It almost always happens at some god forbidden hour: the baby is crying.
But as soon as she latches or places that bottle on her mouth, she screams bloody murder or, just as frustratingly, will not even try to feed and instead looks pleadingly into your eyes – that is, right before she unleashes her next mega-wail.
That’s when you’ll catch a glimpse of it, mid-cry.
Something in her mouth which appears to be… cottage cheese?
Just what IS that stuff?
It’s Probably “Just Thrush”
Table Of Contents
Did Baby Break Into The Cottage Cheese Or Is It Thrush?
Thrush is an endearing term used to describe a mouth that has a yeast infection.
It’s common for it to appear as milk curds or cottage cheese and it can show up:
- On the sides of your baby’s mouth
- On the roof of baby’s mouth
- On baby’s tongue
- It typically affects babies who are two months old or younger (y’know, at an age when they cannot TELL you what is wrong) but it can show up in the mouths of older babies too.
How Can I Treat This?
Let’s get down to the real question here: how to get rid of thrush in infants, this nastiness?
First, you have to figure out if it is thrush (it probably is).
Take a piece of gauze and gently touch one of those milk curbs in your baby’s mouth.
Thrush white patches will not come off easily.
If it does, then it will leave a raw and red area beneath it (don’t be too freaked out if it begins to bleed a bit).
image source: Breastfeeding Place
Once you or your doctor have determined it is thrush, you then sort of have two treatment options:
a) Go au-natural; or
b) Zap it with meds
Treating Thrush Naturally
Thrush may not be harmful, but it certainly isn’t pleasant.
A lot of parents opt for the “natural” route because they believe that because it is “natural” it will have less of a potential negative impact on their baby’s health.
Keep in mind that natural treatments do often have side effects and, if possible, visit a naturopath before you try any natural DIY treatments on your babies.
1.) Acidophilus Powder – Acidophilus is a normal bacteria which lives in our mouths and intestines. Many naturopaths suggest applying this powder (in limited quantities) to your baby’s mouth.
Does It Work?
Some strains are considered to have probiotic characteristics which may help mums who are breastfeeding and taking antibiotics. A lot of reviews on the World Wide Web seem to be supportive, but there is not much scientific evidence supporting it.
2.) Yogurt – Much like the acidophilus powder above, is a probiotic so one may reasonably assume that it could be an effective treatment for thrush.
Does It Work?
If you have yogurt with live lactobacillus acidophilus cultures, it may help your baby’s thrush though it is typically best used as a preventative measure.
Since babies so young should not be ingesting a lot of dairy, it may not be the best solution.
3.) Baking Soda And Vinegar – This “solution” is supposed to kill off the bacteria which is causing your thrush. You can rub it on your nipples and it should also be swabbed onto the insides of your baby’s cheeks, tongue, and gums after nursing.
Does It Work?
- Firstly: you have to prepare a brand new solution every day (I’m out!).
- Secondly: Taste it.
Would you want that in your mouth?
Guess what – your baby doesn’t either.
- Thirdly: It’s not really tackling what is causing the thrush and if you have tasted the stuff, it’s torturous. Pass!
Video: How to get rid of thrush in infants?
There isn’t an extensive line of medical options available for babies when it comes to thrush.
The most common treatment is an anti-fungal medication, like Nystatin. (Which is what I gave to my 1 year old)
These are taken from 10 to 14 days and are available in tablet, lozenge or liquid form.
Obviously, the lozenge is not an option, but tablets can be crushed and added to formula or liquids can be applied using a Q-Tip or squirted into the side of your baby’s cheek while breastfeeding.
Do You Need Treatment?
I know what you’re thinking: here we go, blaming the mom again!
Moms are never to blame for thrush, but if thrush happens to recur frequently, then the presence of the candida infection causing your baby’s thrush may be a symptom of another medical problem.
The thrush may have started with your baby, but that thrush may have already invaded your already tender and abused nipples.
Some signs that you may have thrush include:
- Sore nipples (okay, that’s a bit too general)
- Nipples which are red or pink
- A burning or itching sensation in the nipples
- Flaky, dry or puffy nipples (hot, right?)
- Deep and shooting breast pain during or after you feed
- It’s okay, You Can Keep Breastfeeding (breast milk is awesome sauce)
Finding thrush in your newest addition’s mouth can be alarming, but remember: it’s not serious.
The most important steps you need to take are:
- Determining it is thrush
- Speaking with your doctor
- Finding a treatment that works for you and your family
- Making sure you are treated
- Chilling out
- We’re not going to lie, having a baby who has thrush can suck for both mom and babe.
But trust us, within the very week you start treatment you will begin to experience relief and all of the tears of agony will soon become a distant memory.