Baby thrush is something that can happen at any time to any baby. It’s a yeast infection in a baby’s mouth. It is caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouth called Candida. Candida is yeast. While it’s always present in your baby’s mouth, it’s typically not problematic because your baby’s natural supply of healthy bacterium helps keep infection at bay by not allowing harmful bacteria to multiply.
When your baby takes certain antibiotics or suffers from some sort of sickness or health problem, however, his or her immune system becomes compromised. When the immune system is weakened, it’s more likely that a yeast infection will occur in your baby’s mouth.
Not all children experience painful thrush infections. Some babies have thrush infections and never behave as though they are in pain. What it really depends on is the number of lesions your baby has. Lesions caused by thrush are white, cottage cheese-like in appearance, and filled with blood. They begin to develop inside your baby’s mouth as thrush takes over. They can be on the inside of cheeks, on the tongue, and even on the roof of your little one’s mouth.
When there are only a few lesions here and there, they typically do not hurt your baby. As the lesions begin to grow closer together and multiply in number, however, they may begin to cause pain in your baby’s mouth. This pain does not last all day. It usually only happens when your baby tries to eat, which could cause him or her to not want to suck during feedings.
This is a dangerous occurrence. When your baby stops sucking during feedings, he or she is not getting the nutrients needed at each feeding. Your baby could become severely dehydrated after missing out on only a few feedings, which can cause further health complications.
Do not allow your baby’s thrush lesions to multiply. Call your pediatrician as soon as you notice lesions beginning to appear in your child’s mouth. The faster the infection is treated, the faster your baby will experience relief and the less chance there is that he or she will experience any pain or discomfort.
Does Baby Thrush Go Away Itself?
Baby thrush can go away by itself. However, it usually doesn’t. The biggest reason baby thrush does not go away on its own is simple; the bacteria that causes the infection is spread to many other locations and repeatedly introduced to your baby’s mouth. This makes it very difficult for your baby’s thrush to disappear. For example, if your baby uses a pacifier and you do not sterilize that pacifier after each use, bacteria will continue to grow on the pacifier. Each time your baby takes the pacifier, new bacteria is introduced to his or her mouth. This can cause thrush to stay alive and continue to infect his or her mouth.
The same goes for bottles and even your nipple. When you try to allow thrush to go away on its own, you run the risk of your baby being exposed to it regularly on bottle nipples and even your own nipples.
Thrush is contagious. This means that each time your baby breast feeds, the infection is spread to your breasts. You should try to prevent thrush from latching onto your breasts after each feeding. Do this by washing your breasts with a damp cloth and soapy water before allowing them to air dry. If you do not do this, you could develop thrush on your nipples. They will become very red and very painful and require treatment.
If you want to allow your baby’s thrush to go away on its own, that is a personal decision. However, without careful consideration and care it is difficult to overcome thrush. The infection can reoccur at any given point if it is not carefully removed from your household.
Does Baby Thrush Need To Be Treated?
This is a question that’s a bit complicated to answer. Baby thrush should be treated, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be treated. Some parents let the infection run its course and hope it doesn’t reoccur, though it usually does. If your child does not seem to suffer any pain from the lesions caused by thrush, you might consider forgoing treatment.
However, if your baby does experience pain and that pain stops him or her from eating, it’s time to seek treatment. If your baby stop eating due to the pain associated with thrush, he or she could become dehydrated and suffer from bigger health problems.
If you do decide to treat your baby’s thrush, you can do it at home or with medical help. If you decide to use natural remedies at home, they might not work as quickly or effectively. These remedies include placing yogurt on the lesions inside your baby’s mouth and rubbing it in several times a day until the infection clears.
Another way to treat thrush at home is with a mixture of baking soda and water. This creates a paste-like substance that can be used to run on the thrush lesions for relief. Finally, place some plantain seeds in water so they are completely submerged. Wait overnight for the seeds to become gel and rub them onto the lesions in your baby’s mouth. Do this several times a day for a few days until the thrush clears up.
Otherwise, it’s a safe bet to call the pediatrician and allow him or her to prescribe medication to rid your baby of thrush. This includes a topical gel that you rub onto the baby’s lesions after each feeding as well as an oral medication your baby swallows. Both should clear up the thrush infection in a matter of a few days so that your baby will experience some relief.
Does baby thrush hurt? If your baby’s thrush has spread to your nipples, his or her pediatrician will also provide you with treatment to keep the baby from becoming infected again. It’s a never-ending cycle to pass thrush back and forth to one another via breast feeding.