.
This fungus is present in everyone’s tongue, but an oral thrush occurs in babies when their immune system is weakened.
How Babies get Thrush?
Candida albicans is present both in the mouth and vagina. Hence, the probability of getting thrush begins during birth in your birth canal as a yeast infection. Your baby picks it up when she is coming out of the birth canal. Other reasons include usage of antibiotics by both mum and baby. Thrush can also occur if the mom’s nipple is not dried and cleaned properly after every feed. Poor hygiene makes yeast grow and cause an infection. Bottles and pacifiers also make the inside of baby’s mouth overly moist, which is the perfect environment for the yeast to grow.
Signs and Symptoms of Thrush in Babies
In order to avoid any kind of confusion between breast milk remains on the tongue and oral thrush, listed below are few signs and symptoms of thrush in babies
1} White Patches
Oral thrush is characterized by white patches on the tongue. These white patches look like milky curds or cottage cheese. These pitches stick on tongue and cannot be wiped away unlike milk or formula. If rubbed excessively, the patches may begin to bleed.
2} Sore tongue and mouth
You may constantly wonder why your little one is so fussy at feeding. This may be due to oral thrush. Oral thrush causes a sore tongue and mouth which makes it difficult to chew or swallow milk and food.
3} Poor appetite
Your baby may also be fussing to eat due to her poor appetite. This is often confused with poor milk supply or lack of hunger. But the truth is that your baby in able to swallow or digest due to oral thrush. Due to this your baby becomes fussier than usual.
4} Diaper rash
Yes, you may be surprised to know this, oral thrush can cause diaper rashes too. The yeast that infects your baby’s mouth will also be present in her stool. Hence, diaper rashes can occur.
5} Redness below white patches
Redness below the white patches is a direct indication of oral thrush. Do not mistake your baby’s tongue to be just appearing pink.
Read More: 5 Thrush Symptoms in Mom
Treatment of Baby Thrush
Once you have identified your baby has thrush, you should immediately contact a paediatrician and seek help. Additionally, you can try out some natural remedies that will help get rid of oral thrush in babies
1} Breast milk and yoghurt
Both breast milk and yoghurt are great sources of probiotics that are rich in good bacteria and help fight yeast infection. There are several other probiotics that are commercially available for infants.
2} Reduce your sugar intake
If you are a nursing mom, then reducing your sugar intake is essential. A sugary diet can trigger a yeast infection in your baby who is nursing from you.
3} Gentian Violet
Not many might have heard of this, but Gentian Violet is an effective natural remedy for oral thrush in babies. It is an anti-septic dye that treats fungal infections and relieves your baby from thrush and discomfort.
4} Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract contains anti-microbial properties that help combat yeast infections in babies. About 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract mixed with one ounce of water is recommended to be rubbed on the baby’s tongue and mouth before breast feeding.
Now that you know the different treatment options for thrush, you may be wondering how to prevent it. There is nothing you can do to stop your little one from getting oral thrush, unless of course if you have had a c-section. However, you can avoid future occurrences of it by sterilizing pacifiers, cleaning nipples properly, and regular cleaning of tongue.
Even if you are baby is extremely irritated or fussy during feeding, continue to breastfeed or formula feed her. Once the treatments start working, the signs of thrush and the infections slowly disappear. Your baby will be eating properly again even before you know it.