When you begin to notice that something just isn’t right with your baby’s mouth, you might begin to suspect that he or she has something referred to as thrush. Thrush is an oral yeast infection that can spread to other parts of your baby’s body causing additional health issues such as diaper rash.
Thrush is not overly painful for babies, fortunately. It is, however, mildly uncomfortable for some. The discomfort caused by oral thrush in babies can make feeding time difficult for some children. As they attempt to latch on either to you to nurse or to a bottle’s nipple to feed, they might fight the urge to latch on in an effort to minimize the pain they feel.
Oral thrush does not present many symptoms. You will not notice the typical symptoms of illness in a child who has thrush. You will not notice a fever, nausea, vomiting, lethargic behavior, or any of the other common symptoms of a cold or other illness. Because it is a bacterial infection, thrush really only affects the area in which the infection grew.
Thrush in your child’s mouth comes from an overgrowth of Candida, the bacteria known as yeast. When your child’s immune system is compromised, yeast grows rapidly in the mouth causing thrush. What might compromise your baby’s immune system includes everything from antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection to a common cold.
Both lower the immune system and make it difficult for good bacteria to keep the bad bacteria in check. You’ll begin to notice thrush in your baby’s mouth as it grows into white spots on the interior of your baby’s cheeks as well as on his or her tongue or mouth. These are not to be mistaken for cold sores, as they are small white lesions that tend to look a lot like cottage cheese. If you attempt to rub the lesions off of your baby, you will notice that there is slight bleeding.
Is Baby Thrush In The Mouth Contagious?
Thrush is the bacterial infection caused by yeast in a child’s mouth. It’s normal for a healthy child to have a moderate amount of candida, or yeast, in his or her mouth at all times. However, when your infant or newborn’s immune system is compromised by antibiotics or a cold, the good bacteria that typically wards off the bad bacteria is compromised. This allows bad bacteria such as yeast to multiply and cause infections such as yeast. If you begin to notice cottage cheese-like lesions in your baby’s mouth or tongue, it might be thrush.
If you do happen to notice or suspect thrush, call your child’s pediatrician right away. Your child’s pediatrician can give you a gel to help cure your baby’s thrush It’s imperative that you have thrush treated right away because it is a contagious infection. The infection can be passed by direct contact. For example, if you touch the inside of your baby’s mouth and then touch the face of another child, you could pass the infection on to the second child.
To help prevent your baby’s thrush from spreading to others there are several things you can do. Start by sterilizing everything that comes into contact with your baby’s mouth. This means bottle nipples, your nipples, and pacifiers. You might need to purchase a few additional pacifiers for your baby so that there is time for each one to sterilize between uses.
The same goes for bottle nipples. If your child has thrush and you are breast feeding, talk to your doctor about treating your nipples at the same time as your child is being treated. It’s also imperative that you clean your breasts with a wet cloth and soap between each feeding and allow them to completely air dry before dressing yourself.
Be sure to keep your child’s pacifier and bottle away from other children, even if they’re just trying to help by giving the baby a pacifier or bottle.
How To Get Rid Of Baby Thrush In The Mouth?
The simplest way to get rid of baby thrush in the mouth is with an antibiotic. This requires calling your baby’s pediatrician and making an appointment to be seen as soon as possible. Your baby’s doctor can easily diagnose the infection and provide you with a prescription.
There are two types of medication available for your baby’s thrush treatment.
The first is an oral gel that is meant to be rubbed into the lesions in your baby’s mouth. The best way to give your baby Nystatin is to drop a few droplets into his or her mouth on the lesions, move his or her head to the opposite side and do the same, and then use a cotton swab to gently rub the gel onto the lesions inside your baby’s mouth. The best time to do this is directly after a feeding so that the medicine can spend as much time as possible on the lesions.
The second method of treating thrush is Fluconazole, which is an ingested medication. You’ll simply need to give this medication to your baby through a dropper using the recommended dosage for the recommended number of days.
Finally, the best way to get rid of thrush in your baby is to prevent passing it back and forth between the two of you. He or she can pass thrush onto you through breast feeding. Be sure to clean your breasts thoroughly between each feeding with a cloth and soapy water.
Allow them to air dry. Sterilize all bottle nipples and pacifiers before and after each use by boiling them in hot water for 10 minutes. Be very careful to allow them to cool completely before using them again. Additionally, be sure to wash your hands regularly after touching your baby’s mouth to prevent passing the infection back and forth.