Oral thrush sounds very unpleasant and can be rather unsightly- but rest assured it is extremely common in babies and toddlers, and only causes mild discomfort if caught early.
How do I know if my baby has oral thrush?
Because the thrush is in babies mouth its sometimes difficult to spot straight away, you might notice when your baby cries or laughs their tongue, inside lips and mouth is tinged white. This could just be milk residue, but if it’s unusual for your baby, persists or gets worse, or is accompanied by white spots then its best to get checked out.
How do babies catch oral thrush?
Like other forms of thrush oral thrush is a fungus which has grown in baby’s mouth through overpowering and killing the good bacteria which would keep it at bay. The germs may have come from poor oral hygiene, putting something dirty in their mouths – a dropped dummy for instance, from crawling outside, food eaten from the floor. Unsurprisingly therefore is it very common and is contagious in nature so is very easily passed from baby to baby through playing with the same toys, and putting things in their mouths.
Additionally chances of contracting thrush are higher if your baby has recently been on anti-biotic so which kill bacteria – good and bad.
Can I catch my babies thrush?
Absolutely. It can spread very easily between parent and baby, particularly if your are breastfeeding. It’s very likely Mum’s nipples will become infected which can be extremely painful, and clause the infection to pass to and fro between Mum and baby.
What is the treatment?
If you suspect your baby has oral thrush it’s best to see a doctor straight away for the treatment to nip it in the bud before it spreads or infects others. The medication is prescription only so pharmacist and health visitors won’t be able to help. The treatment, nystatin, is a bright yellow liquid which comes with dropper to be put in babies mouth four times a day after food. My son didn’t particularly enjoy it but didn’t have a huge aversion to it so I can only presume it’s tasteless!
If your baby has thrush, and you are breastfeeding be sure to wash between feeds and use breast pads to stop infection of your Nipples or clothes. And always remember to brush babies teeth twice and day and take wipes to clean those grubby hands!