Thrush in babies is a type of fungal infection that appears in the inside of the mouth and cheeks. If you spot curd white patches and spots in the baby’s mouth, tongue, gums or palate, it is probably the beginning of a thrush.
No matter how convincing your child care expert may sound when he says that the thrush is harmless in babies, as a parent, you are bound to be stressed.
Causes Behind Thrush
Well, the good news is that the spots that you find abnormal are absolutely common in babies from birth to 3 months. It is usually a kind of yeast infection which could possibly be a result of an imbalanced digestive system. Thrush in infants often crops up during birth when while passing through the vagina, a newborn catches yeast infection in the mouth.
Most of the times the carrier is the mother, who passes on the infection to the baby through the breast milk or during the delivery. Plenty of hormonal changes before and after child birth also promote growth of fungal infection in the baby that causes thrush in the mouth.
Signs of Thrush
A thrush is easily visible in your baby’s mouth if looked carefully with mouth open. It is usually a thick white coating on the tongue that refuses to come out even when you try to scrape off. Apart from your baby’s tongue, thrush is also likely to effect the gums, palate, cheeks and roof of the mouth from inside.
How to Treat Thrush
Normally thrush in babies is harmless and takes it own time to disappear, but if it is troubling the baby it is advisable to consult your pediatricican. The doctor may put the baby on an oral antifungal medication to cure thrush fast.
Topical Ointments and Gel
A lot of anti fungal gels and ointments are available for pediatric usage. These are applied on the affected area with clean fingers. Also, apart from the mouth you need to apply the ointment on areas around your baby’s bottom to prevent thrush from spreading further. Clean your hands again after applying the gel to avoid other areas getting affected by thrush.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Since prevention is always better than curing the condition, you can help a great deal by preventing the root causes behind thrush. Clean and sterilize your baby’s bottles and pacifiers regularly to prevent any fungal or bacterial infection. If you are breastfeeding your baby, it is important to keep your nipples clean and dry after every feed so that you do not pass on any fungal infection to the baby.
Also, if your baby has a tendency towards thrush, make her sip some warm water after every feed to wash down the milk residue, which may cause infection in the mouth if it settles there.
Medications for Excess Soreness
In most of the cases thrush is harmless and does not cause much pain or discomfort to the babies. But in some infants it comes with a lot of soreness inside the mouth which makes feeding and sucking difficult for them. This is followed by bouts of crying and frustration in the babies. Doctors often prescribe a medication for pain to ease off this condition and to help continue with the feeds comfortably.
If thrush is accompanied with fever, you need to see the pediatrician immediately as it indicates a bacterial infection.