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How To Get Rid Of Thrush in Babies

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How To Get Rid Of Thrush in Babies

Is your baby acting extra fussy while eating? Have you noticed white patches in their mouth when they cry? No worries, it’s normal for them to be upset. This might be caused by a yeast called Candida albicans, known as thrush. It’s a common oral infection in babies, though not too serious. Wondering how to get rid of thrush? Read on to find!

What is Thrush?

Candida albicans is a white fungus that can live on your body harmlessly. Sometimes, it grows too much and causes thrush. You’ll see white patches in your baby’s mouth, diaper area, and possibly even on your nipples. If you’ve had a vaginal yeast infection, you’re familiar with this fungus. It can cause discomfort but don’t worry, it’s usually easy to treat.

What Causes Thrush In Babies?

Thrush often appears in babies’ mouths in their first weeks or months, and if you’re wondering how to get rid of thrush, no one’s sure why, but it could be because their immune system isn’t strong yet. This often happens after using antibiotics, which can make the fungus grow more. Steroid medicines or Candida from a vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy could also be reasons for thrush in babies, they might pick it up in the birth canal.

Symptoms Of Thrush In Babies

Take a look inside your baby’s mouth.

  • Do you see any sores or white patches on their gums, tongue, or the inside of their mouth?
  • Are the corners of their mouth cracked?

If you notice these things, it might be thrush. But don’t worry, sometimes a white tongue can be from milk and should go away within an hour after feeding.

You can do a simple test by wrapping gauze around your finger and gently wiping the marks. If they go away, everything’s fine. If not, and your baby’s tongue is red and sore with the white patch, it might be thrush and you should treat it.

Thrush can also show up in other places, like your baby’s diaper area. If there’s a stubborn red rash with dots, it could be thrush.

How To Get Rid Of Thrush in Babies?

Thrush is a problem in the mouth that can be fixed with anti-fungal medications. One of these medicines is Nystatin, a topical medication that’s put on the baby’s tongue. Instead of just dropping the medicine, parents can use something like an ear cleaner to put it gently on the baby’s tongue. This is done after the baby eats so that the milk doesn’t wash away the medicine.

Home Remedies For Thrush in Babies

While natural remedies can sometimes work for yeast infections like thrush, it’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare provider about it. Here are some natural home remedies for thrush:

  • Diet changes

To start, if your child is eating solid foods, you can try reducing the amount of sugary foods they eat. Since thrush, which is basically yeast, likes sugar, it makes sense that cutting down on sugary things in their diet can help prevent oral thrush. This includes fruits, sugary snacks, juice, refined carbohydrates, and sweeteners, which your baby shouldn’t have much of anyway.

  • Saltwater

Salt doesn’t just clean wounds, but this method of how to get rid of thrush makes the discomfort feel better. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Use a soft cotton swab to put this salty water on the white patches in your mouth. It might help you feel more comfortable.

  • Baking soda

We can use watered-down baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to help with thrush issues. Mix half a small spoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water, and put it on your child’s thrush using a soft cotton stick. You can also use this paste on your nipples before feeding your baby (just clean it off before your baby starts feeding).

  • Virgin Coconut oil

How to get rid of thrush with oil? Because of something called caprylic acid found in coconut oil, this gooey stuff might be useful for treating a baby’s thrush. Just put it on the white patches in your baby’s mouth using a cotton swab. But before you do this, make sure your baby isn’t allergic to coconut, and keep an eye out for any bad reactions after you use it.

  • Yogurt

Plain yogurt contains lots of tiny living things called bacteria, like Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which are very helpful and can make a good balance in your baby’s mouth, and this balance can stop a problem called thrush from getting worse. Thrush is caused by a bad fungus called Candida albicans, which really likes sugar, so understanding how to get rid of thrush with yogurt can be important.

So, it’s best to choose yogurt without any flavors or sugar. If your baby is too small to eat yogurt, you can put a little bit on the sore areas in their mouth using a soft stick. You can also look for special good bacteria for babies.

  • Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)

You might want to avoid using this product, even though people say it can cure infections. The problem is, it’s difficult to know how the product is actually made. An older study discovered some irritating and banned chemicals in one version of the product, even though these chemicals are not supposed to be in the main ingredient of the product.

  • Tea Tree Oil

Mix 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil with half a cup of water that has been boiled and cooled down. Then, use a clean cotton bud to put this mixture on your skin.

Other Treatment For Thrush In Babies

Now that you have the diagnosis and the home remedies, you need to medically treat the culprit of its stil a menace. Here’s a rundown of your medical and OTC options for oral thrush in babies:

Medical Treatment

Nystatin oral drops are a usual medicine for the baby, and a cream form of the same medicine is given to the mother for her breasts. If the tubes carrying milk in the mother’s breasts are affected, she might need to take medicine by mouth to treat that part. The doctor might suggest other options too.

Over-The-Counter Treatment

If your baby has a rash in the diaper area or on the head because of thrush, you might be able to use antifungal creams that you can buy without a prescription. But before you consider how to get rid of thrush with those creams, it’s important to talk to your baby’s doctor. If your baby is a bit older, the doctor might tell you to give her something called “lactobacilli,” which is like friendly bacteria. This helps fight the fungus causing the rash. You can buy these friendly bacteria as a medicine, but make sure to pick a good one that’s safe for babies.

How to Prevent Thrush From Recurring?

Candida is like a tricky germ that can easily spread. It’s a special kind of fungus that can change its form from a tiny yeast to a mold. This clever skill helps Candida to move around, stay alive, and make people sick. It’s important to treat both you and your baby so that Candida doesn’t go from your baby’s mouth to your nipple and back again. Whether you follow our home remedies for thrush or use prescription medications, make sure you follow the following prevention tips:

Here’s a general list of prevention tips to help your baby from thrush:

  • Wash your baby’s toys,  hands, and pacifiers thoroughly.
  • Launder clothing, towels, and bras that may have come in contact with the fungus. The best washing practice is to set a hot wash cycle.
  • If you’re using a breast pump, keep your milk refrigerated only until just before use. This prevents the growth of all kinds of yeast.
  • Always sterilize your breast pump and all its parts.

Here’s a general list of prevention tips to help you from thrush:

  • Always dry your breasts after every feeding.
  • Don’t use disposable nursing pads that have a plastic backing.
  • Always change your wet nursing pads.
  • Consider cutting down on the amount of sugar you eat. A study from 2017 found that having too much sugar in your body might help Candida to grow. But don’t worry too much about it, because this idea hasn’t been completely proven yet. So, if you want to ignore this suggestion, it’s okay, especially when you’re feeling stressed and want to eat chocolate. Maybe try to pick chocolates with less sugar, like dark chocolate.

An Endnote

Thrush and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding parents may have painful thrush in their areolas, nipples, and breasts, which can hurt even more if their nipples are cracked or if they have a vaginal yeast infection. When thrush affects the breasts, it can make breastfeeding painful too, and the pain right near the areolas or nipples might spread through the whole breast and last for an hour after nursing. If you’re wondering how to get rid of thrush while breastfeeding, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for proper guidance and treatment.

Additional symptoms of thrush on breasts may include:

  • Itchy, pale nipples with white patches
  • pale areolas with white patches
  • Burning nipples (may or may not last long)
  • Shiny skin on or near the nipples
  • Flaky nipples and areolas

If you have thrush, the shiny skin on your breasts or nearby can pass the bacteria to your breast milk and anything that comes into contact with your breasts. This includes:

If you have a yeast infection down there, you might be more likely to get thrush on your breasts. Your baby can pass oral thrush to you while breastfeeding. Even changing their diapers could give it to you if the fungus is in their poop.

Don’t worry, your baby will get some medicine for their mouth. But remember, the medicine doesn’t usually go into your breasts, so you’ll need your own prescription too. Thrush could make your milk go down and make breastfeeding a bit tricky while you and your baby are feeling unwell. But you can still breastfeed while getting treated, which is good for keeping your milk flowing.

Thrush might take about two weeks to go away completely. Just make sure you take all your medicine and stay clean to avoid it coming back. Oh, and don’t use any milk you pumped while you were sick – throw that away.

How to Treat Thrush FAQ's:

1. How can I treat my baby's thrush at home?

Apple cider vinegar can fight fungus, and using a weaker mix on your baby's mouth might help remove oral thrush. There are special medicines for babies that can easily clear up thrush.

2. Will thrush go away on its own in babies?

If you think your baby might have thrush, which is like a mouth problem, it's a good idea to visit the doctor. Sometimes with home remedies for thrush, the problem can get better on its own in about one or two weeks, but the doctor might give you a special liquid medicine to help your baby's mouth feel better.

3. Is thrush painful for babies?

Babies can have thrush in different ways. Sometimes, they don't seem uncomfortable, so it's difficult to notice until it gets worse. You might see white or yellow patches on their tongue, lips, gums, inside their cheeks, and the roof of their mouth.

4. What is the fastest way to treat thrush in babies?

Thrush, which is a problem in the mouth, can be fixed easily using special medicines that fight fungus. These medicines have names like nystatin (Mycostatin®), fluconazole (Diflucan®), or itraconazole (Sporanox®). Your child might take these medicines in liquid form or as a small pill. The thrush issue usually goes away in about 4 to 5 days with this treatment.

5. Can breastfed babies get thrush?

Babies who drink breast milk can also get a mouth problem called thrush. Sometimes, when your nipples get cracked or hurt, a fungus called candida can cause thrush. This fungus can also go into your nipple or breast. Thrush can also happen if you or your baby took antibiotics before.

6. Should I be worried if my baby has thrush?

If the throat problem doesn't go away after a few weeks of treatment, or if it keeps coming back, especially if your child is older than 9 months, you should visit the doctor to check if there might be other health problems causing it.

7. Does thrush make babies cry more?

Baby thrush shows up as white, soft patches on their tongue and inside their cheeks. Their mouth might also be red or have tiny bleeds. They might cry a lot or be fussy, and feeding could be hard for them. Sometimes, they might even have a rash in their diaper area.

8. Is it thrush or milk?

Here's a simpler way to understand it: if you want to know if it's milk residue or thrush, you can use a warm, damp cloth to wipe it off. If it comes off easily or looks less obvious, it's probably just milk residue. Remember, milk residue shows up after feeding and only on the tongue.

9. Does thrush affect baby poop?

Babies with oral thrush might find it hard to eat, and they could get a rash on their diaper area. When babies eat, they swallow a fungus called Candida. This fungus goes through their tummy and comes out in their poop. Then, it can grow on their skin where the diaper is.


On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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